GOP's Christie: Parents should have choice in vaccinations

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

80 PHOTOS
Chris Christie - New Jersey governor
See Gallery
GOP's Christie: Parents should have choice in vaccinations
Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, speaks during the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. The talent show that is a presidential campaign began in earnest Saturday as more than 1,200 Republican activists, who probably will vote in Iowa's caucuses, packed into a historic Des Moines theater to see and hear from a parade of their party's prospective entries. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, wearing an Arsenal scarf, sits with Rutgers University President Robert Barchi in the stands during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates stadium in London, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. Christie, a likely Republican candidate for president, said Monday that parents should have some choice on whether to vaccinate their children. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers a question, while addressing a gathering over the impending snow storm, as he stands in a garage at the New Jersey Department of Transportation Newark Maintenance yard Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, in Newark, N.J. Christie has declared a state of emergency, saying NJ Transit will shut down late Monday as a winter storm threatens to dump as much as 2 feet of snow over parts of New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie has formed a new political action committee to enable him to raise money for a potential 2016 presidential bid. WSJ's Heather Haddon has more.
Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, speaks during the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. The talent show that is a presidential campaign began in earnest Saturday as more than 1,200 Republican activists, who probably will vote in Iowa's caucuses, packed into a historic Des Moines theater to see and hear from a parade of their party's prospective entries. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 24: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks to guests at the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The summit is hosting a group of potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates to discuss core conservative principles ahead of the January 2016 Iowa Caucuses. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shakes hands with audience members before the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shakes hands with audience members before the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shakes hands with audience members after the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shakes hands with audience members after the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, greets Sen. Steven V. Oroho, R- Sparta, N.J., as he leaves the Assembly Chamber at the State House after delivering his State Of The State address Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his State Of The State address, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (L) after speaking to US troops at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, December 15, 2014. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
MENDHAM TWP., NJ - NOVEMBER 04: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie emerges from a voting machine after casting his vote, November 4, 2014 at the Emergency Services Building in Mendham, Twp., New Jersey. All 12 of N.J.'s House seats are up for grabs today. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses students, teachers and parents at Mendham Township Middle School Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Mendham Township, N.J. The school was designated a School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pauses while addressing students, teachers and parents at Mendham Township Middle School Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Mendham Township, N.J., after a student asked if he was going to run for President. Christie said that he was still deciding and planned to make his decision early next year. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses students, teachers and parents at Mendham Township Middle School Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Mendham Township, N.J. The school was designated a School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses students, teachers and parents at Mendham Township Middle School Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Mendham Township, N.J. The school was designated a School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Former Dallas Cowboys player and Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith, left, greets New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, on the field as teams warm up an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks to patients at Newark Renaissance House, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, in Newark, N.J. Christie visited the drug addiction help center as part of his season of service program. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
As wife Mary Pat Christie, left, and Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, second left, look on, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tells heckler Jim Keady to: "Sit down and shut up," during a event marking the second anniversasry of Superstorm Sandy Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Belmar, N.J. Keady began heckling Christie about the pace of storm recovery and repeatedly interrupted the governor. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, answers questions after visiting East Dover Marina Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Toms River, N.J. The marina was heavily damaged two years ago by Superstrom Sandy. Officials and residents in towns throughout coastal areas of New York and New Jersey are taking stock of the recovery from Superstorm Sandy on the second anniversary of the storm. The October 2012 storm devastated the oceanfront coastline and caused catastrophic flooding in New York and cities in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, walks with Valerie Weitzel at her East Dover Marina Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Toms River, N.J. The marina was heavily damaged two years ago by Superstrom Sandy. Officials and residents in towns throughout coastal areas of New York and New Jersey are taking stock of the recovery from Superstorm Sandy on the second anniversary of the storm. The October 2012 storm devastated the oceanfront coastline and caused catastrophic flooding in New York and cities in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, listens as Richard Weitzel describes repairs made to his East Dover Marina Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Toms River, N.J. Richard and wife Valerie Weitzel, rebuilt the marina after it was heavily damaged two years ago by Superstrom Sandy. Officials and residents in towns throughout coastal areas of New York and New Jersey are taking stock of the recovery from Superstorm Sandy on the second anniversary of the storm. The October 2012 storm devastated the oceanfront coastline and caused catastrophic flooding in New York and cities in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Jim Keady holds up a sign and shouts at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during a event marking the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Belmar, N.J. Keady began heckling Christie about the pace of storm recovery and repeatedly interrupted the governor. After trying to brush the man off, Christie yelled back the man didn't know what he was talking about and was just showing off for the news cameras. When heckler Keady continued, Christie told him: "Sit down and shut up. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, walks with Richard Weitzel and his wife Valerie Weitzel , third left, at their East Dover Marina Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Toms River, N.J. They have rebuilt the marina after it was heavily damaged two years ago by Superstrom Sandy. Officials and residents in towns throughout coastal areas of New York and New Jersey are taking stock of the recovery from Superstorm Sandy on the second anniversary of the storm. The October 2012 storm devastated the oceanfront coastline and caused catastrophic flooding in New York and cities in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie climbs into his vehicle after visiting East Dover Marina Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Toms River, N.J. The marina was heavily damaged two years ago by Superstrom Sandy. Officials and residents in towns throughout coastal areas of New York and New Jersey are taking stock of the recovery from Superstorm Sandy on the second anniversary of the storm. The October 2012 storm devastated the oceanfront coastline and caused catastrophic flooding in New York and cities in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
