Tag Archives: mumps

Paul Offit and the MMR ‘booster’

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I recently forwarded a letter to vaccination expert Paul Offit questioning the ethics of mandated revaccination of likely already immune children with a second dose of the live Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine (often misleadingly termed a ‘booster’), and general lack of advice re the availability of a blood test (i.e. an antibody titre test) to verify a response to vaccination with the first dose of live MMR vaccine.

The email below summarises my argument.  My detailed letter can be accessed via this hyperlink:  Letter to Paul Offit re the MMR second dose ‘booster’ vaccine

(Also refer to my webpage on the MMR ‘booster’ for more information, including correspondence to Professor Terry Nolan, Chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), and Tanya Plibersek, the Australian Federal Government Health Minister.)


From: Elizabeth Hart <eliz.hart25@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 3:41 PM
Subject: Letter to Paul Offit re the MMR second dose ‘booster’ vaccine

Professor Offit

Please see attached a detailed letter addressed to you questioning the ethics of mandated revaccination of likely already immune children with a second dose of the live Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine (misleadingly termed a ‘booster’), and general lack of advice re the availability of a blood test (i.e. an antibody titre test) to verify a response to vaccination with the live MMR vaccine.

I suggest that parents of small children are not being properly informed of the option for antibody titre testing rather than an arbitrary second dose of live MMR vaccine.  Two doses of MMR vaccine are mandated in many US states, and also in other countries such as Australia.  These mandates conflict with the obligation for ‘informed consent’ before vaccination.

Parents of small children might be surprised to discover that vaccination ‘best practice’ for companion animals is now more advanced than that for children, with vaccination guidelines for dogs re live vaccines recommending titre testing rather than an arbitrary ‘booster’, i.e.:

“…the principles of ‘evidence-based veterinary medicine’ would dictate that testing for antibody status (for either pups or adult dogs) is a better practice than simply administering a vaccine booster on the basis that this should be ‘safe and cost less'”.[1]

We are on a slippery slope when the state dictates questionable medical interventions for citizens (including ‘pre-citizens’, i.e. children).  I suggest the arbitrary second dose of the MMR vaccine, often inappropriately described as a ‘booster’, is a questionable medical intervention.

Professor Offit, you are on the record acknowledging that antibody titre testing is an option rather than an arbitrary second dose of live MMR vaccine.[2]  I request your assistance in bringing attention to this matter, which I discuss further in my letter attached.

I would appreciate your response.


Elizabeth Hart

*This email and letter is also being circulated to the following:

  • Professor Alan Cohen, Physician-in-Chief and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Professor Simon Wain-Hobson, Board Chair, The Foundation for Vaccine Research
  • Professor Brian Martin, Social Sciences, University of Wollongong
  • Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne
  • Sir Gus Nossal, Chair of the Oversight Committee for the Australian Academy of Science publication “The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers”
  • Dr Vittorio Demicheli, Cochrane Vaccines Field
  • Dr James Wood, School of Public Health & Community Medicine, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Ronald Schultz, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Michael Day, Chairperson, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Emeritus Marian Horzinek, previous member of the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Jolle Kirpensteijn, EB Liaison, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Committee
  • Professor Hajime Tsujimoto, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Richard Squires, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Emeritus Richard Ford, member of the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines Task Force
  • Bea Mies, independent advocate for judicial vaccine use

and will also be circulated to other parties.

[1]Day, M.J., Horzinek, M.C., Schultz, R.D. World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA) Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats. Journal of Small Animal Practice. Vol. 51. June 2010: http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/VaccinationGuidelines2010.pdf

[2] UPDATE:  Previously on Babycenter.com Paul Offit said: “Not having a booster is an option (although an expensive one) for the MMR booster…The first dose of the MMR vaccine, which your child should receive at 12 to 15 months successfully immunizes 95 percent of children against measles, mumps, and rubella…To find out whether your child has responded to the first MMR shot, you can have the doctor do a blood test called an “antibody titer”…If your child’s test shows that he has the MMR antibodies, he doesn’t need a booster shot…”.   Offit has now reneged on this advice in a contradictory manner and without evidence.  I am pursuing this matter further.

“Tot given MMR jab without mum’s permission”

This recent report in the UK publication the Liverpool Echo describes how a nurse gave a four year old boy a measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) live vaccine, against his mother’s explicit wishes: “Liverpool NHS trust probe launched after tot given MMR jab without mum’s permission“.

It is unclear from the article if the boy had previously been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. Children are likely to be immune after the first shot of this ‘live’ vaccine. For instance the ‘live’ measles vaccine appears to be one of the few vaccines likely to provide lifelong immunity, much like natural infection. I question arbitrary revaccination with this vaccine product, particularly as serological testing can indicate if a person is already immune.  Currently, parents are unlikely to be informed of this option.

