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Jimmy Kimmel weighs in on vaccination debate; gets attacked on social media

"Wow, did this make some people mad," Kimmel said of the reactions some social-media users had to his pro-vaccination video.

By Karen Butler
Jimmy Kimmel weighs in on vaccination debate; gets attacked on social media
TV talk show host Jimmy Kimmel makes comments during an unveiling ceremony honoring producer/director Don Mischer with the 2,539th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles on Dec. 11, 2014. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, March 3 (UPI) -- Jimmy Kimmel used his late-night chat show to persuade parents to get their children vaccinated for measles and promptly received numerous nasty messages via social media.

He played a video last week showing various physicians extolling the virtues of vaccination, then addressed the backlash it caused on Monday's edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live. The clip with the doctors has been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube since it was posted on Friday.

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"I got a group of real doctors together to do a public-service announcement urging parents to vaccinate, and, wow, did this make some people mad," Kimmel, who is the father of an 8-month-old daughter, said Monday before reading several, expletive-laden tweets from furious detractors.

"So, you see people are taking a reasonable approach to this. Some of these people are demanding that I apologize, which I, of course, will not do. Some are saying I am attacking families with autism, which is nonsense, because I happen to be in a family with autism," Kimmel went on. "A lot of these groups are insisting that I present both sides of the argument, and I'm not going to do that either because, well, for the same reason that I wouldn't present both sides if a group of people decided that pancakes make you gay: they don't and there's no point in discussing it. ... As far as I'm concerned, this is a hot-button topic that shouldn't be a hot-button topic any more."

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Kimmel then showed another clip featuring comedians posing as anti-vaccination crusaders, who approached people on the street and attempted to solicit their support for a child's right to choose whether they want a vaccination. They also showed the passersby a video that proclaimed 100 percent of the children -- who were asked whether they would rather be jabbed with a big needle or eat a lollipop -- went for the candy.

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