After a stutter of a start, the vaccine rollout in the United States has gone better than expected. Millions of doses are being injected daily, and while we’re still a ways away from herd immunity, we’re in far better shape than we’ve been since the pandemic began. But on Tuesday, a monkey wrench thrown into the gears: After six people who’d been given the one-shot Johnson & Johnson brand developed rare blood clots, the CDC and the FDA announced they were putting that line on pause. The move caused real concern — for people worried it would inspire those already reluctant to get dosed to avoid vaccines altogether.
One of those people was Trevor Noah, who used his Daily Show platform to put things into perspective. He pointed out the ridiculously low odds — six people out of seven million doses. “That means you’re more likely to get struck by lightning 10 times,” he said — or 0.0001%.
He also pointed out that, while you definitely don’t want a rare blood clot, you also really, really, really don’t want to contract one of the many possible side effects of COVID-19.
“If you get coronavirus, you can get lung damage, heart damage, neurological damage, strokes, seizures, Guillian-Barre Syndrome, immune disorders, erectile dysfunction, and — get this — also blod clots!” Noah said.
He also praised the company itself. “Honestly if you ask me, I think it’s impressive Johnson & Johnson made an effective vaccine with such a low risk of blood clots,” Noah said. “I mean, Phizer and Moderna, those are drug companies. Johnson & Johnson make baby shampoo. I’m surprised their s*it works at all.”
Far more worrisome, though, is how this might affect skeptics. “This is setback for a country that is already dealing with a s*it-ton of vaccine hesitancy. Because even if they look at the problem, and they see that the vaccine is safe, you best believe for a lot of people the damage is already done,” he said. “Imagine you’re at a restaurant and the chef comes out and says, ‘We need to pause eating to make sure your dinners aren’t going to give you diarrhea.’ Even if he says, ‘Nevermind, your crab cakes are safe,’ by then you’ve been thinking of diarrhea for 20 minutes. So you’re probably just going to have drinks.”
Still, Noah was careful not to be a Debbie Downer. He gushed about how well the vaccines rollout has gone, this (hopefully brief and minor) setback aside. “Given how America handled everything else about the pandemic,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been surprised if when Vaccine Time came around, America accidentally locked all 300 million doses in the trunk of the car.”
You can watch the full segment in the video above.