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Measles in the UK: a test of public health competency in a crisis

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2793 (Published 01 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2793

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Re: Measles in the UK: a test of public health competency in a crisis

Following up on Mrs. Fletcher's well documented remarks, I would like to add that both the FDA and Merck have always stated the following:

From the MMR-II package insert:
Clinical studies of 284 triple seronegative children, 11 months to 7 years of age, demonstrated that M-M-R II is highly immunogenic and generally well tolerated. In these studies, a single injection of the vaccine induced measles hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibodies in 95%, mumps neutralizing antibodies in 96%, and rubella HI antibodies in 99% of susceptible persons. http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/m/mmr_ii/mmr_ii_pi.pdf

From the Attenuevax package insert:
Extensive clinical trials have demonstrated that ATTENUVAX is highly immunogenic and generally well tolerated. A single injection of the vaccine has been shown to induce measles hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibodies in 97% or more of susceptible persons.
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/biologicsbloodvaccines/vaccines/approvedpro...

The monovalent measles vaccine would have been a smart addition to the MMR campaign in the recent measles outbreak,because:

1. It is much cheaper than the MMR
2. It is more effective against measles
3. It has been more extensively investigated in clinical trials
4. It would have been acceptable to those who still had concerns about the triple vaccine

It is regrettable that the decision makers opted again to completely ignore this information that they have always been aware of.

Competing interests: Grandfather of a young man with Regressive Autism who was perfectly fine until age 15 months

15 June 2013
F Edward YAZBAK, MD
Pediatrician
TL Autism Research
Falmouth, Massachusetts