Measles vs. MMR Vaccine: Risks and Benefits

Before there was a vaccine for it, just about every person in America got measles. They would catch this highly communicable childhood disease usually between the age of 5 and 9. From 1900 to 1960, with improved sanitation, clean water, and better nutrition fostered by rapid delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables along with affordable refrigerators, the mortality rate from measles in the U.S. dropped more than 95 percent.

When I was a child 70 years ago families would have “measles parties” to expose their kids to another child with measles so they could have the disease and get it over with, since everybody eventually got measles anyway.

With its 3-week course of high fevers, sore throat, conjunctivitis, and a rash spreading from the face down one’s arms and legs, the vast majority of children come through the illness unscathed and without complications.  But one particular complication of measles, encephalitis, spurred doctors to develop a vaccine that would provide protection against this disease, like had been done for diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, and polio. Vaccine Safety Manual ... Neil Z. Miller Best Price: $5.57 Buy New $11.97 (as of 07:40 EST - Details)

After some false starts (in 1963, 1965, and 1967) the live-virus measles vaccine introduced in 1968 proved highly effective in eliminating measles outbreaks. In the 1980s drug companies combined the measles vaccine with the live-virus vaccines for mumps and rubella (some people object that drug companies grow that one in aborted human fetal cells); and it is not possible anymore to obtain a single measles vaccine in the U.S. (single ones are available in the UK and France). Before there was a vaccine for it, there were about a million cases of measles a year in the U.S. Now with its population vaccinated, measles cases averaged less than 100 a year from 2001-2013.

Last year (in 2014) there were 644 cases of measles in the U.S., considerably more than usual (although 383 of them were reported in Amish families who do not vaccinate their children). In January, 2015, there were 102 measles cases across the country, 67 of them in an outbreak in Disneyland, which garnered heightened media attention. (Germany had 254 cases in January with little fanfare.) Emphasizing the importance of vaccination, one magazine writer puts it this way: “Turning Walt Disney’s Happiest Place on Earth into the measles kingdom flipped a switch in our collective brain. The thought that thousands of people could have been exposed to a virus that was declared eliminated in the U.S. a decade-and-a-half-ago is scary. And it drives home the reality that vaccines only fully protect us if almost everyone uses them.”


MMR vaccination for measles provides immunity against the virus that causes this disease, and people are spared having to suffer through its debilitating manifestations and be subject to possible complications. The MMR shot, however, does not confer lifelong immunity against measles. It only lasts for several years. Booster shots are required, which studies show to be less effective than the initial one. Callous Disregard: Aut... Andrew J. Wakefield Best Price: $3.59 Buy New $18.38 (as of 06:10 EST - Details)

Health officials, both in the U.S. and UK, blame unvaccinated people and the “anti-vaxxers” for these outbreaks. Assisted by a compliant media, they downplay the fact that the vast majority of people who are contracting measles have been fully vaccinated against it—more than 95 percent in some outbreaks. In the UK, in Northern England, a highly vaccinated part of the country, there were 757 cases in a measles outbreak there in 2013 (January to August). It went unreported. Health authorities steered the UK media in another direction and focused instead on a smaller outbreak in South Wales, which had 40 cases, where vaccine dissenters are more vocal and fewer people have been vaccinated. Unvaccinated people make easy scapegoats in today’s climate of vaccine obedience.

The key question, of course, which officials and pundits do not ask (preferring instead to censure “anti-vaxxers”), is: Why would an unvaccinated person pose a danger to the vaccinated population if the vaccine they had is effective and really works?

With measles re-emerging in developed countries where almost all of their citizens have been vaccinated, a call has gone out to develop a better, next-generation measles vaccine. [1]

One benefit of having measles is that a person so infected will then have lifelong, permanent immunity to it. Mothers transfer antibodies against measles to their babies, which protect them from this disease during their early critical months of life. The MMR shot, however, does not provide lifelong immunity to measles. It only lasts several years, and successively less effective booster shots are required.

