The following referenced information contains opinion and perspective on a health topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics that is being discussed in public forums, including in medical, law and other professional journals; newspapers, magazines and other print; broadcast and online media outlets; state legislatures and the U.S. Congress.
Readers are encouraged to go to the websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for the perspective of federal agencies responsible for vaccine research, development, regulation and policymaking, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for information on vaccine policymaking; to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for information on regulating vaccines for safety and effectiveness; and to National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for information on research and the development of new vaccines.
The World Health Organization has stated that “vaccine hesitancy” is one of the top 10 global public health threats.
April 2, 2018, I posted an article in which I discussed the 2010 lawsuit filed against Merck by two former virologists employed by the company. The whistleblowers claim Merck lied about the effectiveness of the mumps portion of its MMR II (mumps, measles, rubella) vaccine, artificially inflating its efficacy in testing.1,2
For example, the MMR vaccine’s effectiveness was tested against the virus used in the vaccine rather than the natural, wild mumps virus that you’d actually be exposed to in the real world. Animal antibodies were also said to have been added to the test results to give the appearance of a robust immune response.3
While the lawsuit was given the green light to proceed in 2014,4,5 it’s still pending to this day — a remarkable fact considering the call for mandatory MMR vaccination following recent outbreaks of measles. You’d think such a lawsuit would be given at least some measure of consideration.
MMR Vaccine Licensing Tests Revealed Serious Problems
Now, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documents6 obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) reveal disturbing facts about the 1978 MMR vaccine’s licensing data. According to a May 2, 2019, ICAN press release:7
“[T]he MMR vaccine was licensed based on clinical trials which in total had less than 1,000[editor’s note: exact total 834] participants and far more adverse reactions than previously acknowledged … The MMR vaccine is at the heart of the vaccine debate. The following are some of the key facts learned from the clinical trial reports produced by the FDA, which the agency relied upon to license the MMR:
- There were eight clinical trials that in total had less than 1,000 individuals, out of which only 342 children received the MMR vaccine
- The safety review period only tracked ‘adverse events’ for 42 days after injection
- More than half or a significant percent of all participants in each of the eight trials developed gastrointestinal symptoms and upper respiratory infections
- All adverse events were generically described as ‘other viruses’ and not considered in safety profile of licensure
- The control group received other vaccines for either rubella or measles and rubella, and none of the controls received a placebo (an inert substance such as a saline injection)”
As noted by ICAN founder Del Bigtree,8 342 children are an “irresponsibly small” test group for a vaccine that will be given to hundreds of millions of children, and far smaller than many other studies showing vaccine harm. Yet the vaccine industry has routinely dismissed such negative studies on the grounds that the studies were too small.
Forty-two days of follow-up is also not long enough to determine its full effects, and testing safety against other vaccines rather than a placebo is not going to give you a valid indication of the vaccine’s safety profile. “Imagine what they might have found had they tracked safety for three years against an appropriate control, like they do for drugs,” Bigtree says.9 Every single trial used another vaccine as the control, either a measles-rubella, rubella-only, or different lots of the MMR itself.
Licensing Studies Reveal Significant Ratios of Vaccine Injuries
Bigtree discusses these FOIA documents in the featured video above, after setting the stage with a discussion about studies linking MMR vaccine to gut dysfunction, which in turn can trigger symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.
At 48 minutes, 20 seconds, he starts reviewing some of the details of the MMR II vaccine trials submitted to the FDA by Merck for licensing purposes. You can view these documents for yourself on icandecide.org.10
In one trial, which included 199 children that received the MMR vaccine, 22 of them developed gastrointestinal illness (which is a common complaint among autistic children) within the 42-day follow-up period. That’s 11%. Twenty-three children (nearly 12%) developed upper respiratory illness. In all, 73 of the 199 children experienced a side effect within the follow-up period.
In another trial, which included just 102 children, 64 of them (62.7%) developed upper respiratory illness, and the data suggest some of these children remained ill throughout the whole follow-up period. Here, 43 out of the 102 children (42%) developed gastrointestinal illness.
