Bill Nye Saves the World with Analogy?


In the Bill Nye Saves the World episode “Do some Shots, Save the World”, Bill Nye compares vaccines to seat belts. Is this a helpful analogy? In my inaugural vlog post, I discuss a few considerations for this comparison.



4 thoughts on “Bill Nye Saves the World with Analogy?

  1. I think you forgot about the most significant disconnect in the analogy.

    The simple act of using a seat belt poses absolutely no risk. No one has ever died or been significantly injured from pulling a seat belt across their lap and buckling up. This is not the case with vaccines. Many individuals have been seriously injured and even killed from being given a vaccine. The science and data are both clear on this. Vaccines, unlike seat belts, are not 100% safe to use, nor are they 100% effective. If it were the case that seat belts would sometimes, however rarely, violently injure or kill individuals in the process of buckling up, it would be unfathomable that there would be laws mandating the use of seat belts. I would even bet that many parents would skip using the seat belt altogether and instead rely on the protection provided by the fact that a collision event was such a remote possibility. This is especially if the risk posed by the use of the seat belt were greater than the risk of going without a seat belt.

    1. Interesting point – thanks for weighing in. I’m unsure of how many people do actually die or become injured because of seat belts, but I know it’s possible (for example if the car is submerged in water or fire). In that case it could actually be analogous to vaccines – for both, the chances of harm are extremely rare, and the safety they provide far outweighs the potential harm.

      1. I’m not talking about dying/becoming injured from the seat belt in the event of an accident. That is the still the accident that poses the underlying threat. I’m talking about dying or being injured from the simple act of buckling up. That’s the case with vaccines. Yes, they MAY prevent an illness down the road, and they MAY even save your life, but they MAY also injure or kill you even if you were NEVER going to be exposed to, or contract, or be injured by the disease they were meant to protect you from.

        Hope that clears up the point I was trying to make.

        All to often, the healthcare industry forgets: Primum non nocere.

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