Every time there is an out break of a disease for which there is a vaccine, we get bombarded almost instantaneously from the media blasting story after story on how the outbreak is clearly and unequivocally due to unvaccinated people. The stories’ narratives vary in how much condemnation they hurl at those that don’t vaccinate. But one thing is for sure– the picture they paint is clear: the only possible way these outbreaks happen is because of people who endanger the health of you and your kids by not doing the right thing by vaccinating.

For example, here is the opening paragraph of a typical article written after an outbreak in China last year by a pediatrician for the pediatric section of about.com.

The MMR vaccine is one of the most effective vaccines ever made. Two doses are at least 99% effective at preventing measles infections. Even one dose is about 95% effective against measles.

We have measles outbreaks in the United States not because the MMR vaccine is not effective, but rather because there are still so many unvaccinated people around. Often, these unvaccinated people travel out of the country, get sick with measles, and start the outbreaks.

As you can see, the doctor is very explicit as to the ONLY cause of outbreaks is unvaccinated people.

While stating unequivocally that vaccines work.


The only problem is the before mentioned claims are untrue.

Live Attenuated Virus Vaccine

A live attenuated virus vaccine can give the person vaccinated the very disease it is supposed to protect against. At times, the person receiving the vaccine can become an asymptomatic carrier and at times, they are symptomatic ones. Nevertheless, the vaccine strain virus can, and does, spread a disease after people received the vaccination.

The term used a lot in the anti-vaccination community to describe when this happens is “vaccine shedding”. Although, a better description would be “viral shedding” of the live virus inside vaccines via our body fluids that can lead to transmission of the disease to others.

Vaccine shedding may seem like crazy “anti-vaxxer” talk, and many vaccine industry bloggers try there damnedest to make people believe just that,  but  the term shedding is used in many Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) information pages for live virus vaccines. For instance, inside their report on seasonal flu vaccines there is a section called “Shedding, transmission, and stability of vaccine viruses” that states:

Data indicates that both children and adults vaccinated with LAIV [a live viral flu nasal vaccine] can shed vaccine viruses after vaccination, although in lower amounts than occur typically with shedding of wild-type influenza viruses. Rarely, shed vaccine viruses can be transmitted from vaccine recipients to unvaccinated persons. However, serious illnesses have not been reported among unvaccinated persons who have been infected inadvertently with vaccine viruses.


So, the CDC and the vaccine industry admit that at least the flu vaccines “shed” leading to possible transmission of the disease by those vaccinated. However, this hardly proves that other live attenuated virus vaccines also spread. Since the latest outbreak was a Measles outbreak and the narrative is that the outbreaks can ONLY happen because of unvaccinated people, lets see if the measles vaccine can “shed”.

  • This cluster randomized controlled study, published in 1993, worked with 22 family practices in southwestern Ontario to compare post-vaccine symptoms in children vaccinated at 13 and 15 months. The study found an increase of swollen lymph nodes by 23% and a fever rate increase by 16% one week after the vaccination. Between 7 to 14 days after, the rate of fever increased by 27%. This was one of the first studies looking into measle-like illness after vaccination, so sadly they did not look into what virus strain was causing it. They did, however, conclude mothers should be informed of these finds before their child is given the vaccine– something that does not happen even today.
  • In 1995, a study detected measles virus RNA in 10 of 12 children during the 2-week study. Specifically, the virus was detected in urine as early as 1 day to 13 days after the vaccination.
  • This 1999 study looked at what causes the rash often seen after MMR  vaccine. They found vaccine-strain measles virus in his urine by polymerase chain reaction confirmed the diagnosis of a vaccine reaction rather than wild-type measles. : They proposed “measles virus should be sought and identified as vaccine or wild-type virus when the relationship between vaccination and measles-like illness is uncertain.” [emphasis added]
  • This 2005 study (that is very pro vaccine) concluded a “1-year-old boy who, 10 days after vaccination, developed vaccine measles which was clinically indistinguishable from the natural disease. Vaccine virus was detected by polymerase chain reaction in the patient’s nasopharyngeal secretions.”
  • This review was showing the findings after a child was presented with a fever for 8 days after the MMR vaccine. They were able to isolate the measles virus in the patent’s throat, finding it was the vaccine strain virus.
  • This 2010 review also involves a child getting a rash after the MMR vaccine. Here is there finding  “Throat swabs and urine specimens were collected on the fifth and sixth day of illness, respectively. Genotyping demonstrated measles vaccine strain Schwarz (genotype A). If measles and rubella were not under enhanced surveillance in Croatia, the case would have been either misreported as rubella or not recognized at all.”
  • This review published in December of 2013 shows a “measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine-associated measles illness” that started 5 weeks after the two-year old received their first MMR vaccine. They also found measles antibodies in her blood despite contracting the disease. The review also talks about how this case happened during an outbreak, but it was unknown if the wild virus or vaccine strain were found in the other patients.

