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Friday, October 31, 2008



But there IS controversy - not only with parents whose children exhibited marked unexplained develpmental declines post-vaccination, but with scientists and physicians who hypothesize that there may be a segment of the population that may be predisposed, or susceptible to complications following vaccination. Besides, I don't think Dr. Snyderman is completely objective - she was formerly the VP of Consumer Education for Johnson & Johnson, and is close personal friends with Dr. Offit.


The only controversy that exists is with those who want everything to be 100% safe and predictable. On this planet, however, nothing is perfect and everything has risks; the only question is how much.

Of course there are individuals who may be predisposed to complications from immunizations. However, there can't be many of them given the millions of doses of vaccines administered over the years in multiple countries versus the number of individuals with the various problems attributed to the vaccines (or their components). The issue about all of this is comparing the relative risks of the vaccines for the individual versus the relative risks of the disease versus the natural history of the disease, then comparing all of this once again within the population and deciding if the risks to the individual(s) outweigh the risks to the population.

No one is completely objective and that myth has to go. Is the parent of a child with a chronic illness or premature death completely objective about what caused their child's problem?

The plural of anecdote is not data, and associations are not causes. This is not a simple, straightforward issue, no matter how hard the media or others pretend it is. And we will never have 100% certainty about any of this, so everyone has to accept a certain degree of uncertainty with this or anything else in the world (except death and, perhaps, taxes).


One of the many reasons why I've always liked and admired Dr. Nancy Snyderman.

Brenda Bagley

Matt thank you for speaking up for our children!!! I was scared to death when I took my grandson for his shot at 2, he received 6 shots and I remember praying that nothing would happen to him. I know and have friends that their grand children are autistic. There are TOO many children that are autistic for this to be just "Things Happen". I know that our children need to be vacinated, but maybe not so many at one time!!! This really needs to be looked at more closely because I really don't like the odds! Please Matt please lets keep this subject open and bring in more professionals and lets find out the cause!


Dr. Snyderman's insistence that there is no controversy is wrong, and weird. There IS controversy. She misrepresents the argument by saying it's an "anti-vaccine." The argument... at least my argument... is for SAFE vaccines. Who could reasonably dispute that? As Dr. Healy stated in the Today Show segment, isn't it reasonable to assume that kids respond differently to the vaccine in much the same way that certain kids can't handle penicillin?

Thank you Matt for not letting Dr. Snyderman bully you and the Today Show viewers into thinking there aren't two reasonable sides to this issue.

Until we know for sure what's triggering (and not "causing" as the segment mis-represented) our kids autism, why not play it safe!

anonymous child advocate

countries that banned the mmr shot saved many lives by doing so.why would usa not want to do the same. because of profit. it's a sin to put children last. the damage has been done now what. denial. follow jenny garth's leed for the fight to green the vaccines and the protocol to bring children out of autism. they'll never be able to digest gluten and cassein but, they'll talk and behave as if better.why are the autistic kept mute or in another world mentality. because, it makes money for special ed schools and their affiliates.
when will the corruption cease. ignore that jenny has a racy past as a provocative model. she's a mom and child advocate and published author who has helped her child
get well from vaccine damaged insides. listen to her, she is 100 percent correct.
medical studies did prove the connection but,they are out numberred by corrupt studies paid for by drug companies that don't care anymore. mercury was taken out too late. and sat on shelves and got used even after taken off the market date. the 1999 date is wrong given in the video. how sad for all the families that continued to get poisonned. my cousin became a pediatrician because she couldn't stand the thought of examining old men. she's not caring towards children. dr. snyderman made a generalized statement based on her guesswork. many doctors are not becoming doctors because of a feeling of caring about what happens to us. wish this was a recquired trait but, sadly it is not. don't be fooled in this world by anyone. always research for yourself to find the truth before it's too late for you and your family.


Liz, a late comment I know but there's JB calling Snyderman a liar over the '14 vaccines' and one of his own in the comments section, quietly says well that's right, there really are 14 vaccines for infants. No one seems to have woken up to the fact that it's JB who's doing the lying. There might be 36 vaccines, but they're not part of the schedule. I'm not even sure if the anti-vaxxers count in the multiple shots of the same vaccine. JB sure doesn't like it when persons of public persona gainsay his views.

Laraine C. Abbey RN, CNS

Every time someone talks about the science proving the safety of vaccinations they should be asked to provide the actual studies that they are talking about. I would love to review each of these. I'll predict that either nothing will be forthcoming or any that are produced will be evidence of how flawed these studies really are.

