Ben Carson: Vaccines are Good Medicine, Not Political Issue

Retired neurosurgeon and presidential hopeful Ben Carson attempted Sunday to diffuse the vaccination debate that has gripped the political scene, saying there’s no reason to turn vaccines for measles and other diseases into a partisan issue.

Mr. Carson, a star in conservative circles, said scientists have debunked skeptics who warn of debilitating side effects from vaccines, and parents who forgo vaccinations are eroding the herd immunity that has lulled them into complacency.

“We’ve had such an effective vaccination program that you’re not seeing the diseases,” Mr. Carson told “Fox News Sunday.”

A measles outbreak traced to Disneyland in California has resulted in at least 150 cases, and the political wildfire around whether parents must vaccinate their children is spreading just as quickly. Some Republican presidential hopefuls struggled with the issue last week, prompting other contenders to quickly tout the merits of vaccines.

Meanwhile, government disease specialists said the benefits of vaccination far outweigh side effects that typically amount to a sore arm or slight fever.