Newly recovered video from a campaign event this summer shows that Connecticut Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski expressed skepticism about giving children vaccines, according to the Daily Beast. A video shown on NBC News captured an interaction between Stefanowski and a constituent at a Quiet Corner Tea Party event.
From the Daily Beast:
“Do you think the state should dictate [immunizations] or should local [Boards of Education] handle that?” the individual asked, according to video provided by a source working for a Connecticut democratic campaign. “I think it depends on the vaccination,” Stefanowski responded. “We shouldn’t be dumping a lot of drugs into kids for no reason.”
Anti-vaxx sentiment has spread rapidly across the developed world over the last few years, leading to outbreaks of previously nearly eradicated diseases, largely in wealthy areas. Outbreaks of measles have spread across many U.S. states, as well as in Europe. Mandated vaccines for school children are a highly effective measure to prevent such outbreaks, not just for the children who are vaccinated, but also for children with weak immune systems and may be more susceptible to illness. This concept is known as “herd immunity,” and the fewer children who are vaccinated, the weaker it becomes.
Stefanowski said his own children had been vaccinated, and didn’t promise to change state law mandating vaccinations for children entering school if elected. “Bob’s position here is in line with the law. While he believes that the best practice is to vaccinate your children, he does not believe that the government should be able to legally force you to do so,” his campaign spokesperson told NBC.