John Oliver Tackles Vaccine Hesitancy and How to Combat It

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John Oliver Tackles Vaccine Hesitancy and How to Combat It

There’s a good chance you’ve already seen this article in the New York Times about how it’s unlikely America will ever reach herd immunity to Covid. It’s precisely the kind of upbeat, uplifting news I needed to see immediately after waking up on a Monday morning! Now I’m sitting here watching John Oliver’s segment on the lack of demand for the vaccine from last night’s episode of Last Week Tonight, and wondering if anybody would notice if I just went back to sleep for the next… uh… rest of my life, I guess?

Look, it’s not hard, people: science gave us what could very well be a miracle, and it’s for the good of the entire world that we should get it shot into our arms. You know science: it gave you the smartphone you’re using to read this right now, and the microwave you use to heat up your Lean Cuisines, and all those other vaccines you’ve already gotten throughout your life. You know science, and you trust it—or at least did, until recently, until people who could gain from making Americans not believe in science started muddying the waters. If you’re not getting the vaccine because a cable news station has made you think it’s not safe, even after all of its hosts and employees got the vaccine themselves, then I would encourage you to be the independent thinker you very loudly believe yourself to be and actually research the vaccine. Don’t listen to contrarian podcasters or billionaires going through a midlife crisis: listen to actual scientists, and then go get the damn shots so you can help protect not just yourself but everybody else you might come in contact with.

Normally I don’t just write out my reaction to one of these John Oliver segments. Normally I write up a short summary of what you can expect from the video, and try to make it just interesting or entertaining enough for you to not immediately skip over. (Don’t worry, I know that you do always skip over ‘em, though. No problem—I probably would too.) But it’s hard to watch this entire clip and not react emotionally and stridently. We have what is very likely the solution to the last year waiting for us and yet a significant number of Americans are refusing to take it. Meanwhile much of the rest of the world doesn’t have enough of the vaccine yet and is still struggling—what’s happening in India is absolutely heartbreaking. What if people reacted this way to the polio vaccine? Or the smallpox vaccine? It’s maddening.

Anyway. Watch this segment from Last Week Tonight if you want to get mad, too. And if you know anybody who’s reluctant to get the vaccine, please try to reason with them.