A third trial, where just 41 children received the MMR vaccine, 28 (68%) developed upper respiratory illness and 24 (58.5%) developed gastrointestinal illness.
In a trial where one lot of MMR was tested against another lot of MMR as the control, 53 of 117 children (45%) in the test group developed upper respiratory infection and 31 of 117 (26.5%) developed gastrointestinal illness.
In a trial where one lot of MMR was tested against two other lots of MMR, 8 in 20 (40%) developed upper respiratory illness and 4 in 20 (20%) developed gastrointestinal illness.
A third trial with 53 children in which one lot of MMR was tested against two other lots of MMR, 25 (47%) developed upper respiratory illness and 18 (34%) developed gastrointestinal illness. Here, they also included measles-like rash in their side effects list, and 6 of the 53 children had this side effect.
In other words, 11% developed vaccine strain measles. This result flies in the face of claims you cannot contract a type of measles from the vaccine. Fifteen children also developed “nonspecific” rash.
Merck Profits Soar Amid Measles Hysteria
Based on the results from these tests, it seems there’s a clear cause for concern. It also negates claims that the MMR vaccine is perfectly safe and “never” causes harm. Today, we know gastrointestinal problems can have quite serious implications for health, both physically and mentally, and every single one of the licensing trials demonstrated the vaccine causes gastrointestinal harm in a large portion of those vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Merck is now profiting handsomely from the manufactured hysteria over measles and calls for mandatory MMR vaccinations and revaccinations. An April 30, 2019, report by the Associated Press11 notes “surging sales of vaccines” and a new cancer drug “led to a quadrupling of profit at Merck during the first quarter.”
On May 1, CNBC reported12 Merck has increased production of its MMR vaccine “to meet an uptick in demand … in the midst of the country’s biggest outbreak in 25 years.” As of May 3, 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 764 cases of measles in 23 states, the highest case count since 1994.13
“The measles virus is highly contagious and can cause blindness, deafness, brain damage or death. It is currently spreading in outbreaks in many parts of the world,” CNBC writes, adding that:
“Adults in the United States who were vaccinated against measles decades ago may also need a new dose of the vaccine depending on when they received the shot and whether they live in an outbreak zone or plan to travel to one.”
In New York, the MMR vaccine is now also being recommended for Infants as young as 6 months,14even though the vaccine was not demonstrated to be safe or effective in very young infants before it was licensed and recommended by federal health officials. In the U.S., normally a child would be given the first dose of MMR vaccine between 12 and 15 months old with a booster given at between 4 and 6 years old..
Measles Outbreak, or Clustered MMR Reactions?
As reported by NPR,15 measles outbreaks have been documented in more than a third (actually now nearly half, if you consider the most recent CDC reports) of U.S. states this year, with New York and Washington16 having the highest caseloads. These cases also include children and adults who are fully vaccinated against measles. As reported by CNN:17
“In a video18 posted to YouTube last week, a rabbi in Detroit who said he was ‘fully vaccinated’ nevertheless came down with measles … In another recent case,19 an Israeli flight attendant has been unable to breathe on her own after experiencing a dire complication of measles: inflammation and swelling of the brain, called encephalitis. Health authorities believe she also received a vaccine.”
Less well-publicized is that a portion of measles reported in recently vaccinated persons may in fact be vaccine strain measles, an MMR vaccine side effect that is often misdiagnosed as wild type measles. According to a paper20 published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology in 2017:
“During the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles virus sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences.”
In other words, about 38 percent of suspected measles cases in the 2015 Disneyland measles scare in California were actually vaccine strain measles cases in recently vaccinated persons and not caused by transmission of wild-type measles. A reasonable question then would be: How many of the 704 cases reported in the U.S. so far this year are actually vaccine strain measles, a side effect of MMR vaccine?
