European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 34, Issue 10, pp 893–896 | Cite as

Measles vaccine immune escape: Should we be concerned?

  • Luojun Yang
  • Bryan T. Grenfell
  • Michael J. MinaEmail author

Introductions of measles containing vaccines, initially in the United States in 1963, the United Kingdom in 1968, and globally thereafter have caused measles cases to plunge worldwide over the past half-century [1]. By any metric, the measles vaccine is among the most successful public health interventions of modern times and is directly responsible for the near elimination of the virus in much of the world—an incredible achievement for a pathogen that only 50 years ago infected almost every child born. It is estimated that since the year 2000, the measles vaccine has prevented over 21 million deaths from acute measles virus infections globally [2]. Furthermore, new ecological and immunological evidence suggests that this number could be far greater—by preventing measles-associated long-term “immunological-amnesia” [3, 4]. However, despite the magnificent successes of the global measles vaccine program, including a declaration of measles elimination in the Americas that persisted...


Author contributions

All authors contributing equally to this work.


This work was funded by the National Institutes of Health (DP5-OD028145 to MJM and a Fogarty International Center Grant to BTG).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Fogarty International CenterNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, Department of Epidemiology, Department of Immunology and Infectious DiseasesHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of PathologyBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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