by Olivia Barker
December 10, 2013
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Katie Couric has apologized for a roundly criticized HPV vaccine segment that aired on her talk show last week.
"Following the show, and in fact before it even aired, there was criticism that the program was too anti-vaccine and anti-science, and in retrospect, some of that criticism was valid," she writes at Huffington Post today.
"We simply spent too much time on the serious adverse events that have been reported in very rare cases following the vaccine. More emphasis should have been given to the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccines. As someone who has spent the last 15 years relaying important medical information with the goal of improving public health, it is critical to me that people know the facts."
Couric's program, which featured only one pro-vaccine guest, resulted in accusations of scaremongering, irresponsibility and unflattering comparisons between the host and longtime anti-vaccine advocate Jenny McCarthy.
"I know there is a segment of the population that has expressed intense concern over vaccines in general and that this is an emotional issue for some," Couric writes.
"But based on the science, my personal view is that the benefits of the HPV vaccine far outweigh its risks. That is why, as I said on my show, I had my own two daughters vaccinated against HPV. I hope that other parents will look at the research and the facts, and make a reasoned decision on the HPV vaccine and what is best for their children."