After the MMRV vaccine, much less varicella antibodies are produced than after a separate vaccine, but more measles antibodies, as compared to MMR. .
In 2010, two virologists, who had previously worked for Merck, sued the company. They claimed that Merck manipulated the results of the mumps vaccine clinical trial, which allowed the company to remain the exclusive MMR manufacturer in the United States.
The lawsuit states that Merck organized a fictitious vaccine-testing program in the late 90s. The company obliged the scientists to participate in the program, promising them all bonuses if the vaccine got certified, and threatening prison if they were to report this fraud to the FDA.
The effectiveness of the mumps vaccine is determined in the following way. A blood sample is taken from children before and after vaccination. After that, a virus is added to the blood, which creates plaques as it infects the cells. Comparing the amount of these plagues in the blood before and after vaccination indicates the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Instead of testing how children’s blood neutralizes the wild virus strain, Merck was testing how it neutralizes the vaccine strain. However, this was still not enough to demonstrate the required 95% effectiveness. Thus, rabbit antibodies were added to the tested children’s blood, bringing the effectiveness level to 100%.
And that is not all of it. Since adding animal antibodies showed pre-vaccine effectiveness of 80% (instead of 10%), the fraud was evident. First, the number of added rabbit antibodies was changed, but it did not give the desired results. So they simply began to falsify the plaque counting, and counted plaques that actually were not in the blood. Falsified data was entered into an Excel file, since changing paper forms took too much time, plus this tactic did not leave any traces of falsification.
Still, the virologists did contact the FDA and the FDA sent an agent for a check. She asked questions for half an hour, received false answers, did not ask any questions the virologists themselves, did not check the lab, and wrote a one-page report, pointing to some minor issues with the process, but never mentioning neither the rabbit antibodies nor the falsified data.
As a result, Merck has received the MMR and MMRV certification, and is the sole manufacturer of these vaccines in the United States.
After the big mumps outbreaks in 2006 and 2009, the CDC, which planned on eliminating mumps by 2010, shifted the goal date to 2020.
When the court asked Merck to provide evidence of the vaccine effectiveness, they provided data from 50 years ago.
Today the measles vaccine is always a part of the trivalent MMR vaccine (along with rubella and mumps components), or the tetravalent MMRV vaccine (with rubella, mumps and chickenpox). Monovalent measles vaccine is not manufactured in developed countries, but it seems to still be available in Russia and some third world countries. Usually two doses are scheduled – at 12 months and at 5-6 years old.
In contrast to the inactivated vaccines, which we have examined so far, measles vaccine is an attenuated one, containing a live antigen. "Live"-attenuated vaccines are much more effective than inactivated ones, and therefore do not need aluminum adjuvants addition. One of the issues with "live" vaccines is that the attenuated viruses are able to mutate and may become virulent again, in which case vaccinated persons become infectious.
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According to VAERS, 174 people have died and 742 became disabled since 2000 after being vaccinated with MMR or MMRV. During this time 4 people have died due to measles. In 2015, there was a single case of measles death in 12 years (women with chemotherapy immune deficiency). Prior to that, there were two cases in the early 2000s: an immunocompromised boy and a 75-year-old man.
On the other hand, influenza reportedly causes thousands of deaths a year in the United States. Nevertheless, almost no one is afraid of influenza while measles for some reason causes full-scale horror.
In Switzerland, one person has died of measles in the last 7 years. He was vaccinated (and he also had chemotherapy-compromised immune system). Vaccination rates in Switzerland are relatively low.