President Obama, in an interview to be broadcast Monday, encouraged parents to vaccinate their children against measles, saying it’s “good for them.”
During an interview with NBC News to be shown on the “Today" show, Obama said he wants people to “know the facts and the science and the information.”
“And the fact is that, a major success of our civilization has the ability to prevent diseases that in the past have devastated folks,” he said, according to a transcript. “And measles is preventable. And I understand that there are families that, in some cases, are concerned about the effect of vaccinations. 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.”
More than 100 measles cases have been reported recently in 14 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC Director Tom Frieden said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the U.S. is "likely to see more cases."
Obama said parents should get their kids vaccinated.
“It's good for them and the challenge you have is if you have a certain group of kids who don't get vaccinated, and if it grows large enough that a percentage of the population doesn't get vaccinated and they're the folks who can't get vaccinated, small infants, for example, or people with certain vulnerabilities that can't vaccinated, they suddenly become much more vulnerable,” he added.
Obama also answered questions about an American held hostage by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), saying the administration is working with coalition allies to identify her location and is in contact with the woman’s family.
“Obviously this is something that is heartbreaking for the family and we want to make sure we do anything we can to make sure that any American citizen is rescued form this situation,” Obama said, adding that he is deeply affected by videos of hostage executions.
“Every morning I get a presidential daily briefing, and it gives me a pretty clear sense of the terrible stuff that's happening,” he added. “And it's part of the reason why we have to be so vigilant and so aggressive in going after a vicious organization like ISIL.”
On Sunday, Obama also discussed “deflategate,” politics and beer in a live interview with NBC before the Super Bowl.