There is a second, major benefit of measles that health authorities overlook. Measles helps a child’s immune system grow strong and mature. Evidence of Harm David Kirby Best Price: $1.89 Buy New $15.00 (as of 06:45 EST - Details)

Once past the immunologic barriers of skin and mucosa, our (2-trillion-cell) immune system has two components: An innate system, which all animals have; and an evolutionarily more recent adaptive system that vertebrates have. The childhood diseases—measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox—play a constructive role in the maturation of the adaptive immune system. Two kinds of helper T-cells (Th) manage this system: cellular T-cells (Th1); and humoral T-cells (Th2), which make antibodies. The Th1 cellular T-cells are especially important because they attack and kill cells in the body that run amok and become cancerous. And they also kill cells that become infected with viruses.

Measles (and other viral childhood diseases) stimulate both the Th1 and Th2 components. The MMR vaccine stimulates predominately the Th2 side. Overstimulation of this part of the adaptive immune system provokes allergies, asthma, and auto-immune diseases. Since the Th1 side thwarts cancer, if it does not get fully developed in childhood a person can wind up being more prone to cancer later in life. Women who had mumps during childhood, for example, have been found to be less likely to develop ovarian cancer compared with women who did not have mumps. (This study was published in the mainstream medical journal Cancer.)

Could the fact that cancer has now become a leading cause of death in children be connected to vaccinations? Only a well-controlled, randomized, blinded, long-term scientific trial would be able to conclusively answer this question. But societal entities that could fund such a study, like the government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), drug companies that make the vaccine, or the CDC do not feel that it is necessary to conduct one.

The benefits of having measles (at the right age) trumps the MMR vaccine’s benefits, for these two reasons: 1) suffering through the disease bestows lifelong immunity to it; and 2) measles strengthens and helps mature a child’s helper T-cell adaptive immune system, and most importantly its cancer-preventing Th1 side. Dissolving Illusions Bystrianyk, Roman Best Price: null Buy New $9.99 (as of 10:35 EST - Details)


With good sanitation and nutrition, the pre-vaccine mortality rate of measles in the U.S. was less than 1 in a million (compared with 14 deaths per 100,000 in 1900); seizures occurred in 1 in 3,000 people; and encephalitis, 1 in 100,000, with full recovery in 75 percent of those cases. Investigators have shown that vitamin A substantially lowers the mortality rate and is the crucial treatment for ensuring an uncomplicated, smooth outcome from this childhood disease—at doses of 200,000 to 400,000 IU a day for two days. It is also important to let the disease run its course and not suppress the fever, which can rise to 104-105 degrees, with antipyretics (aspirin). Reducing the fever prolongs the illness and blunts the immune response. As pediatrician Robert Mendelsohn, MD counsels: “When your child contracts an infection, the fever that accompanies it is a blessing, not a curse.” (Also, do not give antibiotics for it alone. They hinder the immune response and napalm the bowel.)

Public health authorities, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and top medical societies like the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Practice, and the American Medical Association assure parents and the public that all vaccines are safe. Following the CDC’s recommended schedule, American children receive 50 injections of 14 different vaccines by the age of six. The schedule states, “Your child can safely receive all vaccines recommended for a particular age during one visit.”

The Package Insert for the MMR vaccine (Merck’s M-M-R® II) wasn’t told that. It tells a far more gruesome story. Adverse Reactions that it lists include subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome (a particularly nasty form of autoimmune paralysis), thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), optic neuritis, hearing loss, immune system suppression, inflammatory bowel disease, juvenile diabetes, atypical measles, anaphylaxis, arthritis, pancreatitis, aseptic meningitis, pneumonia, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a life-threatening skin condition), erythema multiforme, etc. It also lists, “death from various, and in some cases unknown, causes.” The one critical thing that is not anywhere on this list is autism. NOW Supplements, Vitam... Buy New $9.70 (as of 10:49 EST - Details)

CDC officials and health authorities in the various medical organizations unequivocally say that the live-virus MMR vaccine does not cause autism. This is not true. There is, in fact, compelling evidence that the U.S. governmental-medical-pharmaceutical complex ignores, and in some cases actually suppresses, showing that the MMR vaccine does indeed cause autism.

