Covid Vaccines: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

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LastWeekTonight

John Oliver explains why some people don’t want to get the Covid-19 vaccine and how they might be reassured. (Even you, Mike in Baltimore.) Connect with Last Week Tonight online... Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight YouTube channel for more almost news as it almost happens: www.youtube.com/lastweektonight Find Last Week Tonight on Facebook like your mom would: www.facebook.com/lastweektonight Follow us on Twitter for news about jokes and jokes about news: www.twitter.com/lastweektonight Visit our official site for all that other stuff at once: www.hbo.com/lastweektonight

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Video Transcript:

But we are actually going to dive straight in with our main story tonight which concerns the covid vaccines the end result of the world's greatest scientists working around the clock to save countless lives immortalized in a card we'll all definitely lose in a month vitally important but also too big to fit in any standard wallet way to fumble at the one yard line Science and look not that we needed it but this week saw yet another reminder of just how dangerous kovid is with cases in india in particular surging at a truly terrifying rate india set a world record for daily covert cases of over 400 000 and that is probably an undercount and obviously the world should be doing everything it can to help india right now but our best way out of this mess long term is clearly Vaccines and it's worth remembering we in the us are incredibly fortunate we currently have access to a lot of vaccines and more than half of u.s adults have now gotten at least one dose which is great the bad news is some vaccination locations have already gone from having not enough supply to not enough demand according to the cdc the daily average for vaccinations has dropped 20 percent Since the start of the month a worrying trend vaccine demand declining in south carolina some providers left with extra doses and appointments for wide open palm beach county health care district says it is now facing 10 000 appointments for the county's vaccine sites remain unfilled since they opened this week appointments are going unfilled we've got thousands of appointments Available over the next few weeks and no takers at this point it's true a worrying amount of people are holding off on getting the free covered vaccine and i'm not saying that you should immediately get something just because it's free i wouldn't recommend getting these old dolls on craigslist just because they're free they're weird broken and they will kill you in your sleep But these vaccines could save not just your life but the lives of people around you and it's genuinely dispiriting that just a few months into the vaccine rollout we are already at this point and the problem is for the coronavirus the herd immunity threshold is thought to be between 70 and 90 of the population but a survey found that while 60 of American adults have got or want to get the vaccine another 18 say maybe and 22 say no and if you're thinking well hold on if every maybe gets the vaccine that still puts us at 78 unfortunately that poll doesn't take into account children who were not vaccinating right now and who make up around 22 of the population so we need to get the vaccine into as many adults as possible As soon as possible and that means you really need to get vaccinated and obviously i mean the collective you but also you mike mike in baltimore i know you've got this on in the background at work on monday so listen to me schedule your vaccine mike don't say you're gonna look into it later just google vaccine finder baltimore it takes seconds here are a list of vaccine sites In your area and if you're thinking yeah i'm not sure i need it joe rogan says i'm probably fine look it is true you might not get seriously sick from covid or indeed sick at all but you could still inadvertently pass it to someone who could then die and before you say well vulnerable people should just get vaccinated then the vaccines are only 95 effective mike so they'll probably be Okay but maybe not also the more the virus circulates the likely we'll see mutations that make it more dangerous possibly helping it to evade the vaccine completely putting us all the way back to square one so get the vaccine mike the point is there is a problematic amount of vaccine hesitancy right now even among people who you would really like to think Would not need convincing we met robert gannon before he went in to visit his 77 year old mother kia who was on a ventilator right now in the icu due to coven had she been vaccinated she was not vaccinated i think she was being hesitant just wanting to see how things played out have you been vaccinated i have not what would it take for you to get vaccinated um i'd want to make sure that it's safe Wow there is perhaps no clearer sign of just how deep vaccine hesitancy runs than someone in that guy's position still questioning whether to get it instead of asking is there such a thing as too much vaccine because if not i'm going to keep going back for injections until i'm around 80 percent pfizer so given all of that tonight let's talk about the covid vaccines why people are hesitant What their worries are and how they might be reassured and let's start with the fact you can't characterize any one group as uniformly vaccine hesitant no demographic is a monolith every group will have some who are excited and others who are anxious and different groups will be anxious for different reasons for instance early on you probably heard a lot about Hesitancy among some black americans which can be a real thing even this pediatrician had reservations when the vaccine was first made available to both of you did you both jump at the chance to get it no no i mean not me anyway i am black first in this country and that has with it a lot of baggage