The Cleveland Clinic yesterday released an apology from a staff physician who published an antivaccination column late last week on the news website Cleveland.com. The doctor, Daniel Neides, will be “appropriately disciplined,” the Ohio hospital added in its own statement, which noted that the family physician’s views do not reflect his institution’s.
"Cleveland Clinic is fully committed to evidence-based medicine,” the clinic stated. “Harmful myths and untruths about vaccinations have been scientifically debunked in rigorous ways. We completely support vaccinations to protect people, especially children who are particularly vulnerable.”
Neides is the medical director and chief operating officer of the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, an alternative medicine arm of the prestigious, traditional hospital. His repetition, without evidence, of claims that vaccine ingredients—preservatives and so-called adjuvants, which enhance the body’s response to the vaccine—are dangerous, as well as the long-discredited assertion that vaccines cause autism, ignited a storm of criticism from doctors on Twitter, as STAT reports. In his statement yesterday, Neides backtracked: “I apologize and regret publishing a blog that has caused so much concern and confusion for the public and medical community. I fully support vaccinations and my concern was meant to be positive around the safety of them."
STAT also notes that the Ohio hospital is far from alone among major medical centers in supporting so-called alternative medicine, because patients want it and are willing to pay for it. The National Institutes of Health also funds the $131 million National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.