He said he was surprised by the rising clamor from anti-vaccine advocates, despite the view of an overwhelming number of doctors.
So Kimmel decided to “get serious for a minute” on his show last week (Feb. 26) and talk about the problem.
In some Los Angeles schools, fully 20 percent of the students haven’t been vaccinated against childhood diseases like smallpox, measles and mumps, he noted.
“Parents here are more scared of gluten than they are of smallpox. As a result, we’ve got measles,” he said.
“I know if your one of these anti-vaccine people, you probably aren’t going to take medical advice from a talk show host. I don’t expect you to; I wouldn’t either.
“But I would expect you to take medical advice from almost every doctor in the world.”
He also took a pointed jab at Jenny McCarthy, who has become a poster-girl for the anti-vaccine movement.
So Kimmel rounded up some “actual medical professionals” to talk about the issue. But instead of enlightening those who are misguided, his PSA provoked a Twitter backlash.
In a follow up, he aired some of the hate he received on the social media site and revealed his own interest in the subject. His 8-month-old daughter was just vaccinated for the first time.
“Some of these people are demanding that I apologize, which I will not do,” Kimmel said.
“Some of are saying I’m attacking families with autism, which is nonsense, because I am in a family with autism.
“A lot of these groups are insisting that I present ‘both sides,’ and I’m not going to do that either for the same reason I wouldn’t present both sides if a group of people decided that pancakes make you gay. They don’t!”
Check out the video below and some of the venom spewed at him. Let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest comedy news.