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Rand Paul equates mandatory vaccinations with "giving up liberty"

In this image, Senator Rand Paul sits behind his name plaque at a hearing.
Sen. Rand Paul. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), an ophthalmologist, equated government-mandated vaccinations to "giving up on liberty for a false sense of security" at a Senate Health Committee hearing on Tuesday.

"I'm not here to say don't vaccinate your kids. If this hearing is for persuasion I'm all for the persuasion. I've vaccinated myself and I've vaccinated my kids. For myself and my children I believe that the benefits of vaccines greatly outweigh the risks, but I still don't favor giving up on liberty for a false sense of security."
— Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Details: The hearing sought to address the role vaccines play in preventable disease outbreaks, and included witnesses such as Ethan Lindenberger, who had himself inoculated at 18 against his parents' wishes. At chairman Lamar Alexander's (R-Tenn.) prompting, the hearing also addressed the now-retracted 12-person study published in 1998 that is partly responsible for the ongoing false belief that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism.

Go deeper: Long-term measles vaccine study shows no link with autism — again