Antivax Trick #2: Measles declined before the vaccine

Antivax Trick #2: Measles declined before the vaccine

Read how antivaxxers are now causing measles cases to skyrocket.

The above graph comes up quite a bit, perhaps because all the data is true...but misrepresented.

At first glance, it looks like something was fighting measles already and those useless vaccines in the 60s stepped in to take all the credit.

In fact, this is a common technique to manipulate data to tell the story you want to tell. First, let's note this is a chart of death from measles, not total cases. So it's a great thing that medicine outside of vaccines advanced enough to prevent death...but having measles is no walk in the park. Did you know having measles can erase previous immunity from other diseases? It's like amnesia for your immune system.

How measles wipes out the body’s immune memory: Study details the mechanism and scope of measles-induced immune amnesia in the wake of infection
A new study shows that measles wipes out 20 to 50 percent of antibodies against an array of viruses and bacteria, depleting a child’s previous immunity. A measles-ravaged immune system must ‘relearn’ how to protect the body against infections. The study details the mechanism and scope of this measle…

The low red line you see in the graph is the continuation of the grey area in the first graph. As you can see, there's a whole lot more to the story and we easily see a strong correlation with cases of measles following the introduction of the MMR vaccine in 1963.

See the entire series

Common Data Manipulations of Antivaxxers
This post serves as an index of our “Antivax Trick” series showcasing common copy-and-paste arguments shared amongs the antivax community 1. Vaccines are killing and injuring people [/evidence-vaccine-injury-is-almost-nonexistent/] 2. Measles declined before the vaccine [/antivax-trick-2-…
Adam Grant

Adam Grant