John Oliver makes case for vaccines using infant son's health struggles

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

John Oliver has taken on plenty of buzzy topics as host of Last Week Tonight - the public school system, International Women's Day, abortion - and his latest show tackles the one contentious subject that shouldn't be buzzy at all: vaccines.

"Some will say that the real problem is that scientists have been paid by pharma companies to hide the problem with vaccines", Oliver noted, running through an array of notable skeptics including Andrew Wakefield, a disgraced former physician, and Robert F Kennedy Jr.

Hold up. Rewind the tape. Garrisons Keillor?

John Oliver may have found the one thing more unsafe than activists who oppose vaccinations.

Coming up next week: Oliver takes on Als Franken. "They've saved millions of lives, and there was a time when a new one was a cause for huge celebration". "It's like saying, 'It would be insane to eat that entire bar of soap, so I'll just eat half of it'". But now a wave of skepticism about vaccines, as well as unsubstantiated fears that they cause autism, has put people at risk of preventable diseases.

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Actor Rob Schneider was also discussed with a clip shown of him defending a parent's right to withhold vaccines.

Oliver continued: "That is Donald Trump on the campaign trail raising doubts about vaccinations". And the answer to those, by the way, are yes, no and absolutely, because the more they cry now the more they'll be prepare to watch This Is Us when they get older.

And yet Wakefield still gives talks around the world, including in Minneapolis, where the plummeting vaccination rate among the Somali community has led to a major outbreak of measles, a disease Oliver described as "infectious as "Happy" by Pharrell". An appendectomy means removing one of your organs through stabbery.

"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.

He concluded on an unusually personal note: "I'm someone who is scared of literally everything: the dark, the light, heights, depths, confined spaces, wide-open spaces, strangers, intimacy, spiders, and a sudden and mysterious lack of spiders". But, for what it's worth, and if this helps at all, I have a son. "I've anxious about his health, and I still worry about his health a lot", he said.

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