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Measles, Vaccination and Failure

Hedda Get Better - a doll from the early 1960s owned by Kim Rossi's sister.

By Teresa Conrick

Measles.  If you were born before 1957, you do not need to get a measles vaccination. That would be an MMR vaccine, as measles vaccine is not available as a single, live, virus vaccine but instead is a triple, live, virus vaccine with both Mumps and Rubella attached with it. This is according to the CDC and the NYT as they report in this blog

“If you were born before 1957, you probably don't need the vaccine. Why 1957? The measles vaccine was first produced in 1963, so people who were children before the late '50s or early '60s were almost certainly exposed to measles and have lifelong immunity.”

“Lifelong immunity”…….we do not hear that term anymore as vaccination has replaced it.  Instead, children today are needing 1,2 and possibly a 3rd dose of MMR  according to this article about Mumps, another childhood illness that seems to be making a comeback.  The reason -- “Either today’s mumps strains have evolved to elude the immune response triggered by the vaccine, or protection from the vaccine simply wanes over time.”  Either way, it looks like the MMR vaccine is not a perfect fix yet discussing that has set off a chain reaction in our communities.   We seem to be witnessing a new type of civil war -- the “pro-vaxx” vs the “anti-vaxx.”  Instead of a Mason-Dixon line, this line defines those who want medical choice (Vaccine Exemptions) vs those who don’t.  Let’s look at some facts.


In the olden days, measles was a part of childhood.  Children in the Victorian days died at an increased rate and up into the 1940’s, but as antibiotics became the go to medications for bacterial infections, deaths diminished.   The knowledge that measles can lead to bacterial infections, like pneumonia , has been significant in our understanding of these viral illnesses. Bacteria became the killers, just like in influenza.  Measles can be fatal but that is more often in developing countries .

Measles graphic

Credit for this photo - my thanks to https://qz.com/651644/a-19th-century-disease-is-on-a-dramatic-rise-in-the-uk-what-do-we-know-about-it-so-far/

Both scarlet fever and measles, well-known Victorian diseases,  could kill as each had no nemesis to target it before the birth of antibiotics. Don’t get me wrong, as measles did have some complications later too -- “From 1985 through 1992 , diarrhea was reported in 8% of measles cases, making this the most commonly reported complication of measles. Otitis media (ear infection) was reported in 7% of cases and occurs almost exclusively in children. Pneumonia (in 6% of reported cases) may be viral or superimposed bacterial, and is the most common cause of measles-related death.”

In the 20th century , most measles-related deaths were due to secondary bacterial pneumonias;

Most measles-related deaths among soldiers (WW1) were caused by secondary bacterial pneumonias.

If measles patients could be protected from bacterial respiratory pathogens that are novel to their immune systems, the clinical courses of their infections would likely be less complicated and their chances of surviving much improved

Because measles virus particularly infects the mucus-secreting intestinal cells, the massive cellular immune stress of measles may disorder the host’s tolerance of their own bacterial microflora; such disruptions may enable invasion of the gut wall by normally tolerated bacteria with subsequent inflammatory reactions and chronic malabsorption.

That last one has an eerie connection to what has been described in many who have an autism diagnosis, like my daughter, and the increasing research on the dysfunction of the autism microbiome. The study by Wakefield and twelve other brilliant doctors and researchers of gastroenterology, neurology, psychiatry, and radiology, done in 1998 , showed concerning connections, and those connections led to a debate that continues today:

Onset of behavioural symptoms was associated, by the parents, with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination in eight of the 12 children, with measles infection in one child, and otitis media in another. All 12 children had intestinal abnormalities,.......

Disruption of this matrix and increased intestinal permeability, both features of inflammatory bowel disease,17 may cause both intestinal and neuropsychiatric dysfunction.



by Shel Silverstein (excerpt)

“I cannot go to school today,"

Said little Peggy Ann McKay.

“I have the measles and the mumps,

A gash, a rash and purple bumps.

My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,

I’m going blind in my right eye.