to tell you the truth and so then my Public health degree the culminating experience that i did was related to the the relationship between black people and physicians and that relationship has been a cantankerous one and so those are the kinds of things that are deeply embedded and challenging to overcome even within someone who's a scientist honestly i do understand that we've talked before on this show about the fraught Relationship black americans have with healthcare based on both current bad experiences and the history of incidents like the tuskegee experiment where doctors lied to black men allowing them to suffer from untreated syphilis over decades or as most u.s history students would describe it something i have not heard of although it does feel important to mention That that doctor did wind up getting the vaccine and in general black vaccine hesitancy has dropped fast another group you might have heard have high hesitancy rates are republicans and that is also true around 30 percent of republicans say they won't get it and it's not hard to see why because fears and doubts about the vaccine have flown around conservative media with one of the most prominent super Spreaders being this guy what about this vaccine why are americans being discouraged from asking simple straightforward questions about it questions like how effective are these drugs are they safe do you need a reason to turn on the vaccine and what happens if you do turn it down would you be allowed to fly on airplanes or go to work or enter the front doors of madison square garden Oh now they're telling us the vaccine has a delayed response okay delayed by how long they don't say if vaccines work why are vaccinated people still banned from living normal lives honestly what's the answer to that so maybe it doesn't work and they're simply not telling you that well you hate to think that especially if you've gotten two shots but what's the other potential explanation Okay it is genuinely weird to see someone hosting a show on a supposed news network and ending every sentence with a question mark especially when answers to most of those questions are out there for anyone who cares to know so for instance that last complaint that the cdc still recommends wearing masks indoors when around vulnerable unvaccinated people does not mean the vaccine doesn't work Clinical trials found that the vaccines are spectacularly successful at preventing people from getting serious disease as for whether they protect you from spreading the virus the trials weren't designed to assess that but evidence so far indicates that they drastically reduce transmission the reason we still see mask and distancing recommendations is that the cdc is being cautious and Wants to be sure that it is not spreading around during a global pandemic like a frozen dinner duke with a tv show anyway i hope that answers at least one of your gaped mouthed bad faith wonderings tucker you scrunch-faced fear baboon and the problem is when people like tucker raise questions without bothering to answer them there is a lot of Misinformation out there for people to then stumble on anti-vaccine groups have been waiting for a moment like this to spread doubt and the scary thing is they don't actually need to convince people they're right they just need to convince people that no one is and that tracks with recent polling while few believe specific myths about the vaccine larger Numbers say that they didn't know whether particular myths were true or false for instance only four percent of people believe the covet vaccine is more deadly than the disease but 25 percent say they don't know and that is not good because if anti-vaxxers can simply spread enough misinformation to cause people to throw up their hands And say i just don't know enough to get the shot they have already seriously things up for all of us and to be clear most people who are hesitant are not fanatics or conspiracy theorists many are just trying to make the best decision for themselves and their family like that pediatrician that we saw earlier you definitely know people like that in Your life so i'm actually going to spend the rest of this piece trying to clear up some of the biggest myths flying around and some are pretty easy to debunk quickly like the claims that bill gates is using the vaccine to put a microchip in all of us something his wife had this response to i know my husband is not vaccinating people and putting a microchip in her arm because That technology doesn't even exist and he's never uttered the words out of his mouth so okay that wasn't the reassuring push back to a batshit conspiracy theory that i had hoped for to be honest we're not microchipping people because the technology doesn't exist yet and my husband hasn't said it out loud to me why would you put it like that there are lots of things a husband won't say out loud to his wife not dark things Just things quiet thoughts a partner might not be ready to hear like how sometimes late at night i think wouldn't it be nice to live in an egg an egg to be in not just an oval-shaped sleeping pot i can get an oval-shaped sleeping pod nobody wants one of those i mean an egg a big egg with me in it or maybe a normal egg and i'm small it doesn't matter what matters is i'm in an egg not alone i'm with the Gloop too it's just me and the glue no opening no windows no way to ever know if it's morning or night so do you know what time it is all the time egg time just egg time for me and the glute sometimes it's warm and that's when i feel safest sometimes i can tell i'm being carried or moved about and it's jarring enough that i'm nervous but not so rough that i'm Panicking and you can shake me but do make sure not to do it hard because remember i'm fragile i am egg the point is you can't say any of that to melinda gates she'd never understand what wife could anyway for the record there are no microchips in the covid vaccine that rumor is based on the fact that the gates foundation funded research