It is important to note that even though the industry and governmental regulatory agencies know that live viruses can spread disease, there is no protocol set in place in most countries to do a genotyoe test to find the viral strain that caused the disease. In fact, the CDC measles surveillance program doesn’t require any genotype testing, period. Moreover, the 2013 review above admits that the biggest reason they looked into what strain of the virus the child contracted was because they were in the middle of an outbreak. In other words, most cases where individuals contract a disease or even when a disease outbreak occurs (we will see this later) there is no investigation into the strain causing the disease.

This lack of tracking is justified by case reports such as, Local public health response to vaccine-associated measles: case report. This particular case is about an immunocompromised child who receive the MMR vaccine and contracted the vaccine strained measles virus shortly after. The conclusion reassured the public that despite the child getting measles from the vaccine, he is somehow not contagious; “vaccine-associated measles has not been shown to be infectious, regardless of the immune status of the index case” and “to our knowledge, no microbiologically confirmed transmission to contacts has been documented.”

However, at least two studies published before this report show there were indeed confirmed transmissions of measles from people shedding the vaccine strain:

  • In 1989 the Lancet published a study entitled BROTHER-TO-SISTER TRANSMISSION OF MEASLES AFTER MEASLES, MUMPS, AND RUBELLA IMMUNIZATION detailing how a brother gave his sister measles after getting the MMR vaccine.
  • This 2011 study looks at an outbreak of measles where a 22 year old, who was fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine, started a small outbreak of measles cases. Of the 88 people he contacted while ill, 4 of them were confirmed to contract the disease from him. Even more alarming is that of the 4 who contracted the disease 2 were also fully vaccinated!

In short, both claims are untrue and just another case of propaganda to vilify the unvaccinated.

Now that we know that you can indeed get measles from the vaccine and then spread the virus, lets look at the Disneyland outbreak.

From late December 2014 into January 2015 there was a measles outbreak that started in Disneyland. We all remember this because the media instantly started bombarding us with propaganda that the outbreak was caused by unvaccinated people. I feel the word propaganda is not an exaggeration in this case because when the stories first hit, there was no genotype test conducted showing if the people contracted a wild virus strain or a vaccine strain, nor did they know index case.

Nevertheless, that did not stop California doctor, turned state senator, Richard Pan, from using the outbreak to further expand the scope of his mandatory vaccine bill. Shortly after the outbreak, Pan (who’s 2014 campaign was backed by dozens of pharmaceutical companies)  said this on his Facebook page:

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 “it is time for all state legislatures to step in… Yes, parents have the right to refuse vaccination for their children, but to protect other parents’ and children’s rights, these families must then accept the consequences of their decision: no admittance to public preschool, school, college, or workplace.” [emphasis added]

Additionally, an article entitled “Confirmed: Disneyland Measles Outbreak Linked to Low Vaccination Rates” was published by livescience.com, then quickly republished by a multitude of sites shortly after. When you see the title you are led to believe that they have found the index case and an unvaccinated kid that started the outbreak. However, you would be wrong. In truth, as of this month, the CDC measles cases page admits the index case was never found. Interestingly enough, the page also no longer has a total number of contracted measles cases during the outbreak, which is something they have for every outbreak they review.

So, why exactly is this article being used to say low vaccination rate is linked to the outbreak, if the index case was not found?

They used a study that “created a mathematical model using data from both the official measles case counts collected by the California Department of Public Health during the outbreak and “media-reported case counts”. From that determinant, pockets of unvaccinated areas lead to the outbreak. Not to say that this study does not have any merit or that unvaccinated people did not contribute to the outbreak. But this study, and article, have been used to say that the outbreak started from a unvaccinated kid– something the study does not prove

The CDC has taken it one step further, concluding the outbreak was of the wild virus strain that most likely came from oversees. At least they have some data in the form of an outbreak review to support their claims. The CDC report in question was released during the early stages of the outbreak when there were only 51 confirmed cases. However, it seems to be the only report written showing epidemiological stats for the outbreak.

The report highlights:

  • case-patients range from 10 months to 57 years (median = 16.5 years).
  • Of the 52 outbreak-associated cases, 28 (55%) were unvaccinated, 17 (31%) had unknown vaccination status, and 6 (12%) were vaccinated.
  • Of the 6 cases vaccinated, 2 had received 1 dose and 4 had received 2 or more doses

However, here is where it gets interesting…

They say “Measles genotype information was available from 9 measles cases; all were genotype B3 and all sequences linked to this outbreak are identical.”

Why do only 9 of the 51 confirmed cases have genotype testing?

This could just be incompetents and lack of testing requirements– but then again, it could be a case of the CDC leaving out information that hurts the theory they’re pushing (that unvaccinated and lack of overall vaccination causes outbreaks). Incidentally, a child (who presented at a Boston hospital with measle-like symptoms during the outbreak) who’s samples were sent in to the CDC to get genotype testing, concluded it was measles caused by the MMR vaccination she recently received.

