Another illness sparked by the measles vaccine was so-called "mild measles" with under-developed rash, which exposes children in later life to dangers of chronic diseases, including cancer.
One study found evidence of a relationship between lack of rash in measles and increased incidence of degenerative and autoimmune diseases (The Lancet, 5 January 1985). Many practitioners witness that cancer patients have a particularly small number of infectious diseases of childhood to report in their medical history.
Outbreaks among the vaccinated
Against all the evidence, measles vaccines continued to be described as effective and safe by some, all the while the medical literature teemed with reports of ineffectiveness and of serious reactions (see box, this page).
A study published in Pediatrics in 1970 investigated an outbreak of measles in Florida from December 1968 to February 1969 and found there was little difference in the incidence of measles among vaccinated and unvaccinated children. The only significant difference was in how the disease developed. While 43 per cent of unimmunized children developed a rash, only 12 per cent of those vaccinated developed a proper measles rash (Pediatrics, 1970; 46 (3): 397-402).
In 1971, the American Journal of Public Health conceded that measles was on the increase and that "eradication, if possible, now seems far in the future" (Am J Public Health, 1971; 61 (11): 2304-10).
Reports of vaccine failure and atypical measles in vaccinated children continued. One study in the city and county of St Louis, Missouri, described an epidemic of measles over 1970 and 1971, during which 130 children were hospitalized and six died. The attack rate was much higher in vaccinated than unvaccinated children. In this case, vaccine failure was admitted as the major contributor to this epidemic (J Pediatrics, 1972; 81: 217-30).
Other studies showed that measles vaccines were not provoking a proper immunologic response in vaccinated children. In one report, measles antibodies were found in the blood of five from seven unvaccinated children with a measles infection, but in only one of seven previously vaccinated children with clinical measles, and in only one of seven previously vaccinated well children who had been injected with the weakened measles virus vaccine (J Pediatrics, 1973; 82: 798-801). While measles vaccines were effective in elevating measles neutralizing antibody in a number of children (although not in all), this was demonstrated to be irrelevant in preventing the disease (Pediatrics, 1971; 48 (5): 715-29).
Nevertheless, by 1975, in a widely distributed Public Health Report entitled "The benefits from 10 years of measles immunization in the United States", authors J J Witte and N W Axnick claimed victory over measles in 1978 by vaccination, and the US government predicted a measles free country within three years.
An adult disease
Not surprisingly, all the pro-vaccine researchers and government officials passed lightly over the fact that measles epidemics continued to occur consistently in fully vaccinated children. They also ignored the fact that measles was suddenly becoming an adult disease.
By 1975, not only was the number of reported cases of measles six times higher in the first half of 1975 compared with 1974, but more and more adults were contracting measles (J Am Med Ass, 1976; 235: 1028-31).