Putting Measles and the MMR Vaccine into Perspective

Despite assurances of the safety of the measles vaccine (MMR), some children suffer permanent brain damage from the vaccine, and some die from it.

Vaccine manufacturers were paying out large settlements for successful lawsuits filed after devastating vaccine injuries occurred.  This led them to heavily lobby the federal government to pass the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986.  Through this legislation, congress granted doctors and pharmaceutical companies freedom from liability when vaccines disable or kill people, and established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP).(1)  This administrative program, funded completely by vaccine consumers, became the only method of receiving compensation for vaccine injuries and deaths in the United States.

Measles vaccine injuries have been compensated through the NVICP

  • 469 families have been compensated through the NVICP for death, brain damage or disability from the MMR vaccine alone.
  • 59 families have been compensated for death from a measles vaccine.
  • So far, the NVICP has awarded over $3.4 billion to over 5,250 victims of vaccine injury, nearly half of whom suffered permanent brain damage.  An analysis of a sampling of those compensated for vaccine-induced brain damage (encephalopathy or seizure disorders) shows that nearly 50% of them have autism.(2)

Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)

VAERS is a federal database established through the NCVIA of 1986 to track reports of adverse reactions following vaccines.  Although federal law states doctors are required to report any suspected vaccine injuries, the law is not enforced.  Even when parents report immediate, severe, and well-acknowledged vaccine reactions like seizures or death, they are often told it was purely coincidental, and unrelated to the vaccine.  As a result, injuries from vaccines are vastly underreported.  Even with these limitations, there have been over 593,000 reports of harm from vaccines, including 6,469 deaths.

How many Minnesotans are dying of measles?

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger falsely stated in a radio interview that “we would have thousands of children dying in our community each year” if people chose to let their children get the measles rather than take the risk of them getting autism from the MMR vaccine.(3)

  • In actuality, deaths from the measles had become extremely rare (averaging less than 5 per year in the entire state – not just in “our community”) BEFORE a vaccine for the measles was even licensed in Minnesota.

Cochrane Collaboration questions safety of MMR vaccine

The Cochrane Collaboration, an international review system for scientific evidence on the safety and effectiveness of medical interventions, (often referred to as the “Gold Standard” for evidence-based health) examined published studies on MMR vaccine safety and concluded that: “The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, are largely inadequate. The evidence of adverse events following immunisation with the MMR vaccine cannot be separated from its role in preventing the target diseases.” (4)

“Pediatrics” published study acknowledges encephalopathy

(Brain damage) following measles vaccine

“Acute Encephalopathy Followed by Permanent Brain Injury or Death Associated With Further Attenuated Measles Vaccines: A Review of Claims Submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program” (5)

After studying the cases of 48 children compensated by the NVICP for injury from the measles vaccine, results showed: “Eight children died, and the remainder had mental regression and retardation, chronic seizures, motor and sensory deficits, and movement disorders”

“CONCLUSIONS: This clustering suggests that a causal relationship between measles vaccine and encephalopathy may exist as a rare complication of measles immunization.”                                                                 

CDC scientist reveals deliberate research fraud in MMR/autism study                                     Senior CDC scientist Dr. William Thompson revealed in August 2014 that he and his CDC co-authors committed intentional research fraud in a study on the relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism.(6) A congressional investigation into this and other CDC malfeasance during vaccine safety studies is pending.


Educated consumers are justified in rejecting hyperbole about the risks of measles, and are wise to question the safety of the MMR vaccine.

Because there is enormous risk, there must be choice.

  1. https://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/index.html
  2. http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/pelr/vol28/iss2/6/
  3. http://www.mprnews.org/story/2011/03/28/midday1 (9:33-9:40)
  4. http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD004407/frame.html
  5. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/101/3/383.abstract
  6. http://www.rescuepost.com/files/william-thompson-statement-27-august-2014-3.pdf