As wife Mary Pat Christie, left, looks on, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tells heckler Jim Keady to: "Sit down and shut up," during a event marking the second anniversasry of Superstorm Sandy Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Belmar, N.J. Keady began heckling Christie about the pace of storm recovery and repeatedly interrupted the governor. After trying to brush the man off, Christie yelled back the man didn't know what he was talking about and was just showing off for the news cameras. When heckler Keady continued, Christie told him: "Sit down and shut up." (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie poses for a picture with students of Saint Rose Hight School during a visit to Belmar two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat pose for a picture with students of Saint Rose Hight School during a visit to Belmar two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat pose for a picture with workers of Pasoh Salon during a visit to Belmar two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at an event in Belmar two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at an event in Belmar two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat attend an event in Belmar two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: A man shots slogans to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie while speaks to the audience during a public event in Belmar, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: A man is removed by security guards while he shots slogans to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during a public event in Belmar, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks during a visit to Belmar, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat pose for a picture with a baby while they visit Belmar, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie walks next to Richard Weited, owner of East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Richard Weited watch as Weited's granddaughter (not pictured) walks up as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with members of the media as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with members of the media as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with members of the media as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with members of the media as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with members of the media as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with Richard Weited, owner of East Dover marina, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with members of the media as he visits the East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks with Richard Weited and his wife Valerie, the owners of East Dover marina, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie poses for a picture with Richard Weited (R), owner of East Dover marina and Mike Greiseh (L), two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shake hands with Richard Weited, owner of East Dover marina, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie walks next to Richard Weited, owner of East Dover marina, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
TOMS RIVER, NJ - OCTOBER 29: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie walks next to Richard Weited, owner of East Dover marina two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Toms River, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) poses for photographs with customers during a campaign stop with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) campaigns with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (L) at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan pose for a 'selfie' with a supporter during a campaign event at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) poses for photographs during a campaign stop with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (2nd L) hears from a supporter during a campaign stop with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (L) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie say their goodbyes after a campaign stop at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (2nd L) and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (2nd R) greet customers during a campaign stop at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (L) pose for photographs with a Honey Bee Diner employee during a campaign stop October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (R) pose for photographs with customers during a campaign stop at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens closely to a supporter while campaigning with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (2nd L) and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (3rd L) talk with customers at the Honey Bee Diner during a campaign stop October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens closely to a supporter while campaigning with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) campaigns with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (R) outside the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signs the cover of a copy of Time magazine while campaigning with Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (L) and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan arrive for a campaign event at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
GLEN BURNIE, MD - OCTOBER 28: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (L) and Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (R) pose for a 'selfie' with a supporter during a campaign stop at the Honey Bee Diner October 28, 2014 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This was the third campaign event that Christie has held with Hogan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
CLIVE, IA - OCTOBER 25: Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) stands in front of a huge cup cake display at his Birthday Bash, Saturday October 25, 2014 in Clive, Iowa. Already distinguished as the states longest -serving governor, Branstad would become the longest -serving governor in U.S. history, were he to win the November 4th election. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
CLIVE, IA - OCTOBER 25: Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) attends a Birthday Bash for Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) October 25, 2014 in Clive, Iowa. Already distinguished as the states longest -serving governor, Branstad would become the longest -serving governor in U.S. history, were he to win the November 4th election. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
CLIVE, IA - OCTOBER 25: Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) attends a Birthday Bash for Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) October 25, 2014 in Clive, Iowa. Already distinguished as the states longest -serving governor, Branstad would become the longest -serving governor in U.S. history, were he to win the November 4th election. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
In this Jan. 24, 2015, photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa. Add Christie to the list of prospective candidates for president now taking donations, a group of Republicans that might ultimately top two dozen. But for all the flurry of activity in the GOP race, set off last month by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and amplified by 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, some of the party’s most sought-after donors appear content to let things shake out a bit before making a commitment to any one candidate.(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Freedom Summit, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie waves after speaking at the Freedom Summit, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


