Wow. I just returned from vacation where I was thankfully unable to access my e-mail, or should I say “hate mail.” I knew I’d upset some folks when I wrote a column on immunizations, I just didn’t think the response would be quite so intense. I haven’t received this much backlash since my controversial articles on homeschooling in 2009. [See Current archives for some fun reads!] I suppose when I attack parenting choices, however, I deserve it.
That being said, I won’t apologize for my opinions on immunizations, though I will say I’m sorry for branding people who choose not to immunize as “idiots.” That was an unprofessional comment based purely on emotion. You certainly have the right to choose what’s best for your children, and like I said in the article, I support you 100 percent in that capacity. I don’t agree with your choice at all, but that doesn’t give me the right to call you an idiot, at least not in public.
Most of the hate mail was from parents of autistic children, so let me address them first. I personally know several families with an autistic child. It is a devastating diagnosis and can drastically alter the lives of everyone involved. I don’t blame you for looking for a reason for why your child is different. I am surprised, however, that so many of you truly believe there is a global conspiracy among governments and pharmaceutical companies to not only suppress any connection between immunizations and autism, but to possibly bring back the plague for population control and profit. Really? Clearly I have misjudged the CDC and Eli Lilly.
And although most of the physicians and nurses who wrote in agreed with me, I did receive some negative comments from medical professionals, saying I knew nothing of science. “Why do you even care if your kids are vaccinated?” I care because even vaccinated children can get sick (that much I do know), and I really don’t want my household to be quarantined for a month because some unvaccinated kid brought measles to the local elementary school.
Finally, let me remind all of you who constantly complain about my lack of professional journalism that I’M NOT A PROFESSIONAL JOURNALIST, nor do I claim to be! My column is posted under opinion or humor, not hard news. I write about what I think as a resident of Indianapolis suburbia. And contrary to what several readers believe, I don’t wear Prada or drive a Cadi, nor do I channel Hitler in my free time. I’m just an average working mom who frequently suffers from word vomit, the content of which occasionally warrants some hate mail. Peace out.