Henry M. Thomas III

Admittedly, I’m not familiar with the issues surrounding autism, and perhaps I should change that fact. I did find the piece very interesting and could see the competing views are serious and heart felt on both sides. This in my view is a recipe for controversy. Notwithstanding, I thought Dr. Snyderman reaction, not response, was extremely unprofessional and inappropriate; with regard to right or wrong on the controversy question. The Doctor could of disagreed with her on camera colleague in a much more collegial and respectful manner. I was disappointed and would remove her from the team or at least issue you a serious repremaind, if I were her Boss. I thought this terrible display of professionalism was unconscionable.
In an effort to display some empathic understanding with respect to Dr. Snyderman, she did say zealots ambushed her, physically, because of her coverage of this controversy/issue. Perhaps the scares from this experience did not allow her to be at her best. Perhaps some consideration should be given to her in that light; but reprimand is still in order!

Henry M. Thomas III


Reba C.

Hello, in case anyone might want to encourage Matt Lauer for his fair-minded stand against unreasonable, close-minded Nancy Snyderman, below is the email address I recently emailed a note to Matt Lauer, (typing = Attention, to Matt Lauer in the subject heading) and also below is my recent email msg. to him. Much appreciating all of your posted notes supporting him here!

[email protected]

Hi, Matt, ~ just wanting to commend you for your brave stand, not retracting your correct comment that there IS controversy, in regard to many people's concerns and differing opinions, related to the cause of autism, and a possible (merely "possible") link to vaccines. Of course, Dr. Snyderman doesn't have to agree that vaccines might be linked to the cause of autism, (and you certainly weren't asking her to agree on that point, nor indicating that you agree on that point) - -but myself, and others, find it very unfair, ignorant, or even arrogant of her to deny that there does exist number of people who believe they have substantial reasons to consider that vaccines might be linked to the cause of autism, thereby, Dr. Snyderman blatantly and ridiculously denies that this ongoing debate of differing opinions can possibly be considered a "controversial" issue.

A growing number of parents with autistic children have witnessed some results which have conflicted with certain medical answers, leading them to desire expanded research into the components of vaccines given to children at a very young age. Dr. Snyderman's unreasonable stubbornness to recognize that such differing opinions can be considered "controversial", as though such differing opinions are not worthy to be recognized, causes many minds to question her denial motives, - - considering that a frightful number of well-regarded doctors have allowed themselves to become paid-off and owned by the huge, money-making pharmaceutical industry.

Thanks for not caving in to her stubborn, arrogant intimidation, Matt! You stood strong to be fair, honest, and sensitive about this CONTROVERSIAL issue, (it IS controversial, while one side continues producing substantial reasons to challenge the other established side) - - while her behavior remained strangely cold, defiant, and close-minded.


Dr. Nan is clearly medicated here, stummbling over her words and jumping down Matt's throat. She appears annoyed and arrogant in her stand not uncommon with most highly compensated physicians under the gun.


How dare these doctors who are paid by the drug makers tell us that we have to put this poison and live vaccines into our children without ever testing our children for any ill effects. I'm sure this post will be pulled due to the fact that anyone who tells the truth or does not take the blood money from these drug dealers is silenced.My son is 1 in 86 boys now that has autism due to the fact that his first three shots had the form of mercury thimerosal,we believe this went to his brain and caused the lost brain function.Do the doctors tell you about this or that your child may die?NO!!WHY NOT!!Why is the Today Show pushing vaccines?Because there network is paid big money for drug company ads!!Follow the money!!!


Vaccine court recently awarded Hannah Poling $20 million for her autism which was caused by vaccines. Might this induce Nancy Snyderman to give a more nuanced assessment of vaccines?

Sadly, no.

I just saw Doc Nancy this morning saying that vaccines are safe...period. Now she's hawking Gardasil which even Gardasil researcher, Dr. Diane Harper, says was not intended for developed countries and is not worth the risks.

Liz Ditz

Geo wrote:
I'm sure this post will be pulled due to the fact that anyone who tells the truth or does not take the blood money from these drug dealers is silenced.

No, sir, I do not censor my commenters, with two exceptions:

1. Comments that are selling a product are eliminated.

2. Comments containing words you would not say in church are edited so that those words don't show up in searches.

Liz Ditz

Geo wrote:
My son is 1 in 86 boys now that has autism due to the fact that his first three shots had the form of mercury thimerosal,

Dear Geo,

I know that parents of children with autism face more challenges than those of neurotypical children, and that some autism parents believe that their children's autism was caused by thimerosal.

However, study after study has shown that thimerosal is not causal in autism. The most recent, Prenatal and Infant Exposure to Thimerosal From Vaccines and Immunoglobulins and Risk of Autism evaluated over 1,000 children and failed to find an association. The background information on the paper looked specifically at HepB vaccines. The issue is discussed here.

