Antivaccine nonsense Entertainment/culture Humor Medicine Television

Best pro-vaccine commercial ever?

From Canada, via Phil Plait, because in my current state I need a good laugh right about now. I’m also working on a rather large post for tomorrow about Andrew Wakefield and the Autism Omnibus, after which I hope to move on to other topics for a while. Nothing like getting back into the swing of things!

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

16 replies on “Best pro-vaccine commercial ever?”

OMG! I can’t stop laughing! “Evil balls”! I love the humor!

My mother told me about the time I had mumps as a kid. Didn’t have a vaccine for it back then. I guess I was able to stay out of the hospital because my parents were able to take care of me at home with IVs (physician and nurse). We lived across from Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital, my dad was in his fellowship then.

We have a small pertussis outbreak in southern ME. Our pediatrician told us that there have been two cases of confirmed mumps in the last month in our area. She confirmed they were all unvaccinated children who were of the age that they should have been vaccinated.

Weird. It’s a commercial from Ontario and I’ve never seen it before.

(I live in Ontario… it’s the retirement home for Old Ones™)

Back in the 1930’s my mother’s brother had mumps as a teenager; this video was not an exaggeration.

They’ve really been pushing the mumps vaccine here lately. They had a vaccination clinic downstairs from my office at U of T, complete with a couple guys singing some sort of mumps sucks song, huge posters saying the mumps is no fun, and people with sign up clipboards stopping students and telling them why they should be vaccinated, right then, right there.

I think this is a web only promotion, targeted at post-secondary students.

And yes, those balls are evil.

From the official transcript:

Bubble Boy: Moaning

Hockey Guy 1: You missed the game.

Bubble Boy: Ow…

Hockey Guy One: You don’t look so good.

Bubble Boy: I don’t feel so good…take a look at these.

Sound Effects

Hockey Guy One: Oh, evil balls…put them away…crying…why am I looking at your balls?…crying…I don’t like you.

Hm. I had the mumps as a child and didn’t suffer from EBS.
(Evil Balls Syndrome)
Maybe I got lucky.

It could be worse, it could be Elephantiasis.

BTW, I had my case when I was about 8 months old, according to Mom. Polio at 4 months, mumps at eight, I was a lucky little bastard. 🙂

Pertussis I had at seven years of age, and I may have dislocated my ribs. Mom nursed me (registered nurse) and I got a lot of 7up too.

Although the prevalence of sterility from mumps is low … a post-pubescent male has a 30% or so chance of orchitis.

They might not worry about the mumps encephalitis, but the thought of spending a week on pain pills with their balls packed in ice usually makes them head at a fast trot to the immunizayion clinic.

My mother nearly died from mumps when I was a child; she comes from a place in Europe where mumps was not an endemic childhood disease. I was about 3 and caught it from her, she was in the hospital, and my father had to go away so as not to catch it (he too being from the same part of Europe).


Was that a PSA from the team that brought you Ow! My Balls!

IIRC, there was a Canadian PSA from about 5 years ago that advocated for breast exams and mammograms, narrated by a teenaged boy named Cameron who gladly volunteered his services as a breast examiner.

Kudos to anyone who can find it on YouTube. I can’t get on those sites from work.

The reason for this, and why it came from ontario is because we’ve had some mumps cases recently. Kids of typical post-secondary age most likely have not received the second mumps shot, and mumps spreads through colleges so so quickly – like 200-700 cases in an outbreak situation. My college, fanshawe, has offered the mumps vaccination on at least 3 occasions recently and i’ve seen awareness advertisements around campus.

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