Mainstream Media Caught Faking Pictures to Fuel Measles Hysteria
March 26, 2019, the county executive for Rockland County, New York, declared a state of emergency after more than 150 cases of measles had been confirmed since October 2018 and banned unvaccinated children from public places, including schools, restaurants, public transportation, churches and synagogues.21
A lawsuit calling the order “arbitrary and capricious” was filed by civil rights attorney Michael Sussman on behalf of parents of unvaccinated children attending school in Rockland county.
April 5, 2019, New York Supreme Court Judge Rolf Thorsen questioned the county’s definition of “health emergency” and issued an injunction suspending the county’s ban on unvaccinated children appearing in public places.22 That injunction was upheld April 19, 2019, by the state Supreme Court Appellate Division.23
April 25, 2019, Rockland County issued a second emergency order that banned persons with measles or those who had been exposed to measles from entering “indoor or outdoor places of public assembly for a period of up to 21 days.”24 Anyone who fails to comply with the order can be fined $2,000-a-day.
After 285 cases of measles had been confirmed in Brooklyn since September 2018, a similar emergency order was issued by the mayor of New York on April 9 for four neighborhoods (zip codes 11205, 11206, 11211, 11249) barring unvaccinated children and adults living or working in those neighborhoods from entering public places.25
Kings County Supreme Court Judge Lawrence Knipel upheld the mayor’s order April 18, 2019, after dismissing a lawsuit brought on behalf of parents of unvaccinated children attending school in the four targeted zip codes. Knipel quipped, “A fireman need not obtain the informed consent of the owner before extinguishing a house fire. Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion.”26
As of May 4, 2019, the emergency order is still in effect in New York City. Anyone identified in the targeted four zip codes with measles or the parent of an unvaccinated child who has been exposed to measles could face a $1,000 fine unless they have a medical or religious vaccine exemption or there is evidence of natural measles immunity (assumed for most people born before 1957).27
If this strikes you as excessive, you’re not alone. Mainstream media and public health officials have pushed the “measles emergency” message hard this year. Ironically, they’ve apparently been unable to photograph an active case of measles, as one media outlet after another has been caught publishing fake stock and retouched photos to stoke measles fears.
For example, April 22, 2019, The Clover Chronicle reported “NBC News Caught Faking Photo of Baby Infected With Measles.”28 The photo was in fact a royalty-free stock photo featuring a doctor holding a perfectly healthy newborn baby. The red chicken-foot-shaped splotches were crudely added in Photoshop.
CNN also used a faked measles photo. In this case, they used a 1968 image of a toddler with roseola vaccinia,29 “an extensive eruption which may appear during the second week after primary smallpox vaccination,” according to a paper in JAMA Dermatology.30
CBS News was also caught using an image of a vaccine-injured child.31 The mother, Dawn Neufeld, wife of former NFL player Ryan Neufeld, posted the following comment on Twitter after reading the CBS report in which her son’s image was used:32
“… [T]his is my kid you used in your story without my permission. He does not have the measles. This was his reaction to the MMR shot. Take it down. Now. Issue a retraction. It’s much easier than having to litigate a defamation case. I’ll wait.”
One of the Neufeld’s two children was diagnosed with autism at age 3, and the couple has become active in the autism community.33 In an August 14, 2012, Twitter post, Dawn Neufeld said, “I am pro-safe vaccine but we now also vaccinate on a delayed schedule after watching Will spiral into autism after his 12-month shots.”34
It’s hard to miss the irony that CBS used an image of a child having a reaction to the MMR vaccine to scare people about the possibility of measles. CBS eventually issued a correction to its article, stating that “Due to an editing error, the child was misidentified in the caption as having measles.” No apology, however, was issued for snatching the private photo from Neufeld’s social media account and using it without permission or attribution. As noted by The Free Thought Project:35
“Even if it was an honest mistake, the case is made to show the lack of credibility these institutions have when calling for the silencing of those who do nothing other than question the safety of vaccines.
As Amazon purges books and films on vaccine information and as politicians literally beg for pro-safe vaccine folks to be silenced, examples like this prove that those who wish to control the flow of information and take away your right to ask questions, are not always right — a telling notion indeed.”
