TRUE OR FALSE: The measles vaccine is safe and effective for everyone. Answer: False
The measles vaccine is neither safe nor effective for every person. No vaccine is. By itself, that is not a good enough reason to forgo vaccination. But it’s certainly a reason to research and consider whether a particular vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks enough to go through with it.
And like all vaccines, the measles vaccine comes with risks. According to the Physicians’ Desk Reference, adverse reactions to the measles vaccine include:
• Anaphylactoid reactions
• Aseptic meningitis
• Guillain-Barre syndrome
• Optic neuritis
• Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
In addition, approximately 1:640 people immunized with MMR develop seizures for up to two weeks following vaccination. These seizures are often characterized as “febrile,” and 5 percent of febrile seizures progress to recurring seizures that can cause permanent harm.
It’s estimated that the vaccine causes 5,700 seizures annually in the U.S. The seizure risk is an adverse effect of the measles vaccine that every parent should be informed about.