Vaccines – Litigation: The Hannah Poling Case: Concession Analysis


Understanding the Hannah Poling Concession

Misconceptions in the Press

There are many inaccuracies surrounding the federal government’s concession that Hannah Poling’s autism was caused by vaccinations.

At the CDC’s March 6, 2008 teleconference with the media, Dr. Julie Gerberding stated, “We also recognize that some of the information that's being promulgated about this particular situation is not accurately characterizing what we understand to be the true situation.”

We couldn’t agree more. Below we have provided a side-by-side comparison of written and verbal statements surrounding the Poling Concession with verifiable facts.

The quotes below from the following doctors and reporter are from the CDC's Media Availability on Vaccine Safety on March 6, 2008:

  • Dr. Ed Trevathan
  • Daniel Denoon (WebMD)
  • Dr. Julie Gerberding

Click on the links to see the source of the information or quotes.

Quoted Statements by CDC Staff and from Concession The Facts
1. Paul Offit:

"The courts don't always get it right. Which is to say, that jurors or judges aren't always the best arbiters of scientific truths."

Nightline, March 6, 2008

No court was involved in the decision. No jurors and no judges acted as arbiters.

“And so this association between mitochondrial disorders and autism is actually probably relatively rare. “

Oliveira et. al.:

“Five of 11 patients studied were classified with definite mitochondrial respiratory chain disorder, suggesting that this might be one of the most common disorders associated with autism (5 of 69; 7.2%) and warranting further investigation.”

"I see occasionally it written that there's a higher prevalence of mitochondrial disorders among children with autism than among the general population. Could you all address this please?"

DR. ED TREVATHAN: " Yes, I think that I would say that is really more a hypothesis than a statement of fact.  It's been recently raised as a possibility."

See Oliveira et. al. above
4. DR. ED TREVATHAN: "You know, I would say that that has been raised as a hypothesis as to whether vaccines can cause stress that can lead to deterioration. I think we know that very high fevers from multiple causes can cause children mitochondrial disorders to regress."

"And, we also know that a lot of different infections have been associated with regression.  So we know of a lot of the different regression causes."

CDC: DTaP vaccine side-effects
(Diphtheria, Tetanus, and acellular Pertussis)

Moderate Problems (Uncommon)

• Seizure (jerking or staring) (about 1 child out of 14,000)

• Non-stop crying, for 3 hours or more (up to about 1 child out of 1,000)

• High fever, 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (about 1 child out of 16,000)

7. DR. ED TREVATHAN: "…mitochondrial disorders are extremely difficult technically to diagnose…" DR. JULIE GERBERDING:
So let me just be very clear that while we recognize and have recognized for a long time that mitochondrial disorders can be associated with nervous tissue degeneration and muscle tissue degeneration and that autism like systems are sometimes a component of that there's nothing about the particulars of this situation that should be generalized to an understanding of the risks associated with vaccines for normal children and certainly nothing in any of this is going to change any of our recommendations about the importance of childhood immunization for every child for whom these immunizations are otherwise indicated."

{EDITOR: How is it determined who is a normal child? Aren’t all the non-normal children kicked out of vaccination studies?}