So, at least some hospitals send in swabs to be tested during an outbreak. However, somehow the majority of hospitals that were treating patents confirmed as part of the outbreak did not send in any swabs.

The report goes on to say the MMR vaccine is very effective but “outbreaks can occur in the U.S. when unvaccinated groups are exposed to imported measles virus.”

Boy, that last part sound familiar…

The assertion that outbreaks ONLY happen because of unvaccinated is fundamentally flawed and not accurate. Lets not even discuss the fact that the CDC knows vaccines shed, making them lairs. Lets discuss the fact that even if all the cases from the Disney outbreak are proven to be wild virus from oversees, it still would not definitively prove an unvaccinated person was the index case. After all, even though the vaccine branch of the pharmaceutical industry and CDC claim the MMR vaccine is one of the most effective vaccines, they admit it is not 100% effective– meaning a vaccinated person could have contracted the wild virus oversees and then started spreading it stateside.

The point is, it is all speculative since we don’t have all the data. We don’t know the index case, or the vaccine status for most people in the outbreak, or what strain of the virus the majority of the people contracted.

Yet, they make definitive statements claiming the outbreak is because of unvaccinated people. This is great for those pushing the vaccines because it stops people from questioning their effectiveness.

But it is pseudoscience at best.
And disinformation/propaganda at worst.

(*update the CDC did indeed update case review in February concluding 125 total case and with 30 having genotype testing showing it was the live virus. The review states they did not identify the index case)


Mumps, the second M in the MMR vaccine, can also be transmitted or contracted via viral shedding of the vaccine strain virus.

  • This Croatian case review looks at 3 children transmitting a vaccine strain of mumps to 5 adults (all parents of one of the 3 kids) who all presented with parotitis. Additionally, one parent also presented with aseptic meningitis.
  • This study describes “symptomatic transmission of the Leningrad-3 mumps vaccine virus from healthy vaccinees to previously vaccinated contacts.” The interesting thing is that some of the people in the study tested positive for the vaccine strain virus but had no symptoms, meaning they were asymptomatic carriers of the disease.

These two reviews pale in comparison to when a fully vaccinated 11-year-old who contracted the disease while in England, started a massive mumps outbreak. After the child contracted the disease in the UK he returned to attended a summer camp for Orthodox Jewish boys in Sullivan County, New York, where he became symptomatic. When all was said and done, 1,521 people in the New York and New Jersey area reported contracting the disease.

“Among the patients for whom vaccination status was reported, 88% had received at least 1 dose of mumps-containing vaccine, and 75% had received 2 doses.” according to the CDC case review.

Where was the outcry in the television media?
Where was the article after article questioning the vaccine effectiveness?
Nowhere… that’s where.

Apparently, the standard here is to blame the unvaccinated without proof. Yet say nothing when a fully vaccinated kid starts a 1500 person outbreak!

Unsurprisingly, an outbreak started by a fully vaccinated kid that transmitted mumps to a high number of partially or fully vaccinate people, did not cause question of the effectiveness of the vaccine. Instead, they claimed the MMR vaccine “remains the most effective way to prevent outbreaks and limit their size when they occur.” Later, they explain:

Beginning on January 19, 2010, in Orange County, New York, public health officials began offering a third dose of MMR vaccine in three schools where, despite documentation of a high level of 2-dose coverage among students, transmission had continued for nearly 2 months. This intervention is being carried out under an Institutional Review Board– approved protocol that provides for an evaluation of the impact of the intervention.

In other word, schools with high rates of fully vaccinated kids were still coming down with the disease and their solution was to just give them another shot.

At some point, you have to question the effectiveness of a vaccine that many doctors claim is nearly 100% effective with two doses, right?

One thing is for sure, the CDC knew that large outbreaks can start from fully vaccinated individuals. Nevertheless, during a measles outbreak, they still claim unvaccinated people are the cause.

Final thoughts

No anti vaccination advocate is saying vaccinated people can not transmit disease.

Of course they can.

The only difference is that an unvaccinated person has to come in contact with either the wild virus or the vaccine strain of the virus to contract it before he can spread it. Whereas, a recently vaccinated person has the virus in their system and does not need to contract it elsewhere to spread it.

So I ask you; who is more likely to spread the disease? The group that needs to catch the virus from someone else before being able to spread it, or the one who already has the virus??

Any logical minded person would agree that it’s the latter.

This article was not meant as an insult to those that actually believe the propaganda pushed on us. It was written to inform people who may not know that vaccine shedding is real and vaccinated people can spread disease just like unvaccinated. After all, we all want to protect ourselves and our loved ones from disease. In order to do so, we must have concise and accurate information to make knowledgeable decisions.