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Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina Says Vaccinating Is Parents' Choice

There are certain topics sure to spark fiery debate among parents. High on that list is whether they should be required to vaccinate their kids. Opponents fear the shots can potentially create more health hazards than benefits. On the other side, people worry non-inoculated children will cause a resurgence in nearly eradicated diseases like polio, whooping cough or mumps.

Now the issue has made its way into the race for the White House. During a recent speech in Iowa, Republican candidate Carly Fiorina said that vaccinations are "always a parent's choice." It's a stance that is getting the underdog a great deal of attention. Unlike many of the other contenders, Fiorina doesn't have a strong political pedigree. A former business executive, she is now the chair of the non-profit philanthropic organization Good360, which helps companies donate excessive product and merchandise to charities instead of tossing it in a landfill.

Though, Fiorina isn't exactly anti-vax. She went on to say that she believes schools should also have the right to refuse to admit children who have not been vaccinated. "When you have highly communicable diseases where you have a vaccine that's proven, like measles or mumps, then I think a parent can make that choice," she said. "But then I think a school district is well within their rights to say, 'I'm sorry, your child cannot then attend public school' … so a parent has to make that trade-off."

However, for what she calls "more esoteric immunizations" (presumably like the shot against the human papillomavirus), she resolutely believes a school district shouldn't be able to ban a child.

So far, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the only other candidate who has made major headlines on the issue. When questioned on his stance last February, he said "parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that's the balance that the government has to decide."

Months later, however, he changed his opinion, stating, "I think that would be the wrong step for the public health of our country."

Do you support voluntary vaccinations?

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