Cautious parents may prefer the option of serological testing for their children, rather than arbitrary revaccination, and may be willing to pay to verify a response to vaccination, i.e. evidence-based medicine.  It appears unlikely from the Liverpool Echo article that the boy’s mother was given this option. 

In Australia, new vaccination guidelines state that children who were vaccinated with the MMR vaccine at 12 months will have to undergo revaccination with the MMR + V (varicella/chickenpox) at 18 months, despite the fact  they are likely to be already immune to measles, mumps and rubella.  I am following up on this matter, see my recent email to Professor Terry Nolan, Chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

On the subject of ‘advisory groups on immunisation’, there is inadequate transparency regarding members of vaccination committees who dictate government vaccination schedules. These people are not subject to the scrutiny of the electorate, and yet they wield enormous power. Who exactly are the people on these committees? Do they have any relationships with vaccine manufacturers? Potential ‘conflict of interest’ information is not currently publicly declared in Australia.

It’s time to question the multitude of vaccine products being pressed upon children and adults. Vaccine industry-funded studies published in ‘peer-reviewed’ journals are used to push vaccine products, but just how reliable is this information? The term ‘peer-review’ has lost currency in this highly conflicted area.

We are being coerced into having repeated vaccinations with vaccines of questionable value, which provide so-called ‘immunity’ that ‘wanes’, e.g. whooping cough ‘boosters’ and annual flu vaccines. Is this what passes for the ‘science’ of immunisation? Children are also being lined up for the 3 shot experimental HPV vaccine, the long-term effects of which are unknown.

Doctors and nurses are over-stepping the mark in forcing people and children to have questionable vaccinations. What expertise do these people have in the areas of immunology and vaccinology beyond reading vaccine manufacturers’ vaccination instructions, and questionable government vaccination schedules?

We are now in the invidious situation where healthy people/children have to justify not having government ‘recommended’/mandated medical interventions of questionable value, in the shape of the ever-growing vaccination schedule. We are on a slippery slope and it’s about time people woke up to the ‘big picture’ on this and the potential dangerous infringement on our human rights.

When is somebody going to blow the whistle on the lucrative exploitation and over-vaccination of people that is currently being allowed to run unchecked?

In whose interests is this vast global vaccine market being developed? Where are the ethicists on this issue?

It’s about time the lawyers stepped up to protect people’s human rights and challenged government ‘recommended’/mandated vaccinations of questionable value.

For further background re the MMR ‘booster’ refer to “Is the MMR ‘booster’ necessary?“.

MMR + Varicella – required in Australia July 2013

An article published recently in the Australian online publication AdelaideNow: “Chief medical officer Paddy Phillips says it’s time to end debate on jabs” refers to “the release of two major studies…” on chickenpox and the 2009 outbreak of H1N1, and appears to be an advertorial for chickenpox and flu vaccination.

On the subject of chickenpox vaccination, the MMR + V (i.e. MMR plus varicella/chickenpox vaccines) is being rolled out in Australia and, according to the Australian Government’s “Definition of ‘fully immunised’ for the Family Tax Benefit Part A Supplement“, from July 2013 will be required at 18 months of age (after the first MMR vaccine at 12 months).

The paper re chickenpox/varicella referred to in the AdelaideNow article is “Changes in Patterns of Hospitalized Children with Varicella and of Associated Varicella“.  The paper has been published online by The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal (POST ACCEPTANCE, 17 December 2012)

The paper is not currently freely accessible on the journal website.  (UPDATE 23 March 2014: The final version of this paper is now freely accessible online: “Changes in Patterns of Hospitalized Children with Varicella and of Associated Varicella Genotypes After Introduction of Varicella Vaccine in Australia“)

The corresponding author is Helen Marshall, Vaccinology and Immunology Research Trials Unit, Discipline of Paediatrics, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, North Adelaide, South Australia.  The Disclosures statement on the paper notes:

“Helen Marshall has been a member of vaccine advisory boards for Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKine Biologicals and her institution has received funding for investigator led research from Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi-Pasteur, and has received travel support from Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals and CSL to present scientific data at international meetings.” 

Marshall’s paper refers to two varicella vaccines, Varilrix (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals) and VARIVAX (Merck & Co).

There was no reference to the disclosure information in the AdelaideNow article…  (AdelaideNow is a News Limited publication.)

For more background on the MMR vaccine, in particular arbritrary revaccination with the second dose see Measles / Mumps / Rubella (MMR) ‘booster’.