My tonsils are as big as rocks,

I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox……

Vaccines are a big part of Public Health.  So are antibiotics. The former is intended to prevent illness and disease; the latter to stop and cure illness and disease.  Here is some information per CDC regarding the history  of measles and vaccination for it:

Measles is an acute viral infectious disease. References to measles can be found from as early as the 7th century. The disease was described by the Persian physician Rhazes in the 10th century as “more to be dreaded than smallpox.”

In 1846, Peter Panum described the incubation period of measles and lifelong immunity after recovery from the disease. Enders and Peebles isolated the virus in human and monkey kidney tissue culture in 1954. The first live attenuated vaccine was licensed for use in the United States in 1963 (Edmonston B strain).

...Measles virus is rapidly inactivated by heat, sunlight, acidic pH, ether, and trypsin. It has a short survival time (less than 2 hours) in the air or on objects and surfaces….

Measles in developing countries has resulted in high attack rates among children younger than 12 months of age. Measles is more severe in malnourished children, particularly those with vitamin A deficiency. Complications include diarrhea, dehydration, stomatitis, inability to feed, and bacterial infections (skin and elsewhere).

Here is information from The National Vaccine Information Center on measles and vaccination:

In 1979, public health officials launched an effort to eliminate measles in the United States through vaccination, with a goal of eradication by October 1st, 1982.23 In 1982, there were a record low 1,697 reported cases of measles in the United States 24 and while public health officials conceded that the goal of elimination had not been met, they publicly stated that it was “right around the corner”.25

A resurgence of measles in the United States occurred between 1989 and 1991, when reported measles cases increased 6- to 9-fold over the previously studied period between 1985 and 1988. During this resurgence, more than 53,000 cases of measles occurred as the result of 815 separate outbreaks.26  132 deaths in the U.S. were suspected to be associated with measles during this outbreak.27 As a result of the large increase in number of reported measles cases, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices changed its measles recommendation, and all children were advised to receive an additional dose of measles vaccine prior to school entry.28

Reported measles cases dropped by the early 1990’s and in an eight-year period between 1993 and 2001, there were 1804 cases of measles reported in 120 outbreaks. 29 After only 15 measles cases were reported between 1999 and 2001, public health officials declared that measles was no longer endemic in the United States.30 In 2000, with only 86 reported cases of measles, 31 the CDC declared measles to be eliminated in the United States.32

Between 2000 and 2007, the U.S. recorded an average of 63 cases of measles a year. The numbers increased again in 2008 to 140 reported cases 33 before decreasing again in 2009 34 and 2010.35 Measles cases increased again in 2011 to 220, with the majority linked to travelers returning from, or visiting, other countries, including those in Europe and Southeast Asia.36

In 2014, there were 667 reported measles infections in the United States with the CDC reporting many to be associated with a large outbreak in the Philippines.37 An Amish community in Ohio experienced an outbreak that included 383 cases. 38

In January 2015, a multi-state measles outbreak linked to a California amusement park occurred, affecting 147 individuals. No known outbreak source was determined, however, the CDC believed the infection to have resulted from an international traveler as the particular strain was reported by the CDC to be identical to a strain that caused a large outbreak in the Philippines in 2014.39

The 2015 measles outbreak prompted a media firestorm, with newspapers and health officials blaming the parents of unvaccinated children, calling them ignorant, anti-science, and worse.40


The reality is that vaccines are not always the miracle cure that they are intended to be.  There can be complications.  And failure.

Every medicine we see that is advertised has a long list of complications for some or all who take it.  Vaccines are no exception.  Let’s take a look at that failure.

Secondary measles vaccine failures identified by measurement of IgG avidity: high occurrence among teenagers vaccinated at a young age.

Secondary measles-vaccine failures are more common than was more previously thought, particularly among individuals vaccinated in early life, long ago, and among re-vaccinees.

