WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is urging parents to get their children vaccinated in the face of a measles outbreak that has infected more than 100 people in the United States.
In excerpts from an interview with NBC News that will air on Monday, Obama said measles was a preventable disease.
He said that while he understood there were families concerned about the effect of vaccinations, he said the science was “pretty indisputable”.
“We’ve looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren’t reasons to not,” he said, adding, “You should get your kids vaccinated.”
He said the larger the group of unvaccinated people, the more vulnerable it made small infants and people who cannot get vaccinations because of health issues.
There have been 91 measles cases in California, with at least 58 of those epidemiologically linked to a cluster that began at Disneyland in December. More than a dozen other cases have been confirmed in 13 other US states and in Mexico.
No deaths have been reported in connection with the outbreak, which public health officials suspect began when an infected person from outside the United States visited Disneyland in Anaheim, California, between Dec 15 and Dec 20.
The measles outbreak has renewed a debate over the so-called anti-vaccination movement in which fears about potential side effects of vaccines, fuelled by now-debunked research suggesting a link to autism, have led a small minority of parents to refuse to allow their children to be inoculated.
Some parents also opt not to have their children vaccinated for religious or other reasons.