MMR: Not Settled Science!

- Compiled by - Stephanie Whaley

Measles is highly contagious, but is not inherently deadly.
The statistic being used by various media sources that states that death occurs in 1/1,000 measles cases is based on global numbers. This is Including developing countries that have serious sanitation issues, lack access to clean water and have generally poor nutrition. In the US, the numbers are closer to 1/100,000.
Between 1950 and 1960, there was less than 1 death per 100,000. The population in 1950 was around 150 million, and there were around 3 – 4 million cases per year. So we can figure that there were around 45 deaths annually from measles, which is 0.00001%, or about 1 in 100,000. These numbers come straight from the CDC:

The MMR vaccine carries greater risk than contracting Measles does. There have been zero deaths due to Measles in the US in the last 10 years (according to the CDC). There have been 108 reported deaths associated with the MMR vaccine in that same time-frame. Keep in mind that former FDA Commissioner David Kessler wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association that “only about 1% of serious adverse events are reported to the FDA.” (JAMA. 1993;269(21):2765-2768. A New Approach to Reporting Medication and Device Adverse Events and Product Problems).
You can look at the cases of vaccine injury/death for yourself on the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) public database at:

Many of the Measles complications that people fear can also be caused by the MMR vaccine itself. Here is a snippet of potential reactions the Merck Pharmaceutical vaccine package insert lists as being associated with their product:
"Encephalitis; encephalopathy; measles inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE) (see CONTRAINDICATIONS); subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE); Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS); acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM); transverse myelitis; febrile convulsions; afebrile convulsions or seizures; ataxia; polyneuritis; polyneuropathy; ocular palsies; paresthesia."
The MMR vaccine can also cause a full-blown episode of Measles. This is listed as "atypical measles" on the insert under potential risks.

The vaccine also sheds. Anyone who has been recently vaccinated could potentially infect another individual with the virus.
Statistically speaking, there is little to fear about contracting Measles. Plenty of fluids, rest and vitamin A are all that is usually needed to recover. Vitamin A has been used since the 1930's to treat measles (in the form of cod liver oil). In one study, measles mortality was decreased by 62% with at least two doses of vitamin A (after the patient was admitted to the hospital with complications).

Medical Importance of Measles

Lawrence Solomon: The Untold Story of Measles

Measles and Measles Vaccines: 14 things to consider

Transmission of mumps virus from mumps-vaccinated individuals to close contacts

Outbreak of aseptic meningitis associated with mass vaccination with a urabe-containing measles-mumps-rubella vaccine: Implications for immunization program.

Atypical measles syndrome. A continuing problem.

Abnormal measles-mumps-rubella antibodies and CNS autoimmunity in children with autism.
“Thus the MMR antibody in autistic sera detected measles HA protein, which is unique to the measles subunit of the vaccine. Furthermore, over 90% of MMR antibody-positive autistic sera were also positive for MBP autoantibodies, suggesting a strong association between MMR and CNS autoimmunity in autism. Stemming from this evidence, we suggest that an inappropriate antibody response to MMR, specifically the measles component thereof, might be related to pathogenesis of autism.”

Case of vaccine-associated measles five weeks post-immunisation, British Columbia, Canada, October 2013

Increased emergency room visits or hospital admissions in females after 12-month MMR vaccination, but no difference after vaccinations given at a younger age.

Anterior uveitis and cataract after rubella vaccination: a case report of a 12-month-old girl

Measles outbreak in a fully immunized secondary-school population.

A persistent outbreak of measles despite appropriate prevention and control measures.

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

Detection of measles vaccine in the throat of a vaccinated child.

Immune response to second dose of MMR vaccine in Indian children.
“The percentage of children protected against measles was found to be alarmingly low which needs to be investigated.”

Vaccine Science is Not Settled: A Critical Review of the Literature