Before health care providers began injecting vaccines into babies and young children in increasing amounts, only 1 in 10,000 children had autism. Now, incredibly, 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are autistic. Less momentous, but still shocking, health authorities now classify 1 out of every 6 American children as “Learning Disabled.”

When the MMR vaccine began to be widely used measles virtually disappeared, preventing over the years several hundred deaths. Now, however, several thousand normally developing children become autistic after receiving their MMR shot each year. Termed “regressive autism,” it accounts for about 30 percent of the 10,000 to 20,000 children who are diagnosed with autism in this country each year.

For more evidence that MMR vaccines cause autism see the Vaccine Safety Manual for Concerned Families and Health Practitioners: Guide to Immunization Risks and Protection, Second edition (2012 ) by Neil Miller (no relation) [2] and two previous articles (with updates) I have written for LRC on this subject. [3,4]

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The 50-year, (now) near-mandatory measles vaccine guidelines that trade lifetime natural immunity for temporary vaccine immunity is reaching the stage of blowback. The vaccine is altering the distribution of measles, away from children 5 to 9 years old who are optimally suited to catch it and rarely experience complications, to infants and adults. These age groups are much more likely to suffer serious complications—testicular and ovarian complications in adults and neurological complications in both groups. In the pre-vaccine 1960s only 10 percent of cases occurred in persons over age 10, and 3 percent in persons 15 years and older. Without natural immunity, child-bearing women can no longer protect their offspring from measles (and the vaccine doesn’t work in infants). In a 1992 measles outbreak in Albuquerque, 28 percent of cases were less than 1 year old; in Brownsville, TX, 45%; and in the recent Northern England outbreak, 13 percent of cases were infants. Now 60 percent of all new cases occur in persons over age 10; and 26 percent, in persons 15 years and older.

Short-lived vaccine immunity renders people under age 55-60 vulnerable to contracting measles at a bad age, with infants less than 1 year old and adults over 20 years old at greatest risk. The day may once again come when parents, while avoiding the vaccine, hold measles parties for their children in the age window of 5 to 9 years (like some families now do in Germany) so they can have measles at the safest time in their lives, thereby achieving the benefits of a strengthened immune system and lifelong natural immunity from this disease.

And now Dr. William Thompson, a CDC employee-researcher, has come forward recently as a whistleblower, revealing the fact that the CDC has been hiding the truth about vaccine dangers from the public, specifically with regard to MMR vaccine-induced autism. Like an Edward Snowden in the CDC, he has revealed to Dr. Brian Hooker (the Glenn Greenwald of the piece) that the CDC has committed scientific fraud. This occurred in a 2004 paper published in the journal Pediatrics, written by Dr. Thompson and other CDC employees, which hid the finding that the MMR vaccine had caused a 340 percent increased risk of autism in African-American babies. Dr. Hooker revealed this in a 2014 paper published in Natureu2019s Bounty E-... Check Amazon for Pricing. the journal Translational Neurodegeneration. But typical of the censorship and suppression practiced in today’s medical police state, it forced the editor of that journal to apologize for publishing this paper and retract it (as has been the case with other studies implicating MMR vaccine with autism, notably one by Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in Lancet in 1998). But in a recent development, the President has granted Dr. Thompson “Official Whistleblower Status and Immunity” to testify before Congress. [5]

The risks of the MMR vaccine are greater than the risks of having measles. This fact is gradually coming to light.

For, as Shakespeare tells us (in The Merchant of Venice, Act 2, Scene 2), “In the end the truth will out.”


  1. Gregory Poland and Robert Jacobson. The Re-Emergence of Measles in Developed Countries: Time to Develop the Next-Generation Measles Vaccines? 2012;30(2):103-104. Available at:
  2. Neil Miller. Vaccine Safety Manual for Concerned Families and Health Practitioners: Guide to Immunization Risks and Protection, Second edition (2012 )
  3. Donald Miller. “A User-Friendly Vaccination Schedule,” “An Update to this Vaccination Schedule,” and “Some More Recent Comments on Vaccines.”
  4. Donald Miller. “Censorship and Show Trials on Vaccines and AIDS.”
  5. “Dr. William Thompson Granted Official Whistleblower Status and Immunity” available at:

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