Edmonston B, Measles, Vaccination?
February 21, 2013 11:43 AM Subscribe
I just finished reading an article from the New York Times Magazine about controversial anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon. One thing in particular about the article struck me- there is a claim (at least that's how I read it) that measles vaccine caused a breakout of measles in a group of isolated indigenous people that did not have measles exposure or immunity. I'm confused because I'm pretty sure you can't get measles from vaccine. Is there something different about the Edmonston B vaccine?
posted by forkisbetter to science & nature (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
*please do not comment if you are just going to deny the efficacy of vaccines generally. I am interested in scientifically corroborated evidence related to this specific case.
Here's the quote from the article from the New York Times Magazine
"In his galleys, Tierney speculated that Neel, who died in 2000, hoped to simulate a measles epidemic among the Yanomami as part of a genetics experiment. In the published book, this theory was no longer explicit — Tierney had made last-minute changes — but it was insinuated. “Measles,” Tierney wrote, “was tailor-made for experiments.” Moreover, Neel’s choice of vaccine, Edmonston B, “was a bold decision from a research perspective” because it “provided a model much closer to real measles than other, safer vaccines, in the attempt to resolve the great genetic question of selective adaptation.” Although he quoted a leading measles researcher emphatically denying that measles vaccine can transmit the virus, he nevertheless maintained that it was “unclear whether the Edmonston B became transmissible or not.” (This line was excised from the paperback edition.)"