Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Measles: increasing vaccine uptake is vital in preventing outbreaks

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: (Published 15 February 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q402

Rapid Response:

Re: Measles: increasing vaccine uptake is vital in preventing outbreaks

Dear Editor

Amanda Healy repeats the frequent claim about “ ..the 95% coverage levels required to protect the community from measles.. “ without providing any reference. Is there evidence for this oft quoted figure ?

Amanda Healy also suggests that measles outbreaks in the UK result from children missing their MMR vaccinations, without any figures being provided for the vaccination status of confirmed cases of measles in the UK.
For decades it has been shown that measles outbreaks occur amongst the vaccinated as well as the unvaccinated. ( 1,2,3)

1 JAMA. 1990 May 9;263(18):2467-71.
Mild measles and secondary vaccine failure during a sustained outbreak in a highly vaccinated population.
2 Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1993 Apr;12(4):292-9.
Investigation of a measles outbreak in a fully vaccinated school population including serum studies before and after revaccination.
3 Gregory A Poland, and Robert Jacobson. Failure to Reach the Goal of Measles Elimination: Apparent Paradox of Measles Infection in Immunised Persons.
Archives of Internal Medicine, August 22nd, 1994 pp1816-1818.

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 February 2024
Noel Thomas
retired/part time doc
Bronygarn, Maesteg, Wales, CF34 9AL