Last night's episode of Last Week Tonight took on anti-vaxxers and those who aim to spread out vaccinations beyond the recommended schedule.
Could humor finally win the anti-vaxxers over to the scientific side? That's what Last Week Tonight host John Oliver clearly hopes—he dedicated most of this week's episode to the anti-vaccination movement—especially to those who space out the vaccinations beyond the recommended Centers for Disease Control schedule.
It's a deadly serious issue—consider the fact that we've had 78 cases of measles already this year, more than the total number in our country all last year. And people forget that measles isn't just about a wicked fever and rash. As one of the experts quoted in the segment reminded us, it can result in permanent brain damage, blindness, and deafness, and another part of the segment linked a lack of measles vaccinations to six deaths in France a few years back. It's no laughing matter.
Oliver managed to find the humor in the issue, discussing how many parents are fearful of what could happen when their kids are "injected with a needle full of science juice," thanks to the now fully debunked research that linked autism to the MMR vaccine. He also found fault with those who advocate spreading out the vaccinations as a compromise between the "extremes" of those who follow the proven science, and those who don't. “That sounds like a decent compromise because it’s the middle-ground position, right?” Oliver said on “Last Week Tonight” on Sunday. “The problem is, it’s the middle ground between sense and nonsense. It’s like saying, ’It would be crazy to eat that entire bar of soap, so I’ll just eat half of it.’”
And he ended on a personal note, describing his own timid personality and sharing a picture of his 19-month-old son, who had been born prematurely. And he noted, despite his son's early arrival and health issues—and his cowardly nature—Oliver made sure he was vaccinated on time.
Did you follow the doctor-recommended vaccination schedule? Or are you following an alternate plan?