Cleveland Clinic Does Damage Control as One of Its Doctors Criticizes Vaccines


Daniel Neides, MD, is in hot water about anti-vaccine comments he made on the Cleveland Clinic's blog.

pediatrics, infectious disease, influenza, vaccination, vaccine, Cleveland Clinic, Daniel Neides, MD

One physician is in hot water after saying he believes that vaccines are being overused and can be harmful.

Daniel Neides, MD, medical director and chief operating officer of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, writes a monthly post on the Cleveland Clinic’s blog, typically addressing lifestyle topics. But the doctor is receiving backlash from both officials and the public for his latest contribution that went live on Friday.

“I, like everyone else, took the advice of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) — the government – and received a flu shot. I chose to receive the preservative free vaccine, thinking I did not want any thimerasol (i.e. mercury) that the “regular” flu vaccine contains.

“Makes sense, right? Why would any of us want to be injected with mercury if it can potentially cause harm? However, what I did not realize is that the preservative-free vaccine contains formaldehyde.

“WHAT? How can you call it preservative-free, yet still put a preservative in it? And worse yet, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. Yet, here we are, being lined up like cattle and injected with an unsafe product. Within 12 hours of receiving the vaccine, I was in bed feeling miserable and missed two days of work with a terrible cough and body aches.”

This excerpt from the blog post isn’t sitting well with readers. Neides continues by saying that the autism rate has significantly increased since his medical school training in the 1980s—the CDC has confirmed that autism cases have increased over the years. Neides goes on to say that he doesn’t know if vaccines cause autism, but as a medical doctor, he should be fully aware that no scientific study has ever linked vaccines with increased risk of autism.

Neides apologized on Sunday that his comments caused such conversation and said that he “fully supports vaccination.”

The Cleveland Clinic released a statement:

“Cleveland Clinic is fully committed to evidence-based medicine. Harmful myths and untruths about vaccinations have been scientifically debunked in rigorous ways. We completely support vaccinations to protects people, especially children who are particularly vulnerable. Our physician published his statement without authorization from Cleveland Clinic. His views do not reflect the position of Cleveland Clinic and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.”

The @ClevelandClinic must specifically disavow Dr. Neides in a high-profile manner. But the damage has already been done.

— Kevin Pho, M.D. (@kevinmd) January 8, 2017

Neides’ full blog post can be found here and the Cleveland Clinic’s statement here.

Related Coverage:

Maternal Flu Vaccination Doesn’t Impact Child’s Autism Risk

Live Attenuated Flu Vaccine Is Safe for Kids with Asthma, Study Finds

The Number of Recommended HPV Shots Has Changed

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