Thursday, September 19th 2013
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%.
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. 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.