Do you like to get the flu vaccine? Do you think vaccines serve a valuable community service? If so, you might need to rethink your position.
A recent article published in the British Medical Journal just this past November found "insufficient evidence" to support the claim that mandatory flu vaccinations in healthcare workers has any positive effect. And that's not the only bad news about vaccines coming out of this prestigious journal. Now, a letter to the editor in the same medical journal indicts the measles vaccine as causing more seizures and cases of epilepsy than the actual disease itself.
The letter pointed out that, "The risk of dying or suffering permanent injury from measles in the United States was very small, even before the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963." So, the author concluded, the measles vaccine makes sense only if the statistics show that the risk of dying or suffering permanent injury from the measles vaccine is significantly smaller than it is with the disease itself. But is that the case? According to the author of this letter, the statistics show otherwise. In fact, they show the opposite!
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, right before the measles mass vaccination program was introduced, the published chance of dying from measles was 1 in 10,000. That's an incredibly low number to start with, but the fact is that the risk is even less. Much less. That's because this number is based on the reported cases only. But statistics show that nearly 90% of measles cases are so benign that they are not reported. So, once you do the math, the actual risk of dying from measles is more like 1 in 100,000. And that's not all.
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A large 2004 Danish study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at 537,000 Danish children who were given the measles vaccine. They found that the risk of a child having a seizure after the measles vaccination is 1 in 640. But wait. This is "five-fold higher" than the risk of a seizure from the measles itself. Here's how we know.
Measles statistics in the 1980s and 1990s revealed that there are 3 to 3.5 times more measles seizures than measles deaths. Therefore, because the reported measles death rate is 1 in 10,000, the seizure rate from measles is 3 to 3.5 in 10,000. This comes to a risk of 1 in 3,100 of having a seizure from the measles itself. That makes the risk of having a seizure from the measles vaccine (1 in 640) five times higher than the rate of seizures from having measles itself! And if you take the 1 in 100,000 death rate from measles that is a much more accurate number, the seizure rate from the vaccine becomes fifty times higher! And if you're thinking that this only involves a single seizure, consider this.
A large 2007 epidemiological study found that 5% of febrile seizures, the kind that we give the kids when we inject them with the measles vaccine, result in permanent cases of epilepsy. If you add all of the numbers up, that translates out to creating close to 300 cases of childhood epilepsy every year from our measles vaccination program. Why is it that you don't hear about this?
It's because when you look at the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System for symptoms involving seizures and convulsions from all measles vaccines (for U.S. children age 6 months to 2 years, between 2011 and 2015) you find gross under-reporting of vaccine related seizures. In fact, the numbers show that only 1.6% of vaccine related seizures ever get reported. By the way, there's no reason to not suspect that other serious vaccine adverse events after the measles vaccine, including deaths, may similarly be under-reported.
I think that when you add it all up, it's pretty obvious that the facts are that our kids are much better served by getting an actual measles infection than by getting the measles vaccine. As the author of the letter points out, "As with mandatory influenza vaccination, there is insufficient evidence that mandatory measles vaccination results in a net public health benefit."
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Vaccine seizures greater with measles vaccine than with measles itself: http://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5104/rr-13.