Liz Ditz

Dear CM, you wrote

Vaccine court recently awarded Hannah Poling $20 million for her autism which was caused by vaccines. Might this induce Nancy Snyderman to give a more nuanced assessment of vaccines?

Yes, the "vaccine court" did award the Poling family about $20 million. However, it was not for "autism". The "autism is vaccine injury" advocates may repeatedly claim that it was, but the facts are otherwide.

However, the payment does not acknowledge a vaccine-autism link. The payment was made for a mitochondrial disorder and encephalopathy which fall under a category of so-called “Table” injuries for which parents do not need to show proof that the vaccine aggravated the condition as long as it appeared within a certain amount of time after vaccination. The VICP, which was established in 1988 (US Court of Federal Claims), has made thousands of such payments since its establishment. The same court found no compelling evidence of a link between vaccination and autism in a ruling last year, which was upheld in a federal appeals court on the same day as the Poling payout decision, (27 August 2010, Associated Press).

“It’s a complicated story…the government hasn’t explained to the press or the public exactly what their thinking was in this case,” says Paul Offit, a pediatrician and infectious disease researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The symptoms which a doctor later used to diagnose her with autism “were part of a global encephalopathy,” he wrote in an opinion piece in the New England Journal of Medicine two years ago (15 May 2008, NEJM) and could have been aggravated by the vaccine or by other naturally-occurring childhood fevers.

You go on to write:

I just saw Doc Nancy this morning saying that vaccines are safe...period. Now she's hawking Gardasil which even Gardasil researcher, Dr. Diane Harper, says was not intended for developed countries and is not worth the risks.

I am afraid you fell victim to... inaccurate, if not outright mendacious information.

Ben Goldacre MD interviewed Dr. Harper on the issue of another HPV vaccine formulated for use in the EU:

So I contacted Professor Harper. For avoidance of doubt, so that there can be no question of me misrepresenting her views, unlike the Express, I will explain Professor Harper’s position on this issue in her own words. They are unambiguous.

“I did not say that Cervarix was as deadly as cervical cancer. I did not say that Cervarix could be riskier or more deadly than cervical cancer. I did not say that Cervarix was controversial, I stated that Cervarix is not a ‘controversial drug’. I did not ‘hit out’ – I was contacted by the press for facts. And this was not an exclusive interview.”

Professor Harper did not “develop Cervarix”, as the Sunday Express said, but she did work on some important trials of Gardasil, and also Cervarix. “Gardasil is not a ‘sister vaccine’ as the Express said, it is a different compound. I do not know of the side effects of Cervarix as it is not available in the US.” Furthermore she did not say that Cervarix was being over marketed. “I did say that Merck was egregiously overmarketing Gardasil in the US- but Gardasil and Cervarix are not the same vaccines.”

And here is the tragedy. In a clear example of the extent to which academics are often independently-minded about the interventions they work on, Professor Harper is a critic of Gardasil, or more specifically of how it is marketed.

Briefly, her view (which has been published a long time ago) is that we do not yet know how long the protection from these vaccines will last, and this will affect the cost-benefit decisions. She is concerned that aggressive advertising aimed directly at the public – which is not permitted in Europe, with good reason – may lead people to falsely believe they are invincible to HPV, and so neglect other precautions. Lastly, she suspects from modelling data that for the specific and restricted group of women who are punctilious about attending every single one of their cervical cancer screening appointments, vaccination may have little impact on their risk of death from cancer; but even this group will still benefit from the reduction in reproductive problems caused by treating precancerous changes in cervical cells, and from avoiding the unpleasantness of screening and treatment.

The article has now disappeared from the Express website, and Professor Harper has complained to the PCC. “I fully support the HPV vaccines,” she says. “I believe that in general they are safe in most women. I told the Express all of this.”



Re: Gardasil and Dr. Harper, I'm going to go with this reporting:

"Dr. Harper says the risk-benefit analysis for Gardasil in other countries may shape up differently than what she believes is true in the US. 'Of course, in developing countries where there is no safety Pap screening for women repeatedly over their lifetimes, the risks of serious adverse events may be acceptable as the incidence rate of cervical cancer is five to 12 times higher than in the US, dwarfing the risk of death reported after Gardasil.' ”

I invite everyone (or anyone) to read the above article. It contains lengthy quotes from Dr. Harper.

Re: Hannah Poling

"According to the leaked document posted online, the government’s Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation concluded that five shots Hannah received in July 2000, when she was 19 months old, “significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder” and resulted in a brain disorder “with features of autism spectrum disorder.”

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