'Deadly Choices' Author Paul Offit On Colbert: 'A Choice Not To Get A Vaccine Is A Risky Choice'

02/02/2011 11:08 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Paul A. Offit, author of "Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All", was interviewed on The Colbert Report.

Offit stated that there is currently a whooping cough outbreak in California that is the worst seen in 50 years. Ten children have even died. It was at this point that he said, "A choice not to get a vaccine is a risky choice."

Colbert and Offit also discussed the idea of "herd immunity," the notion that if enough people around have been immunized, then those who haven't been are safe. Unfortunately, there are 500,000 people who simply cannot be vaccinated because they're already undergoing chemotherapy or immune suppressive therapy for chronic disease. Because of this, it is important for healthy people to get immunized for, as Offit noted, people who are unable to get immunized "depend on those around them to protect them."

At the end of the interview, Colbert quipped that Offit's smallpox vaccine scar would be bad for swimsuit season. Offit replied, "That scar seems to be a fairly small price to pay."

Watch the full interview below!


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