Published: Tue, June 27, 2017
Culture | By Marion Pratt

John Oliver Tears Into the Rise of Anti-Vaxxers

John Oliver Tears Into the Rise of Anti-Vaxxers

Last Week Tonight airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on HBO.

"The study was of just 12 children and it was by this guy, Andrew Wakefield, and if you're wondering why I didn't say 'Dr". "Vaccinations can mean getting injected by a needle filled with science juice". "Tiny children are not horses - one vaccine at a time, over time".

The exhausting list of insufferable white men who seem to relish speaking out against vaccines include Doctor Bob Sears who, despite admitting no scientific backing for his proposed delayed, selective vaccine schedule, still pushes weird, self-penned maxims like, "Vaccines don't cause autism ... except when they do". An appendectomy means removing one of your organs through stabbery. And that leads to crises like a Somali community in Minnesota where there has been a recent outbreak.

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He said: "Most of the fear surrounding vaccines stems from their supposed link to autism".

As seemingly everything is these days, the segment was inspired by President Trump, who has stoked unfounded fears about vaccine safety on both the debate stage and social media.

He said: "Even though Wakefield's conclusions have been debunked many times, he not only denies wrongdoing, he actually still gives talks about the supposed dangers of the MMR vaccine". And he knows about making that choice to vaccinate his own child. Oliver stressed an important point that there are a lot of people whose immune systems are too weak for them to get vaccinated. "And we tend not to talk about the very tangible good that they do".

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A protective parent of his own prematurely born son, Oliver acknowledged the fears parents have over their children's health.

"It is likely that at some point you may hear scary vaccine stories from other parents or on the Internet, and it is hard not to be terrified when you encounter it", he said.

Oliver ended the segment on a personal note, acknowledging that parenting can be "terrifying" and that his natural inclination is to be afraid of everything - including, as he put it, "the dark, the light, heights, depths, confined spaces, wide-open spaces, intimacy, spiders and a sudden and mysterious lack of spiders". "We are vaccinating him fully and on schedule, and if I can overcome the temptation to listen to the irrational shouting of my terrified lizard brain, then I believe that everyone can".

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