Countering Measles Myths Perpetuated by Mainstream Media
The media have also been lax in their reporting on other measles-related facts, as demonstrated in a recent article36 by investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson. In “Measles: Facts and Misconceptions in a Near-Hysterical Media Environment,” she breaks down commonly repeated statements and corrects them according to CDC data and other scientific evidence. Among them:
“7. ‘Measles is a highly dangerous disease for many in the U.S. … false, according to various experts. While measles can be miserable and — rarely — dangerous or deadly for the immune-suppressed or chronically ill, it was once treated as a routine childhood rite of passage in the U.S. and considered by scientists to be a ‘mild disease.’
Most people who catch measles in the U.S. will emerge with no longlasting effects and will have a lifelong immunity, according to scientists. There has been one measles-related death in the U.S. in the past decade, according to CDC. The death was that of a woman in Washington state who died in 2015. CDC did not have other details.
News reports indicate the patient may have been vaccinated and had no obvious symptoms of measles, but was tested after she passed away. She ‘died of pneumonia, had other health conditions and was taking medications that suppressed her immune system,’ said state health officials.
There have been three measles-related deaths in the U.S. since 2000. Two of them were in patients with serious underlying health conditions prior to the measles infection, according to health officials. One of them was a 13-year old who had recently had a bone marrow transplant for chronic granulomatous disease.
According to CDC, the patient ‘received a bone marrow transplant in October 2002, and died in January 2003. Measles was confirmed [after death] by a positive serologic test for measles IgM and isolation of measles virus from a brain biopsy.’
A second 2003 measles-related death happened to a 75 year old international traveler who was infected in Israel and got ‘measles pneumonitis and encephalopathy. Measles was confirmed by reverse transciptase-polymerase chain reaction from nasopharyngeal swab and urine,’ according to CDC.
On the other hand, there have been 483 measles vaccine injury and death claims paid by the U.S. government since 1988.”
A Rabbi’s Views on Measles
Sources and References
- 1 AHRP.org, Former Merck Scientists Sue Merck
- 2 Courthouse News Service June 27, 2012
- 3 Jon Rappaport April 24, 2017
- 4 Case 2:10-cv-04374-CDJ Document 61 Filed 09/05/14 (PDF)
- 5 Wall Street Journal September 10, 2014
- 6, 10 Icandecide.org Documents obtained via FOIA from FDA
- 7, 8, 9 PR Newswire May 2, 2019
- 11 Associated Press April 30, 2019
- 12 CNBC May 1, 2019
- 13 CDC.gov Measles Cases in 2019
- 14 The Verge May 1, 2019
- 15 NPR April 29, 2019
- 16 CNN January 29, 2019
- 17 CNN April 26, 2019
- 18 Youtube.com Detroit’s Measles Message April 11, 2019
- 19 CNN April 17, 2019
- 20 Journal of Clinical Microbiology DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01879-16
- 21 Rockland County, New York Press Release March 26, 2019.
- 22 Associated Press. April 5, 2019
- 23 Westchester Rockland Journal News. April 19, 2019.
- 24 Rockland County, New York Press Release April 25, 2019.
- 25 Newsday. April 9, 2019
- 26 The Jurist. April 19, 2019
- 27 New York City Health Department. April 29, 2019.
- 28 The Clover Chronicle April 22, 2019
- 29 Vaxopedia.org February 1, 2019
- 30 JAMA Dermatology April 1968 1968;97(4):422-424
- 31, 35 Thefreethoughtproject.com April 11, 2019
- 32 Twitter Dawn Neufeld April 9, 2019
- 33 LeanGreenDads, Ryan Neufeld Tackles Autism
- 34 Twitter Dawn Neufeld August 14, 2012
- 36 Sharylattkisson.com April 30, 2019
- 37 Bart KJ. Dev Biol Stand 1986; 65: 45-52.
- 38 Pediatrics December 1989
- 40 CDC MMWR July 25, 2015; 63(29): 625-633
- 41 CDC MMWR October 17, 2014; 63(4): 913-920. (HI, MI, NC, UT)
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