Category Archives: Measles

The Measles Paradox

MMR vaccineAs parents, we have the responsibility and the desire to make informed healthcare decisions for our family. Up until the last two decades, vaccines have been viewed as an automatic part of everyone’s childhood. But today’s parents are taking a more active role in making choices for their child’s medical care.

When the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) minimizes the adverse effects of a vaccine, it may well be interpreted by skeptical and conscientious parents in this country as another way of saying, “We are not looking for the adverse effects that the vaccine may have on our children.” The HPV vaccine is a good example of this purported interpretation (more to come on that in a future blog post – stay tuned). The people at most risk of becoming seriously ill are babies too young to be vaccinated, and the immunologically frail. What does this say for the safety of the vaccine?

Twenty years ago, the Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) vaccine was found to infect virtually all of its recipients with measles. The manufacturer Merck’s own product warning links MMR to a potentially fatal form of brain inflammation caused by measles. Why is this evidence not being reported?

Parents wonder if it’s safer to remain unvaccinated, vaccinated or undervaccinated. Just how risky are these diseases we vaccinate against, and how likely is it for an unvaccinated child to catch them? I don’t think it’s a dangerous choice to go unvaccinated or delay vaccinations, but the question of how and when to vaccinate is a very challenging one for many parents. Parents need to have a clear understanding of what the risk spectrum of vaccination really is, and there is no solid research in the field.

One of the loudest arguments for national immunization is to support the concept of “herd immunity.” It is a concept or theory, not fact, that herd immunity has to be established when people are protected in our country from diseases because almost everybody in the herd is vaccinated. If a disease comes into our country, our herd is theoretically so well-protected through vaccination-induced herd immunity, that the disease won’t take control and won’t take hold here.

The scare tactic goes as follows:

Right now, there’s enough herd immunity in our country where a certain percentage of children can safely remain unvaccinated and not have to worry about disease risk. The problem is, if more and more parents make that kind of decision, we will reach the tipping point where our herd immunity is no longer adequate, and diseases will come back into our country. It reminds me of the saying ”Polio is only a plane ride away.”

mickey_mouse_measlesSo what happened in Disneyland? What happened to our theoretical HERD IMMUNITY?

Medical experts were left to ponder concern about the five patients who contracted measles despite being fully vaccinated. Statistically, if the vaccine is 99% good after two doses, then there should be less than 1% chance of infection in people with both doses. Also, there is a 5% chance of vaccine failure in people who have had only one dose of the measles vaccine. Again, what happened in Disneyland? There were 5 people infected with measles who were fully immunized? These 5 are out of the 43 people infected, whose immunizations are on record. When I last did the math, 43 divided by 5 is almost 12%, not 1%.

As a doctor, I don’t like to undermine the CDC and to help parents mistrust the CDC. But obviously there is a problem with our 1% statistic here when the “water is being tested.” Scared, undereducated parents, not the educated, are the biggest CDC target. Repeatedly, the media has blamed the educated parents of America, the “non-vaxxers” for placing this country at risk when they choose not to follow a vaccination protocol, which the CDC has put in place. The long term impact (i.e., unwanted impact) of vaccines, and the lack of credible testing done to demonstrate the long-term safety of vaccines, has essentially not been done. And vaccines are essentially considered “untested for safety” by the many parents who choose to deviate from the CDC vaccine schedule. Is there something inherently wrong with this, other than defying the herd immunity concept?

Hysteria is what took place in the media coverage over the measles outbreak in Disneyland. There is no other word for it other than genuine hysteria.

The assumption that non-vaccinated children are the carriers and transmitters of a disease, and that the vaccinated are not, is actually wrong and has not been scientifically validated.

What is not reported in the media is that there is a simple test that has been around for 20 years that can scientifically distinguish between the measles one can get from a recently vaccinated child (vaccine-strain), and the measles one gets from a contagious, unvaccinated child (wild-type). PCR testing is widely acknowledged as a highly sensitive and very specific test AND it is the only efficient way to distinguish vaccine-strain and wild-type measles infection, as their clinical presentation are indistinguishable.

MeaslesHas there been any laboratory confirmation of even one case of the supposed measles outbreak related to Disneyland? If yes, was the confirmed case tested to determine whether it was wild-type measles or vaccine-strain measles? If not, why not? These are important questions to ask. Is it measles or not? If yes, what kind, because if it’s vaccine-strain measles, then that means it is the vaccinated who are contagious and spreading measles, resulting in what the media likes to label “outbreaks” to create panic. It would be what is called a vaccine fallout.  People who receive live-virus vaccines, such as the MMR, can shed that live virus for weeks and can infect others. Other live-virus vaccines include the rotavirus vaccine (now gone because it was so dangerous), the yellow fever vaccine, the chicken pox vaccine/shingles vaccine (yes, they are the exact same vaccine!) and the flu vaccine. Ever wonder what this “defective” flu vaccine in 2014/2015, which we have given millions of people this year, may be transmitting? Ever consider that the flu vaccine gives innocent, unvaccinated bystanders the flu? Oh, but that’s right! There’s Tamiflu for that isn’t there?

Since vaccine-strain measles have almost entirely replaced the natural wild-type, communally acquired measles, it is statistically unlikely that PCR tests will reveal the media’s hysterical storyline — “non-vaxxers brought back an eradicated disease!” —  to be true. Until such studies are performed and exposed, we will never know for certain. Do we think the study will take place?

Just thought I would provide some food for thought on this controversial topic.

– Ariane Cometa MD, the holistic doc