Gregory Poland, MD and Robert Jacobson, MD on How Measles Can Occur Primarily in Vaccinated People

Gregory Poland, MD and Robert Jacobson, MD on How Measles Can Occur Primarily in Vaccinated People

Receiving less attention […] is the issue of vaccine failure. … Multiple studies demonstrate that 2–10% of those immunized with two doses of measles vaccine fail to develop protective antibody levels, and […] immunity can wane over time and result in infection (so-called secondary vaccine failure) when the individual is exposed to measles.

For example, during the 1989–1991 U.S. measles outbreaks 20–40% of the individuals affected had been previously immunized with one to two doses of vaccine. In an October 2011 outbreak in Canada, over 50% of the 98 individuals had received two doses of measles vaccine.

Thus, measles outbreaks also occur even among highly vaccinated populations because of primary and secondary vaccine failure, which results in gradually larger pools of susceptible persons and outbreaks once measles is introduced.

This leads to a paradoxical situation whereby measles in highly immunized societies occurs primarily among those previously immunized.

— Gregory A. Poland, MD and Robert M. Jacobson, MD


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Gregory Poland, MD and Robert Jacobson, MD on How Measles Can Occur Primarily in Vaccinated People

One Response to "Gregory Poland, MD and Robert Jacobson, MD on How Measles Can Occur Primarily in Vaccinated People"

  1. Dean DeWitt, RN   July 21, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Measles is more a problem with older people; younger measles cases fare better. Being immunized, having your immunity ‘fail’ you in later life and getting measles at an older age; that’s just asking for trouble. Real measles, the disease, I had it and all my friends and relatives; never harmed any of us, that I knew. We were all kids. I remember then, that adults who hadn’t had it (measles or chickenpox); they were worried, stayed away, didn’t want it. It was known to be a problem more for adults. Outside of having measles at an older age, I’d wonder if, after measles and so many more vaccines and immune system insults, if the vaccinated have weaker natural immune function too and if their cases of infection are worse still. I think we should all have measles, and chickenpox, and be healthier too; we don’t need the vaccine problems.

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