Measles Outbreak Associated with Vaccine Failure in Adults     During February–August, three of FSM's four states reported measles cases: Kosrae (139 cases), Pohnpei (251), and Chuuk (3). Two thirds of cases occurred among adults aged ≥20 years; of these, 49% had received ≥2 doses of measles-containing vaccine (MCV).

Humoral Immunity to Measles Vaccine: New Developments

Despite the existence of an effective measles vaccine, resurgence in measles cases in the United States and across Europe has occurred, including in individuals vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine. Host genetic factors result in inter-individual variation in measles vaccine-induced antibodies, and play a role in vaccine failure.

Outbreak of Measles Among Persons With Prior Evidence of Immunity, New York City, 2011

A measles outbreak occurred in New York City. All cases had prior evidence of measles immunity. Symptoms were consistent with measles. Laboratory results indicated secondary immune responses. This report documents measles transmission from an individual with verified secondary vaccine failure.

A recent, news story shows us how the science of “Vaccine Failure” is being denied and instead, sensationalistic propaganda is being reported….

 Five cases of measles confirmed in the greater Houston area, Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Five cases of measles have been confirmed in the greater Houston area,....The cases, all announced Monday, include three in Harris County, one in Galveston County and one in Montgomery County. They involve four children, all under 2 years of age, and a woman between the ages of 25 and 35. All are doing well now…..Dr. Peter Hotez, an infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, said he's concerned because in the pre-vaccine era, measles typically peaked in the late winter and early spring. He said "a perfect storm could be coming." ….Hotez said the fact that the other three cases, all involving boys, were unrelated suggests there may have been multiple original sources. Shah noted that Harris County's original source or sources, known in public health circles as Patient Zero, is unknown.

 BUT in that same news piece, we are told --- “It was unclear Monday if a lack of vaccination played a role in any of the Houston-area cases. All four children had received the first of the two shots — the second is given between the ages of 4 and 6 — and the woman said she'd been vaccinated, though the county is still working to confirm that through records.”

That article reads like a crime had been committed and Hotez is a gumshoe on the case, and the 5 people, 4 children and a woman, had fled the scene.  They had been vaccinated yet STILL got measles.  In addition, they are being blamed.  It is laughable if it wasn’t so disturbing.  It sounds like a mob with torches is out to find them.  

So again, science is showing us that vaccines are not like “lifelong  immunity.”  More and more measles cases show VACCINE FAILURE  :

The Re-Emergence of Measles in Developed Countries: Time to Develop the Next-Generation Measles Vaccines

….since 2005 these outbreaks have also occurred in the U.S.—with surprising numbers of cases occurring in persons who previously received one or even two documented doses of measles-containing vaccine. In fact, as of September 2011, the U.S. has had 15 measles outbreaks with 211 confirmed cases—the highest number of cases since 1996,,,Large measles outbreaks are also occurring in many other developed countries,,,Thus, measles outbreaks also occur even among highly vaccinated populations because of primary and secondary vaccine failure, which results in gradually larger pools of susceptible persons and outbreaks once measles is introduced [8]. This leads to a paradoxical situation whereby measles in highly immunized societies occurs primarily among those previously immunized……...

And that is where we are today.  People are getting measles and the blame should not be on them, but on the failure of the vaccine.  Is a new vaccine the answer?

Teresa Conrick is Science Editor for Age of Autism.


rupesh pandit

thanks, for sharing such a great article.

susan welch

Anonymous. In view of your comment, I randomly clicked on the link numbered 28. This took me to an article with 55 references. Presumably, if you clicked on all the embedded links, there would be hundreds of references.

Is that enough to be taken seriously?

John Stone


Well, I counted 40 embedded links.


This article had no sources whatsoever. Even the comments had sources. How do you expect ANYONE to believe this with no qualifications or sources?


Great, good to see parental free choice in action, spreading disease to another country (Barry, RTP & Angus you needn't read any further)
"Measles returned to Costa Rica after five years by French family who had not had vaccinations"
"The Costa Rica Star reported that the boy and his mother had not been vaccinated. The parents were said to have consulted a private doctor in Costa Rica about their son’s “rash”, and confirmed that other children who had attended the boy’s school in France had come down with measles."

