Stephen Colbert Explains Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause In Willy Wonka Terms
Stephen Colbert took his sweet time to quell vaccine hesitancy on Tuesday after U.S. health officials recommended pausing the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 shot because six recipients had experienced serious blood cots.
The “Late Show” host tried to put the odds of dangerous side effects into digestible terms by referencing a famous fictional chocolatier. (Fast-forward to 2:30 in the clip below.)
“Blood clots are a cause for concern, but statistically speaking, six is not that significant since nearly 7 million people have received the vaccine so far,” Colbert said. “That’s less than one in a million. To put that in perspective, it’s slightly better odds than you have of getting to visit Willy Wonka’s fantabulous chocolate factory, which, for the record, kills or maims four out of the five children who stepped foot inside.”
Confectionary comparisons aside, vaccine reticence is a major issue. An NPR poll found that 1 in 4 Americans do not plan to get inoculated. This reluctance has led to some concerns that the country may not be able to achieve herd immunity, per NPR.
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