In the pre-vaccination era, Measles was a common childhood illness usually acquired before the age of 10 years old, and thus attained permanent immunity.  At least 95% of American children had Measles by the time they were 15 years old. Measles was rare in infants under the age of one as they were protected by their Mother’s natural immunity from childhood and through breastfeeding.

     As the Measles vaccination program increased, the epidemiology of Measles shifted. Measles cases began occurring in late adolescents, young adults, and babies under one year of age. This is not a new trend.  During the Measles outbreaks in 1976-1977, 60% of those cases occurred in children over age 10 and 26% occurred in children over age 15. This trend has continued to spite high vaccine coverage rates in developed and developing countries. It has also led to longer intervals between epidemic years; known as the “honeymoon effect’. In the 1984 Measles outbreak, 58% of school-age children who had been vaccinated caught Measles.

     A.W. Hedrich researched and published a study in 1933 on the patterns of Measles in Baltimore, Maryland from 1900-1931.  He surmised that the majority of children under 15 years of age who would catch Measles would not go above 53%, and would not drop below 32% during those 32 years.  At least 47% of children in Baltimore would not have Measles each time an outbreak ended. (2)  Hedrich’s research showed that the number of people in a community had nothing to do with the decline in virulence of the virus when an outbreak comes to an end. Measles is endemic and occurs whenever nature says it’s time. Epidemics have continued to occur even with high vaccine rate coverage, and occur in both vaccinated and unvaccinated.

     Where infants are concerned, vaccinated Mothers today do not have the full natural immunity to protect their infants.  In 1992 alone, 22.2% of measles cases were in infants less than 12 months of age. This was an increase from 19.2% in 1991 and 17.0% in 1990. In 1990, 27.9% of reported cases occurred in children 1-4 years of age, and 30.1% in 1991. In Texas alone, 75% of the cases were in children younger than 5 years old, and 35% in children less than 12 months old. In Kentucky, the opposite happened. Measles made up 49% of the cases in children 5-19 years old.

   According to the CDC’s Pink Book Measles Chapter, it is admitted that infants are now more at risk from Measles during outbreaks than in the pre-vaccination era.

     In addition, measles susceptibility of infants younger than 1 year of age may have increased. During the 1989–1991 measles resurgence, incidence rates for infants were more than twice as high as those in any other age group. The mothers of many infants who developed measles were young, and their measles immunity was most often due to vaccination rather than infection with wild virus. As a result, a smaller amount of antibody was transferred across the placenta to the fetus, compared with antibody transfer from mothers who had higher antibody titers resulting from wild-virus infection. The lower quantity of antibody resulted in immunity that waned more rapidly, making infants susceptible at a younger age than in the past.”



     According to a 1999 issue in Pediatrics:   “Infants whose mothers were born after 1963 are more susceptible to measles than are infants of older mothers. An increasing proportion of infants born in the United States may be susceptible to measles.” Mothers who had infants born after 1963, had a measles attack rate of 33%, compared with 12% for infants of older mothers.  The difference in infant’s immunity levels between the vaccinated Mothers and the unvaccinated Mothers can also be seen in the 1995 Pediatrics Journal.

      Even the World Health Organization has admitted that the vaccinated have a 14 times greater chance of contracting the disease than the unvaccinated.  ( National Health Federation Bulletin, (Nov. ‘69).

     Another issue worth mentioning is that without the circulating wild virus producing a boosting effect for older adults, and infants not as protected by maternal antibodies, the disease becomes more dangerous. A disease that a 5 year old could once recover from in 1-2 weeks has the potential to kill an infant, adolescent or adult. Measles used to have a natural virulence of every 3-4 years. The vaccine has caused longer intervals between exposures.


     “But the last generation to have routinely suffered through most of these diseases is crossing through mid-life and the first generation to have avoided them is hovering around 40.”

     Before vaccination became commonplace, adults often came in contact with youngsters suffering from mumps, measles and the other childhood diseases. That remained the case in the early days of vaccine administration when these diseases still commonly circulated.”

     “If people had protection – natural or vaccine-acquired – those exposures were actually helpful. They acted as a sort of natural booster shot, reminding the immune system to be on guard for this threat.  Some experts now wonder whether these unrecorded natural boosts may have led the medical community to overestimate the durability of immunity generated by childhood vaccinations. These days, few people are getting natural boosting to these diseases.”

     The Measles vaccine has made the disease rarer in childhood, but more dangerous when it does occur, due to the age shift. There can also be a higher case fatality rate in infant and adult infections.  When considering the risks or benefits of the vaccine, consider this:  Once a population is exposed to measles in childhood, few infants or adults will contract it as they will have acquired immunity for life.  The vaccine simply can not do that. All it has done is decrease the virulence, the circulation cycle of the disease, and pushed the disease incidence to older persons and infants when the disease can be more harmful and deadly.

   According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, it was projected, based on a computer model:

        “However, despite short-term success in eliminating the disease, long-range projections demonstrate that the proportion of susceptibies in the year 2050 may be greater than in the prevaccine era. Present vaccine technology and public health policy must be altered to deal with this eventually.” So the end result will be the same number (or more) of susceptibles, but “distributed evenly throughout all age groups”. Since adults and infants have higher risk of Measles complications and fatality, the Measles eradication plan has resulted in higher risk to the overall population. Obviously the public health policy solution is more and more vaccination, more boosters for children and adolescents, and adults as well. A very short-sighted, questionable and expensive campaign to eliminate a self-limiting childhood disease.”

     It should also be noted that in the pre-vaccine era, 10% of the population was always susceptible to Measles. After the Childhood Immunization Initiative from 1977-1979, it was admitted that at least 5 % would not develop Measles antibodies, and Measles would continue to occur despite high vaccination rates and it has. Those susceptible are those who have primary and secondary vaccine failure, adults who escaped natural Measles because of decreasing transmission in the late 1960’s, lack of virulence to boost natural immunity, infants under one year of age to decreased maternal antibodies, and waning immunity in the vaccinated. Therefore in the future, we may very well see a higher risk than 10% susceptible to Measles and spread out to all age groups in the overall population.

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