Steven Pavlakis MD Pediatric Neurology Medical School: Brown University Resident/Fellowship: Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center DrMDK.com
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Host: So from all your experience being a pediatric neurologist, you have concerns of a vaccine safety which we understand. There are lot of diseases that we vaccinate against more or less either eliminated or greatly reduced which makes it very concussive to vaccinate, is that true? Steven Pavlakis: I think so and certainly I vaccinated all my children. I was not certain about the Varicella vaccine for a long time. I didn’t think that was a major health hazard but even now there are some evidence that maybe Varicella is a little bit worse or chickenpox that is, is worse than we thought and it maybe protective for other things but chickenpox was one of those diseases that I wasn’t totally sure that we should vaccinate for. Host: We can understand if some kid have some kind of disability, had some reaction to a vaccine or had some kind of disease and why they are concerned about not knowing the cause and maybe blaming vaccines but we have no evidence to see vaccines really have causes. Is that true? Steven Pavlakis: Right now, there is absolutely no evidence of vaccines already that had caused to any kind of disease like that. Host: As a doctor, you would still open your mind if you could find any justification for any concern given studies looking for any evidence even vaccines, it could be a trigger to any neurological complications, is that true? Steven Pavlakis: Well yes, I think everything is possible and one should continue to look for things but right now, there is absolutely no evidence that vaccines cause much in the way of neurological problems and the diseases that the vaccines prevent against has tons of great evidence that they cause major neurological problems. The reason the chickenpox vaccine is one that I wasn’t so keen on vaccinating everybody for is that, typically you can’t get neurological problems with chickenpox but typically when you are getting those improve, they go away; they are not permanent for the most part. There are cases where they are but usually chickenpox is a relatively safe disease in children and even if they get neurological complications from the disease itself, they usually 99% of the time evolve and go away. Host: When you look at studies, most of the time you see it is paid by a drug company, you probably look at the study. If you do it, most people take what we call evidence-based studies with something as a study not to prove that his thinking is right, to go and say it is a possibility in some area of a dilation, what conclusions that he and other people that will view the study make reasonable conclusions to not pre-judging and then doing studies, is that correct? Steven Pavlakis: Well if you try to do although unfortunately, humans pre-judge things even when they are not drug companies. There are studies to show that drug company drug trials are more likely to show efficacy, in other words, they are more likely to work to show the drug or the vaccine works than a non-drug company trials. So it is already, so you know if someone is biased. But there are other potential reasons for that. So I think a lot of people actually look skeptically at drug trials. They are not all wrong, some of them are great and they made tremendous advances but I think one should be skeptical if someone is running a trial and has a financial advantage and I think most people are. So when one looks at whether something works, you would like to have other collaborative information as well. But unfortunately, there is not lot of money into all of these trials and drug companies are one of the ways that these things are funded. So we are sort of stuck with that, however, there is a bias if you have already prejudged the drug and you are going to test it, you are more likely to show that it works and I think we all can sort of know that drug company trials are potentially a little biased. Host: Can you say that it is like the bias of people against vaccine, they only made a decision and opinion, they are
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