Children vaccinated with MMR can spread the disease

“The MMR vaccine viruses are not infectious” is an incorrect statement.  According to the Medical Director of Merck who manufactures the MMR vaccine:  “The attenuated viruses in MMR can occasionally and to a limited extent be shed from a vaccinated individual into the environment. You would expect this of any virus or bacterium that infected a human body. The number of vaccinated individuals that do shed the virus is quite small but it definitely does occur, and so as a consequence of that there is a small probability that unvaccinated individuals could pick up some form of shed vaccine virus…”

According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, 4 July 1987 which recommends that immunocompromised children should be kept away from MMR vaccinated children for two weeks after vaccination due to the excretion of the virus. It is also an acknowledged fact that some people have caught the paralytic polio after coming into contact with the faeces of children who had been recently vaccinated with the live polio vaccine.

Interestingly, in April 1993 the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Japan decided to discontinue the use of the MMR vaccine (Sawada et al 1993; Lancet; 342 (7 August):371). This decision was prompted by published reports of vaccinated children and their unvaccinated contacts contracting mumps from the MMR vaccine, and reports of 1 in 1044 vaccinees developing encephalitis.

These events of infection occur because the vaccines contain live viruses which can grow in the body and are excreted by the body. Another interesting fact is the registrar of a hospital in Christchurch who was found to have caught measles after being vaccinated and the PCR test (which is not routinely given to people in NZ) found that he had caught the vaccine strain of measles from the vaccine. This leads to the question of how many cases of measles this year were caused by the shed vaccine being caught by other children? No-one knows, as the normal measles lab test done does not indicate whether the virus was wild or from the vaccine strain. But it is always interesting to note there always an increase in measles cases in NZ once a vaccination campaign has started. Another coincidence?