The 2013 Measles Outbreak: A Failing Vaccine, Not A Failure To Vaccinate

child_vaccination1st October 2013

By  Sayer Ji

Contributing Writer for  Wake Up World

Are the recently reported measles outbreaks in the U.S. being caused by the failure to vaccinate, or the failure of the vaccine? Shockingly, clinically confirmed reports of measles vaccine failure in fully vaccinated populations stretch back a quarter of a century from around the world.

In a recent CNN Health opinion piece too easily confused with reporting titled,  US measles cases in 2013 may be the worst in 17 years, Elizabeth Cohen, CNN’s Senior Medical Correspondent, blames the 159 cases of measles the CDC reported occurring from Jan. 1 through Aug. 24th  on “visitors from countries where measles is common” and “vaccine objectors within the United States.”

What makes her conspicuously non-referenced statistics so disturbing is that she is ignoring a substantial body of literature, including peer-reviewed and published epidemiological and clinical studies, indicating that the recent measles outbreaks are just as likely caused by the failure of the vaccine as by presumably irrational and/or irresponsible parents exercising their legal right and responsibility to choose whether or not to vaccine their children.

Let’s fill in the data that so obviously got flushed down the memory hole by this irresponsible piece of CNN ‘reporting.’

First, we should acknowledge one underreported fact of immunology: vaccine-induced antibody elevations do not guarantee real world protection against the pathogen the vaccine is intended to immunize us against, which is the only true measure of their value.

This is not a new observation. It goes back decades, with a 1990 study published in the  Journal of Infectious Diseases  finding that even though 95% of a population of urban African children had measles antibodies after vaccination, vaccine efficacy was not more than 68%.[1]

Or, take a look at 2008 study that found that even when the measles vaccine successfully generates an elevation of measles specific antibodies 20.7% (6 out of 29) have non-protective titers.[2]  Or, one from 1988 that found that within a highly vaccinated community experiencing an outbreak of measles, antibody responses to measles could be found in  100% of the unvaccinated  versus only 89.2% of the vaccinated. They conclude: “[A] history of prior measles vaccination is not always associated with immunity nor with the presence of specific antibodies.[3]

Again, the point remains the same:  vaccine-induced synthetic immunity  does not guarantee real world protection, and certainly not with anything near 100% effectiveness, despite what the CDC, vaccine manufacturers or mainstream news reports imply by blaming the non-vaccinated for  vaccine-failure associated  outbreaks.

Read our report  on the groundbreaking 2011 study published in the journal  Immunity  that challenges the primary antibody-based justification for vaccination if you need a more in-depth explanation of this critical point.

Second, there is plenty of research available today demonstrating that the  adverse health effects associated with the measles vaccine,  and particularly the trivalent mumps, measles, rubella combination vaccine,[4]  may far outweigh their purported therapeutic effects, that even if a vaccine is successful at preventing and/or delaying infection from measles this does not mean that this will improve the overall health of those vaccinated. To the contrary, it has been known for several decades that the administration of measles vaccine in underdeveloped countries may actually be resulting in  higher infant mortality rates.[5]  [6]  This has, in fact, been a persistent criticism levied against UNICEF’s vaccine-heavy strategy in certain regions of Africa, which appear to have  increased mortality rates.[7]  UNICEF is not solely to blame, as there are quite a few ‘charitable health organizations’ patting each other on the back for ‘saving lives’ by reducing ‘vaccine-preventable diseases,’ at the very moment that mortality from vaccine-associated adverse effects are increasing. This is exactly what’s so deranged about the  Global Polio Eradication campaign, whose claim to have virtually eradicated wild-type polio in India obscures the fact that the live vaccine-specific strain of polio, believed to be twice as lethal as the natural form, may now be causing close to  48,000 cases of polio vaccine associated injury  a year.

Measles Vaccine Failures Documented for A Quarter of A Century, Around the World

Now to the heart of the problem with CNN’s article.  Throughout the real (not imaginary) history of the measles vaccine, failure after failure has been recorded, starting with:

  • 1985, Texas, USA:  According to an article published in the  New England Journal of Medicine  in 1987, “An outbreak of measles occurred among adolescents in Corpus Christi, Texas, in the spring of 1985, even though vaccination requirements for school attendance had been thoroughly enforced.” They concluded: “We conclude that outbreaks of measles can occur in secondary schools, even when more than 99 percent of the students have been vaccinated and more than 95 percent are immune.”[8]
  • 1985, Montana, USA:  According to an article published in the  American Journal of Epidemiology  titled, “A persistent outbreak of measles despite appropriate prevention and control measures,” an outbreak of 137 cases of measles occurred in Montana. School records indicated that 98.7% of students were appropriately vaccinated, leading the researchers to conclude: “This outbreak suggests that measles transmission may persist in some settings despite appropriate implementation of the current measles elimination strategy.”[9]
  • 1988, Colorado, USA: According to an article published in the  American Journal of Public Health  in 1991, “early 1988 an outbreak of 84 measles cases occurred at a college in Colorado in which over 98 percent of students had documentation of adequate measles immunity … due to an immunization requirement in effect since 1986. They concluded: “…measles outbreaks can occur among highly vaccinated college populations.”[10]
  • 1989, Quebec, Canada: According to an article published in the  Canadian Journal of Public Health  in 1991, a 1989 measles outbreak was “largely attributed to an incomplete vaccination coverage,” but following an extensive review the researchers concluded “Incomplete vaccination coverage is not a valid explanation for the Quebec City measles outbreak.[11]
  • 1991-1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: According to an article published in the journal  Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical,  in a measles outbreak from March 1991 to April 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, 76.4% of those suspected to be infected had received measles vaccine before their first birthday.  [12]
  • 1992, Cape Town, South Africa: According to an article published in the  South African Medical Journal  in 1994, “[In] August 1992 an outbreak occurred, with cases reported at many schools in children presumably immunised.” Immunization coverage for measles was found to be 91%, and vaccine efficacy found to be only 79%, leading them to conclude that primary and secondary vaccine failure was a possible explanation for the outbreak.[13]

