Ebola Nurse Nearly Incarcerated by Christie Criticizes His Vaccination Remarks

Source: NJ.com
Kaci Hickox, the fiery nurse who was the first returning Ebola worker to encounter Gov. Chris Christie’s quarantine policy, said she sees his vaccine comments today as proof of his tendency to “spout off about things he doesn’t know about.”
…Christie talked about the childhood vaccine issue…outside an American biotech firm he had toured while on a three-day trip to England, saying (that) “parents should weigh their options” when considering whether to have their children get vaccinated. His four children have received their vaccines, he indicated. But he added that “not every vaccine is created equal” and that “there has to be balance and it depends on what the vaccine is and what the disease is, and the rest.” Within hours, however, his remarks were clarified…
“The Governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should get vaccinated,” said a statement released by his office on Twitter. “At the same time different states require different degrees of vaccination, which is why he was calling for a balance in which ones government should mandate.”
A measles outbreak that began at Disneyland has public health officials worried that the quiet increase in unvaccinated children has given the nearly eradicated disease an inroad into returning as a dangerous menace.
Hickox said she sees echoes of her treatment in Christie’s handling of the vaccine question. “One of the things I keep seeing is it seems he really doesn’t use his resources well. He’s not a doctor or a public health expert, yet he feels entitled to spout off about things he doesn’t know about,” she said…
Hickox was returning from a volunteering stint with Doctors Without Borders last October when she landed at Newark Liberty International Airport just hours after Christie had changed the state’s policy on travelers from West Africa…(H)er temperature was taken with a non-contact thermometer, which revealed a slight fever…Once she arrived, however, a conventional thermometer showed she had no fever. But she was placed in an isolation tent within the hospital (parking lot), where she remained for the next two-and-a-half days…
Hickox. now in Yarmouth, Maine, training volunteer health care workers headed to Africa to help with the Ebola epidemic, sees a stark contradiction in Christie’s approach to her case versus his thoughts on vaccines. “In my case, we had an ‘abundance of caution’ when it was politically convenient,” she said…

“In the case of vaccines, we know that by not vaccinating (your children) you’re putting the entire community at risk — including the most vulnerable people in your community.”

“I see this a lot with his sort of administration…comments about things he hasn’t really thought through,” she said. “I want my public officials to use science when making policy…(T)o have a leader to who doesn’t think twice about saying things who (don’t) consider the science. that’s not sound public health.”

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