years ago which is frequently taken out Of context in that study researchers looked into creating an invisible ink that could potentially be injected along with a vaccine in order for populations like refugee kids to be able to retain vaccine records without paperwork over time the original context was lost contorted and kind of telephoned its way into becoming Something something bill gates microchips on facebook a claim which if you think about it for just a second doesn't make sense because if your main concern is that bill gates could use microchips to track you he can already do that that's what your phone is now another more reasonable sounding concern has to do with just how fast the vaccine came together Wouldn't want to get it um i felt like i was too rushed i think the whole thing has been rushed through too fast it kind of came really fast like the vaccine they made up one really fast it was done way too quick i just i don't feel comfortable with taking it not anytime soon i think that they're using the public as guinea pigs right and that doesn't sound good nobody Wants to be a guinea pig although i don't really know why being a guinea pig seems great you can eat a pepper while wearing the stem as a little hat run around a tiny city made of cardboard and best of all you get to use the guinea pig bridge [Music] yeah being a guinea pig has its upsides that's all i'm saying the infrastructure alone is incredible but that is clearly not the Concern that those people have their worry is that we are being used as guinea pigs for a rushed untested vaccine it is an understandable thing to worry about even if some express it in less than ideal ways tell me why you're concerned six words testing testing testing testing and more testing it's important if you're going to put something into your body that it's Absolutely and totally tested i tell you what i admire about that guy his confidence because i don't think i've seen anyone more self-assured than the man who just promised six words said seven and counted five all without even flinching that guy is so secure in his thinking he could be wrong about numbers on camera twice and do it with an unbreaking smile But it is worth understanding exactly how the vaccine was able to come to market so fast because researchers had been working on vaccines against other coronaviruses for years so when covid19 hit they had a significant head start operation warp speed as it was famously called wasn't about rushing the science it was about significantly cutting through bureaucracy that could have otherwise slowed it down As this vaccine researcher explains did you ever imagine that we'd be able to develop a vaccine in 12 to 18 months the short answer is no we're able to compress the timeline so that things that we would normally do in a linear fashion a to b we actually start the f and the a at the same time as a and b exactly they took steps that usually happen sequentially and save time by running them simultaneously and to be honest I am envious of that level of efficiency i would save so much time every morning if i could shower shave eat breakfast kiss my family and brush my teeth all at the same time unfortunately i've only ever managed to do three of them at once but i am so close to that fourth one now another concern that you may have heard or seen online is that the pfizer and moderna vaccines are the First authorized to use messenger rna which is true but that has given rise to speculation about what mrna is capable of doing basically anyone taking these vaccines they're all designed to the same thing is going to have neurological disorders within one year most of the people taking the vaccine will be dead within 10. let me tell you something you take the mrna it creates plaque in Your brain it gives you alzheimer's and i got the studies too so hey you think they just put flora in the water to dumb you down man alex jones is having a blast isn't he no one else has as much fun while making the world a worse place to live in it's like he invented a jet pack that sprays everyone beneath him with human but the thing is there is absolutely no Evidence or credible studies supporting any of what he just said as for the claim that mrna vaccines modify your dna it is very important to know that the vaccines mrna does not enter our genome it does its work far from the cell's nucleus which is where your dna is but the fear of what the vaccine contains or what it could do to you Seems to be common some evangelicals are concerned that it contains cells from aborted fetuses which it does not others worry that it could change the body's inner workings you might have had a friend tell you that they are worried that the vaccines cause infertility those rumors were fueled by a blog post which falsely claimed that pfizer's vaccine contained ingredients Capable of training the female body to attack a protein that plays a crucial role in the development of the placenta but a few things there first experts say of that claim it's a myth it's inaccurate there is no evidence to support it and there is already pretty good proof that pfizer's vaccine doesn't cause infertility because during the trials last year multiple Women became pregnant and the only one who suffered a pregnancy loss was given the placebo so it is just not true and look the final myth you may have heard is that the risks from the vaccine are somehow greater than the risks of covid that is a perception fed by the constant circulation of misleading headlines about people falling ill or dying after getting their Shot for instance you may have seen this story that was widely shared about 23 people in norway dying within a week of getting the shot which does sound scary but that headline is missing some pretty major context while those people did die at that point in norway the vaccine was being administered to the oldest or sickest people and a certain percentage of them were statistically Going to die that week vaccine or no vaccine on average 400 people