Letter: The Company Line

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Letter to the Editor

Letters addressed to the editor of the LA Times

1. 

Regarding vaccines for very young children, not having any of this age myself, I don’t have a dog in this fight.

But I’m hoping that parents who do will follow their own personal concerns and not succumb to the peer pressure of other parents.

If they end up giving COVID vaccines to their youngsters to avoid likely accusations of putting other children in harm’s way, then they will have ceded their parental responsibilities to those who don’t even know their child.

Will the likelihood of your child being left out of social events be the motivating factor to vaccinate? Or will your caution to wait for more data to emerge outweigh not being invited to a birthday party?

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2.

I’ve been a subscriber to your paper for half a century. Besides being a freelance op-ed writer for three decades, I’ve also been a contributor to your letters to the editor over the years.

What I used to enjoy about them were opinions from different perspectives that made me think.  But ever since the vaccination rollout, there has been a steady erosion of differing points of view on this topic, to the extent that not one opposing or thoughtful opinion on even a cautionary view of these shots have ever made it into print in your paper.

So, I wrote a very measured short letter to you several days ago about maybe waiting a while before giving very young children this COVID vaccine. Not inflammatory, not even opinionated so much as just allowing parents to know that not everyone is in lockstep with giving youngsters the vaccine at this time. Your paper even showed a survey that only about 27 percent of parents are ready to vaccinate their children. So, you already have a large audience who might appreciate my letter.

Is that why you won’t print it—because the powers that be don’t want you to give people any pause? My letter is not the issue; it’s that no letter like mine has been run in your paper. It seems that you are under some outside constraints that won’t allow you to print opposing points of view on this topic.

My concern is that you have rejected letters exhibiting free expression to accepting only a one-sided lockstep company line.

Jill Chapin