WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- As public health officials voice concerns over a growing outbreak of measles, President Barack Obama took to the airwaves Sunday to urge parents to vaccinate their children.
"I understand that there are families that in some cases are concerned about the effect of vaccinations," Obama told Savannah Guthrie on NBC's Today. "The science is, you know, pretty indisputable. We've looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren't reasons to not."
"You should get your kids vaccinated. It's good for them, but we should be able to get back to the point where measles effectively is not existing in this country," the president added.
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also went on television Sunday to talk about the measles outbreak. According to the CDC, there are at least 102 measles cases in 14 states. Frieden said there are likely to be more infections in the coming weeks. Measles is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection that, along with a fever and cough, results in a rash over much of the upper body.
"What we've seen is, as over the last few years, a small but growing number of people have not been vaccinated," Frieden said during an interview on CBS's Face the Nation. "That number is building up among young adults in society, and that makes us vulnerable."
Possible presidential candidate Chris Christie tacked a slightly different course on Monday, telling reporters in Cambridge, England, that there must be balance between public health and parental choice.
"Mary Pat and I have had our children vaccinated, and we think that it's an important part of being sure we protect their health and the public health," Christie said. "I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things, as well, so that's the balance that the government has to decide."