Why are anti-vaccine folks still pushing the idea that vaccine induced measles is a thing?
In yet another example of anti-vaccine folks inappropriately using a real vaccine study, the ironically named Physicians for Informed Consent continues to push the idea that many measles cases are caused by the MMR vaccine.
Vaccine Induced Measles
The study they are citing, Rapid Identification of Measles Virus Vaccine Genotype by Real-Time PCR, simply talks about how to “distinguish between measles cases and vaccine reactions.”
“During measles outbreak investigations, rapid detection of measles vaccine reactions is necessary to avoid unnecessary public health interventions.”Rapid Identification of Measles Virus Vaccine Genotype by Real-Time PCR
While many of these people do test positive for a vaccine strain, they do not actually have measles. They typically just have a rash and/or fever, with a concern that they might have measles because they are in the middle of a measles outbreak.
But if they have a rash and fever and test positive for measles, even if it is a vaccine strain, why shouldn’t we just say that they have measles?
Because measles isn’t just about having a rash and fever. It is having a specific pattern of a high fever for 3 or 4 days, then developing a rash, and continuing to have a fever. People with measles also typically have other symptoms, including irritability, cough, coryza, and conjunctivitis.
Confirmed Case Counts in Measles Outbreaks
Still, since these measles vaccine reactions can get confused with real measles cases, do they inflate the measles case counts in our outbreaks?
While we occasionally do see a “confirmed” case later change as further testing is done, it is important to realize that most cases are thoroughly evaluated to see if they are in fact really measles.
Most case counts are made up of confirmed cases and don’t include suspected cases that might be someone who has a rash after their MMR vaccine or some other viral infection.
“Vaccine‐associated measles is a possible, but extremely rare event.”Sood et al on Vaccine‐associated measles in an immunocompetent child
Anyway, vaccine induced or vaccine associated measles is extremely rare.
What about the fully vaccinated woman in New York who developed measles, getting four other people sick in 2011?
Didn’t she have vaccine induced measles?
“This is the first report of measles transmission from a twice-vaccinated individual with documented secondary vaccine failure. The clinical presentation and laboratory data of the index patient were typical of measles in a naive individual. “Rosen et al on Outbreak of Measles Among Persons With Prior Evidence of Immunity, New York City, 2011
She had the D4 strain of measles – not a vaccine strain.
Who Gets Measles?
Most people who get measles are unvaccinated, often intentionally unvaccinated.
Trying to get you to think that many people in an outbreak have a vaccine strain is just another propaganda technique to scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids.
Don’t fall for it!
Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and they are obviously necessary.
More on Vaccine Induced Measles
- Choose to Stop Spreading Anti-Vaccine Propaganda
- Rash After the MMR – Is This Normal?
- Who Is ‘Patient Zero’ in the 2019 Measles Outbreaks?
- Measles Vaccines vs Measles Strains
- Is a Vaccine Strain Causing The Latest Measles Outbreak?
- Can MMR Shedding Start a Measles Outbreak?
- Study – Rapid Identification of Measles Virus Vaccine Genotype by Real-Time PCR
- Progress towards Rapid Detection of Measles Vaccine Strains: a Tool To Inform Public Health Interventions
- Study – Outbreak of measles among persons with prior evidence of immunity, New York City, 2011
- Can vaccines cause or spread diseases?
- Physicians for Informed Consent – another radical anti-vaccine group