These six outbreaks are by no means exhaustive of the biomedical literature, but illustrate just how mislead the general public is about the effectiveness of measles vaccines, and the CDC’s immunization agenda in general.   No amount of ignoring history will erase the fact that  vaccination does not equal immunization. The superstitious and ironically  non-evidence-based faith  in the infallibility of vaccines speaks volumes to why the growing movement to educate the public about the true nature of vaccines is increasingly labeled “anti-vaccine,” when in fact it is  pro-vaccine awareness. UNICEF and the  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  can continue to label those who bring the peer-reviewed ‘evidence’ to the public’s attention as ‘liars‘  or  ‘child killers, as  Bill Gates said in a CNN interview  with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. But all this does is increase the public’s suspicion of the real agenda behind their ostensibly charitable plea to save the poor and the needy from the hell of disease, instead of focusing on improving their most basic living conditions, nutrition, sanitation, etc., and making inroads to reduce the geopolitical violence that is ruining the lives of hundreds of millions. Measles is a real disease with real adverse health effects, some of which can be life threatening. But our immune status, as with all infectious diseases, determines susceptibility and whether or not a disease will be mild or lethal. You can’t vaccinate away conditions that lead to compromised immunity, nor can you immunize folks against the desire to pursue the truth about vaccines. Learn more on our research vaccine database:  Health Guide: Vaccine Research

[1]  P Aaby, K Knudsen, T G Jensen, J Thårup, A Poulsen, M Sodemann, M C da Silva, H Whittle.  Measles incidence, vaccine efficacy, and mortality in two urban African areas with high vaccination coverage.  J Infect Dis. 1990 Nov ;162(5):1043-8. PMID:  2230232

[2]  Inà¡cio M Mandomando, Denise Naniche, Marcela F Pasetti, Xavier Vallà¨s, Lilian Cuberos, Ariel Nhacolo, Karen L Kotloff, Helder Martins, Myron M Levine, Pedro Alonso.  Measles-specific neutralizing antibodies in rural Mozambique: seroprevalence and presence in breast milk.  Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2008 Nov;79(5):787-92. PMID:  18981523

[3]  L Sekla, W Stackiw, G Eibisch, I Johnson.  An evaluation of measles serodiagnosis during an outbreak in a vaccinated community.  Clin Invest Med. 1988 Aug ;11(4):304-9. PMID:  3168353

[4] > Research > Problematic Actions > Vaccination: Measles-Mumps-Rubella:

[5]  A J Hall, F T Cutts.  Lessons from measles vaccination in developing countries.  BMJ. 1993 Nov 20;307(6915):1294-5. PMID:  8257878

[6]  Peter Aaby, Henrik Jensen, Francois Simondon, Hilton Whittle.  High-titer measles vaccination before 9 months of age and increased female mortality: do we have an explanation?  Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2003 Jul;14(3):220-32. PMID:  12913835

[7]  BBC New,  Unicef child-death campaign in Africa ‘failed,’  Jan. 2010

[8]  T L Gustafson, A W Lievens, P A Brunell, R G Moellenberg, C M Buttery, L M Sehulster.  Measles outbreak in a fully immunized secondary-school population.  N Engl J Med. 1987 Mar 26 ;316(13):771-4. PMID:  3821823

[9]  R M Davis, E D Whitman, W A Orenstein, S R Preblud, L E Markowitz, A R Hinman.  A persistent outbreak of measles despite appropriate prevention and control measures.  Am J Epidemiol. 1987 Sep ;126(3):438-49. PMID:  3618578

[10]  B S Hersh, L E Markowitz, R E Hoffman, D R Hoff, M J Doran, J C Fleishman, S R Preblud, W A Orenstein.  A measles outbreak at a college with a prematriculation immunization requirement.  Am J Public Health. 1991 Mar ;81(3):360-4. PMID:  1994745

[11]  N Boulianne, G De Serres, B Duval, J R Joly, F Meyer, P Déry, M Alary, D Le Hénaff, N Thériault.[Major measles epidemic in the region of Quebec despite a 99% vaccine coverage].  Can J Public Health. 1991 May-Jun;82(3):189-90. PMID:  1884314

[12]  S A de Oliveira, W N Soares, M O Dalston, M T de Almeida, A J Costa.  Clinical and epidemiological findings during a measles outbreak occurring in a population with a high vaccination coverage.  Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 1995 Oct-Dec;28(4):339-43. PMID:  8668833

[13]  N Coetzee, G D Hussey, G Visser, P Barron, A Keen.  The 1992 measles epidemic in Cape Town–a changing epidemiological pattern.  S Afr Med J. 1994 Mar ;84(3):145-9. PMID:  7740350

Further articles by Sayer Ji

About the author:
Sayer-JiSayer Ji is the founder and director of  and an advisory board member at the  National Health Federation, an international nonprofit, consumer-education, health-freedom organization.

He co-authored the book  Cancer Killers: The Cause Is The Cure, and is currently co-authoring another book with Tania Melkonian entitled  EATomology: An Edible Philosophy of Food.

Check out Sayer Ji’s new collaborative project  EATomology.

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