It has Not Been Proven that the MMR Vaccine is Safer than Measles for U.S. Children
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2017
Los Angeles, Calif. — The California-based nonprofit organization, Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC), has announced the release of new educational materials to help pediatricians and parents assess the risks of measles compared to risks of the measles-containing vaccine (MMR). The educational materials were developed to provide a user-friendly educational tool from data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for Health Statistics. “Many people don’t realize that the risk of dying or suffering permanent injury from measles in the United States was very small, even before the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963,” said Dr. Shira Miller, PIC founder and president. “Therefore, vaccine safety studies must show that the risk of dying or suffering permanent injury from the MMR vaccine is even smaller.”
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, right before the measles mass vaccination program was introduced, the chance of dying from measles was 1 in 10,000 or 0.01%. However, the public is generally unaware of this figure, as the CDC publishes case-fatality rates based on the number of reported cases only. Since it is estimated that nearly 90% of measles cases are benign and therefore not reported to the CDC, the widely publicized rate is 10 times higher than what is actually found in the general population.
PIC’s measles educational materials, which include the Disease Information Statement (DIS) and Vaccine Risk Statement (VRS), provide data on total measles cases (both reported and unreported to the CDC) and available information on MMR risks. This allows for a more informed risk/benefit calculation. The documents, which have undergone peer-review and scrutiny by multiple clinical and statistics experts, are now available for public distribution.
“When determining whether any medication is safe, the standard is the risk of the disease one is trying to treat or prevent,” said Dr. Miller. “With vaccines, one must follow the same procedure to determine a safety standard. Through our educational materials, we show that it has not been proven that the risk of death or permanent injury from the MMR vaccine is less than that from measles. This is an important factor in both personal and public health decision-making.”
Physicians for Informed Consent is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization dedicated to safeguarding informed consent in vaccination. To read and download the Measles DIS and VRS, visit physiciansforinformedconsent.org/measles.
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