Angus Files

The vaccine is only effective to vaccine strains of the viruses- end off.

Pharma For Prison


cia parker


There have continued to be outbreaks even in 100% vaccinated populations, as in China recently. And that has happened many times in every decade since the vaccine came out. But there has not been a case of measles in my city, for instance, since the late '90s, when the children of a visiting professor got it. And that's not good, they should let it come back, but these days among both vaxxed and unvaxxed Americans, only the tiniest fraction of one percent ever get natural measles, unfortunately because the vaccine is very effective at preventing measles. No vaccine is 100% effective, they're batting above average if it's 90% effective. And that means that if there is any of the pathogen in the environment, both vaxxed and unvaxxed will get it. It doesn't mean the vaccine is ineffective, everyone has always known and accepted that all vaccines have a certain failure rate.

Elizabeth Hart

In October last year, The BMJ published my rapid response: Measles vaccination - is anyone worried about shorter term maternally derived antibodies via vaccinated mothers? https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k3976/rr-3

I post the rapid response here for consideration:

A few years ago I came across a paper in The Journal of Infectious Diseases[1,2] which summarises the results of a study comparing highly vaccinated general populations against unvaccinated orthodox Protestant communities in the Netherlands. The abstract concludes: "Children of mothers vaccinated against measles and, possibly, rubella, have lower concentrations of maternal antibodies and lose protection by maternal antibodies at an earlier age than children of mothers in communities that oppose vaccination. This increases the risk of disease transmission in highly vaccinated populations."

The discussion part of the paper provides more detail: "Our observations suggest that mass vaccination with MMR shortens, in due time, the duration of protection by maternal antibodies against measles, mumps, and rubella. Our study was conducted 20 years after introduction of the MMR vaccine, in 1987, when about 25% of women of childbearing age were vaccinated with MMR vaccine when they were young. This proportion of women of childbearing age who have been vaccinated with MMR will increase rapidly in the coming years because the vaccination coverage of each age cohort is >90%. We expect that this will further shorten the duration of protection against measles and rubella by maternal antibodies in infants and that a decreasing duration of protection against mumps by maternal antibodies will become more detectable among infants in the near future.

From my layperson's perspective, it seems that mothers naturally infected with measles will pass on maternally derived antibodies of longer duration than mothers who have been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. It seems children of vaccinated mothers may become vulnerable to disease sooner. I find this very alarming. It seems nature provides protection for babies of naturally infected mothers until an age when they may be more likely able to fight the disease themselves. But artificial interference with vaccination could have repercussions over coming generations as the children of vaccinated mothers may become vulnerable to disease at a younger age, when they may be ill-equipped to deal with the disease, with possibly disastrous consequences.

I make no pretence to having any expertise in this area, but the implications of this paper are very concerning from a big picture, long-term view perspective re vaccination for future generations. Are any 'authorities' thinking about the big picture here?

1. Sandra Waaijenborg et al. Waning of Maternal Antibodies Against Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella in Communities With Contrasting Vaccination Coverage. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. First published online 8 May 2013.
2. Also see Editorial Commentary: Loss of Passively Acquired Maternal Antibodies in Highly Vaccinated Populations: An Emerging Need to Define the Ontogeny of Infant Immune Responses

Bob Moffit

Odd we are deluged with media and politicians breathlessly reporting THERE IS NO NATIONAL EMERGENCY AT OUR BORDERS .. even though we see widespread video coverage of thousands of people fleeing their impoverished countries .. all of them heading towards our borders. On the other hand .. those very same media outlets and many of the same politicians warn incessantly that MEASLES is a NATIONAL EMERGENCY REQUIRING ALL GET VACCINATED TO PROTECT THE "HERD" WITHIN OUR BORDERS.

