Vaccine Failure

Vaccines are not claimed to be effective in the literal sense, but rather the theoretical sense – vaccines temporarily increase antibodies, antibodies imply immunity and therefore they’re claimed to be effective. Reviewing the product monographs (inserts) of all the commonly recommended vaccines shows that all were claimed to be “effective” by the presence of antibodies.

This creates a problem because the presence of antibodies does not automatically create immunity as people with high levels of antibodies can still get sick, while those with low levels don’t. Science sets arbitrary antibody levels as evidence of immunity. Despite this, when actually exposed to real world infections vaccines routinely fail to provide protection even when the patient has received multiple doses on time.

Waning Immunity

“Pertussis vaccines are effective, but not perfect. They typically offer good levels of protection within the first 2 years after getting the vaccine, but then protection decreases over time. Public health experts call this ‘waning immunity.’ Similarly, natural infection may also only protect you for a few years.

CDC estimates that in the first year after getting vaccinated with Tdap, it protects about 7 out of 10 people who receive it. There is a decrease in effectiveness in each following year. About 3 or 4 out of 10 people are fully protected 4 years after getting Tdap.”U.S. Center For Disease Control (CDC)

This waning immunity is a characteristic of all vaccines we receive. When mass vaccination really began in the 1960’s it was thought that a single vaccination would be sufficient to provide life long immunity. When that didn’t work, they added a booster. When that didn’t work, they added another booster. Several vaccines now require multiple boosters to maintain their claim of effectiveness.

With most vaccination induced “immunity” lasting just a few years, many kids have lost immunity by the time they reach adulthood. In the case of Pertussis, as the CDC notes, less than 40% of children are protected four years after being vaccinated. As a result, it is impossible to ever acheive herd immunity via vaccinations unless the entire population were to get all vaccines every couple years which of course is not the case.

Results of Waning Immunity

The results of this waning immunity are evident in the 2017, CDC Pertussis Surveillance Report which noted that 44% of the infected had three or more doses of a pertussis containing vaccine, and an additional 6% had at least one dose. Only 10% were entirely unvaccinated.

This failure is not specific to pertussis, but is common to most vaccines as nearly every outbreak of vaccine preventable disease occurs in vaccinated populations.

Major Measles Epidemic in the Region of Quebec Despite a 99% Vaccine Coverage
“The vaccination coverage among cases was at least 84.5%. Vaccination coverage for the total population was 99.0%. Incomplete vaccination coverage is not a valid explanation for the Quebec City measles outbreak.”
Canadian Journal of Public Health

Challenges in Interpretation of Diagnostic Test Results in a Mumps Outbreak in a Highly Vaccinated Population.
“This is the first published report of an outbreak of mumps in Ontario in which all confirmed cases had been vaccinated against the disease.”
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology

Transmission of measles among a highly vaccinated school population–Anchorage, Alaska, 1998.
“During August 10-November 23, 1998, 33 confirmed measles cases were reported to the Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (ADHSS). Of these, 26 cases were confirmed by positive rubeola IgM antibody test, and seven met the clinical case definition. This was the largest outbreak of measles in the United States since 1996. This report summarizes results of the epidemiologic investigation conducted by ADHSS and underscores the importance of second-dose requirements for measles vaccine.”
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Risk factors for measles vaccine failure among immunized students.
“An outbreak of measles occurred in a municipal school system which had reported 98% of students immunized against measles.”

Outbreak of measles among persons with prior evidence of immunity, New York City, 2011.
Report of measles transmission from a twice-vaccinated individual with documented secondary vaccine failure.” – Clinical Infectious Diseases

Outbreak of Varicella in Elementary School Children With Two-Dose Varicella Vaccine recipients, Arkansas, 2006
“In October 2006, the Arkansas Department of Health was notified of a varicella outbreak among students where some received a second dose during an outbreak-related vaccination campaign in February 2006. Varicella vaccination coverage was 97% (2-dose, 39%; 1-dose, 58%). This outbreak is the first to document varicella in both 1- and 2-dose vaccine recipients; both groups had mild disease.”
Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal

38% of measles cases that were tested in the 2015 US outbreak were vaccine strain measles.
“During the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees (3). Of the 194 measles virus sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences”.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology

More Cases of Vaccine Failure
Many more cases of vaccine failure are catalogued in our reference database. Search for “vaccine failure” using the search feature anywhere on our site bring up dozens of cited examples. Or click here.

Risks Versus Benefits

Informed consent means understanding both the risks as well as the benefits of a medical intervention. With rapidly waning immunity a common characteristic of nearly all vaccines which results in vaccine failure during almost every outbreak, we must question what the actual benefits of vaccination are. According to the literature and even the Centers for Disease control, vaccines are far from a silver bullet in combating infectious disease.

In this context, the risks of vaccination might exceed the benefits for certain portions of the population. Which is why we urge all citizens to make informed decisions with a complete understanding of both the risks and the potential benefits of a medical intervention.



  • Vaccines are claimed to be effective if they can elicit a temporary antibody response.
  • A temporary antibody response is not proof of immunity.
  • The protection vaccines provide rapidly wanes over time.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals are routinely infected during outbreaks.
  • Outbreaks routinely occur in fully or nearly fully vaccinated populations.
  • With limited ability to actually prevent infection, the claimed benefits of vaccination must be called into question and provide limited weight in the equation of “risks versus benefits” when making an informed decision.



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