died every week in nursing homes in norway and when the world health organization reviewed those incidents they didn't find any unexpected or untoward increase in fatalities which does make sense correlation isn't causation the vaccine protects against covid not the concept of mortality it is weird That i have to clarify this but you are in fact going to die one day mike yeah mike stop listening to what joe rogan tells you he's a and those are his words not mine that also goes for stories that you might see hyping up scary sounding data from veyers the vaccine adverse event reporting system it's a database that collects stories of medical events following vaccinations but any lay person Has to treat data coming out of it with extreme caution because reports can be entered by anyone and are not routinely verified one doctor once claimed that the flu vaccine turned him into the hulk and that report was accepted and entered into the database which is completely absurd a drug cannot turn you into the hulk although admittedly it can turn you into captain america the only superhero whose Origin story is a metric ton of experimental nazi steroids and look if we're just gonna share random unverified side effects i might as well show you this truly shocking video about what might happen to your mom so my mom got the vaccine because she's a healthcare worker and she told me she's experiencing some side effects Mom what's that side effect you said you're experiencing being a boss ass very good and look i'm not saying veyers is useless it very much isn't the reason the cdc collects this data is so if a pattern does emerge actions can be taken that is exactly what happened with the johnson and johnson shot the cdc found a potential pattern of rare blood clots and Paused the rollout under an abundance of caution and while some vaccine skeptics pointed to that as evidence that they were right about vaccines being dangerous in reality it kind of proves the opposite that the safety risk of vaccines is rigorously and publicly analyzed not secretly buried and somehow leaked to the human football's neon scream hour and none of this is to say that there Are no side effects to the vaccines there can be it is just that serious ones like anaphylaxis are incredibly rare 4.7 cases per million for pfizer two and a half cases per million for moderna and you should know those also occur mostly in individuals with a history of severe allergies the fact is the vast majority of people can expect At most typical colds or flu symptoms in the first few days after they're shot or maybe just a sore arm or maybe nothing at all for what it's worth i actually got my second shot this thursday my arm hurt a little bit for a day but that's basically it i will admit the following afternoon for a couple of hours i did feel a little bit like a boss ass but That passed quickly and anyway the key thing to remember is that no side effect of the vaccine is worse than the alternative covid a disease that has killed over 500 000 people in the u.s alone while once again to date the vaccine has been proven to kill exactly zero so it is more than natural to have questions But there are reassuring answers out there and anyone just throwing out questions without acknowledging that probably has another agenda entirely but the problem is to get anywhere close to herd immunity we badly need to convince anyone who can be convinced so the question is how do we do that while some republican lawmakers to their credit have tried to reassure their voters although occasionally Those attempts have looked like this live free and beauty surrounds you the world still astounds you each time you look at a star i'm senator john kennedy i can't sing very well but i'm free be free be cool get the vaccine i did it works okay i don't love that and not just because it is the worst thing to come out of a kennedy's mouth since the back of a kennedy's head but Also because the truth is that probably didn't convince anyone in researching this piece experts repeatedly told us that the vaccine hesitant generally don't respond well to hearing from politicians celebrities or athletes telling them to get the vaccine and i get that i would love to think that i could end this piece having carefully laid out some data with a triumphant call for people to get Vaccinated featuring a mascot of some incongruous animal know a vaccine cicada you don't think that that's something that i would be interested in doing the truth is we actually did that we had a vaccine cicada costume made but after being advised that this technique would not be remotely effective in convincing people who were hesitant we scrapped the idea completely we Emailed our mascot guy and we told him not to come in because it was an absolutely stupid idea a vaccine cicada can you imagine how dumb that would look it probably wouldn't even look like a cicada more like some kind of unhinged cockroach it was a terrible concept that could have fundamentally undermined the very important message that we were trying to send and i am so so glad that we avoided making that Mistake because the truth is i'm not going to be able to convince the people in your life who are hesitant the person with the best chance of doing that is you so if you know someone who is worried for whatever reason and you want to convince them otherwise don't show them this video but maybe do try and use some of the information inside it To tell them yourself and when you are trying to do that don't dismiss or judge them for having doubts and i know that that is not always easy i could have given that guy a pass for holding up the wrong number of fingers but i couldn't do it i don't have that level of restraint i'm a small petty man and that guy is a idiot but if you think you can do better It is incredibly important that you try or to put in the terms that that guy could understand i've got two words for you please just try as hard as you can you

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