In any event .. whatever happened to that effort wherein MERCK 'researcher" alleged that MERCK falsified and corrupted MUMP vaccine "efficiency" by introducing RABBIT BLOOD instead of HUMAN BLOOD .. to deceive gullible public on believing the vaccine significantly increased immune reaction to MUMPS anti-gen?


A lot of children born in 1957 did not assuredly get measles before 1963, but the vaccine didn't wipe out measles immediately,


Apparently, it has yet to wipe measles out at all

cia parker


Yes, they need to just let measles come back, and teach parents to take the appropriate precautions, as measles depresses the immune system much more than most diseases. Most people do fine, but a significant number get serious, even fatal, complications in the time that the immune system is depressed. Complete bed rest from the moment measles is suspected, with covers to use as the patient desires, adequate hydration, take A, do not take fever reducers or use water or baths to reduce the fever, and stay quiet at home recuperating for two to three weeks after the day the rash appeared. And then enjoy the lifelong benefits.

I had measles at six, but I had a friend who was born in 1960, and she never got measles. Her mother got her the vaccine shortly after it came out. Measles caused epidemics every two years. Usually children got measles between kindergarten and second or third grade, in the late winter or early spring. I got it at the end of first grade. At Halle Hewetson Elementary, Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, where they're making a big deal about it now. Little brothers and sisters often caught it from their school-aged siblings. I think they set 1957 as the date they presumed that everyone born before then had had natural measles allowing for a lot of children not being exposed to it until kindergarten. So 1957 plus five takes you to 1962, with the vaccine introduced in 1963, but it was many years before most children took it. It was just an approximation. A lot of children born in 1957 did not assuredly get measles before 1963, but the vaccine didn't wipe out measles immediately, so those children probably got it naturally by the mid-'60s. I was astonished when I first heard about the MMR in the '70s and wondered if they were really talking about the old familiar measles, which everyone I had ever known my age or older had gotten and recovered from just fine. I thought at first that maybe measles had mutated and changed into a killer disease (which it HAD been even in 1910), but that was not the case. I hope my daughter can still get it naturally: I refused the MMR for her when it was offered at twelve months old.


If you were born before 1957, you probably don't need the vaccine. Why 1957? The measles vaccine was first produced in 1963, so people who were children before the late '50s or early '60s were almost certainly exposed to measles and have lifelong immunity.”


If people lived survived measles before 1957, and got lifelong immunity from the experience (.. something vaccines has never been able to accomplish)... then why aren't we just opting for natural exposure now????

Frederic Chopin


cia parker

More important than the factors mentioned is that both measles and pertussis evolved to become much less serious diseases than they had been. It is in the interest of microbial pathogens to do so, as it allows them to propagate more widely. So mutations that make the pathogen less virulent are able to reproduce and spread more widely than the base strain that may have prostrated the patient and maybe killed him quickly. That resulted in the less virulent strains becoming the dominant ones. And it made both measles and pertussis relatively mild childhood diseases which most children caught and recovered from, giving them both specific and non-specific defenses to those and pathogens in general for the rest of their (our) lives. Even Ebola is doing this. For the first several decades, Ebola killed over 90% of those who got it: in the epidemic four years ago, the average mortality was about 50%, and many people were found to have antibodies to it in their blood who had never had the clinical disease: they got immunity from subclinical exposure, as most of us do to most diseases we encounter.

Parents should refuse the pertussis vaccine and the MMR altogether. Pertussis CAN be a serious disease to newborns in the first three months of life: parents should shelter them at home, be mindful of the danger, give them the nosode if there is any pertussis in town, it can be given from day one. Treat with high-dose vitamin C if they get it anyway. Rubella can be dangerous for fetuses, but children should be allowed to get natural rubella and get permanent immunity. Girls who don't get the natural disease should consider the nosode or the vaccine shortly before they start sexual activity. Let everyone else just get the natural diseases and enjoy the stronger immune system and the protection from many diseases, including substantial protection from cancer, for the rest of their lives. The immunocompromised should consider taking the nosodes for disease protection.

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