CAMBRIDGE, England (AP) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a likely Republican candidate for president, said Monday that parents should have some choice on whether to vaccinate their children.

Christie's comments, made after a tour of a biomedical research center during a three-day trade mission to the United Kingdom, come as a measles outbreak centered in California has sickened more than 100 people in the U.S.

Christie said that he and his wife had vaccinated their children, describing that decision as "the best expression I can give you of my opinion." He said they believe doing so is an "important part of making sure we protect their health and the public health."

"But," Christie added, "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."

A few hours after Christie spoke, his office said in a statement that the governor "believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated."

All states now require children to get certain vaccinations to enroll in school, although California and New Jersey are among 20 states that let parents opt out by obtaining personal belief waivers. Parents in New Jersey seeking a medical exemption have to submit a written statement from their doctor or registered nurse indicating why the exemption is needed.

Some people worry that vaccines can cause developmental problems in children, despite scientific evidence disproving any link. Others object for religious or philosophical reasons. The New Jersey health department's guidelines on vaccines say that objections "based on grounds which are not medical or religious in nature and which are of a philosophical, moral, secular, or more general nature continue to be unacceptable."

Christie's comments stand in contrast to those of President Barack Obama, who said in an interview with NBC News that all parents should get their kids vaccinated. Those children who are not, he said, put infants and those who can't get vaccinations at risk.

"I understand that there are families that, in some cases, are concerned about the effect of vaccinations," Obama said. "The science is, you know, pretty indisputable."

EARLIER: Obama weighs in on measles, deflated footballs, politics

The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, commonly called the MMR, is 97 percent effective at preventing measles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New Jersey requires MMR vaccines for children between 12 and 15 months, and then a second at between 4 and 6 years.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads through the air, with symptoms that include fever, runny nose and a blotchy rash. The current outbreak originated at Disney theme parks last month, and Mexico and at least six other U.S. states have recorded measles cases connected to Disneyland.

When asked by reporters in Cambridge, after touring the facilities of MedImmune, the manufacturer of the flu vaccine FluMist, if leaving parents with the option to pass on vaccinations for their children is dangerous, Christie said there "has to be a balance."

"It depends on what the vaccine is, what the disease type is and all the rest," he said. "And so I didn't say I'm leaving people the option. What I'm saying is that you have to have that balance in considering parental concerns."

Christie said the conversation about whether to vaccinate needs to include the type of disease at issue. He said "not every vaccine is created equal. And not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others."

The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to get their children vaccinated against measles and other childhood diseases. It says doctors should bring up the importance of vaccinations during visits if parents are reluctant, but should respect a parent's wishes unless there's a significant risk to the child.

"In general, pediatricians should avoid discharging patients from their practices solely because a parent refuses to immunize his or her child," according to guidelines issued by the group.

More on AOL.com:
Pennsylvania groundhog 'forecasts' 6 more weeks of winter
Companies strike serious, somber tone in Super Bowl ads
Toledo mayor in critical condition after heart attack

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners