While vaccines have been one of the greatest medical breakthroughs in U.S. history, they should be voluntary, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told CNBC on Monday.
It's an issue of freedom, he said.
"I'm not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they are a good thing. But I think the parent should have some input. The state doesn't own our children. Parents own the children," Paul said in an interview with "Closing Bell."
Paul was echoing comments he made earlier in the day to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham.
"What happens if you have somebody not wanting to take the smallpox vaccine and it ruins it for everybody else? I think there are times in which there can be some rules, but for the first part it ought to be voluntary," he told Ingraham.