Association Between Vaccine Refusal and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States A Review of Measles and Pertussis


Evidence Type: Research (Generic)
Phadke VK, Bednarczyk RA, Salmon DA, Omer SB. Association Between Vaccine Refusal and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States: A Review of Measles and Pertussis. JAMA. 2016;315(11):1149-1158. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1353. - Causes of Outbreaks of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States | Pediatrics | JAMA | The JAMA Network Score: 0.0/0.0


This research looks at outbreaks of measles and pertussis (whooping cough) in the United States. Not surprisingly it finds that those who are unvaccinated are over represented in the figures. For example, in the measles outbreaks those who had chosen to not be vaccinated (not including those exempted on medical grounds) accounted for approximately 42% of those who fell ill. This is a staggering number considering normally this portion of the population sits around 5% to 10%.

This research is discussed in these articles



Strength/Weakness 1

Strong strength: Adequate Sample Size

This research looked at a large number of outbreaks spanning many individual infections

Strength/Weakness 2

This research was funded by a group with interests in vaccine safety, however there are no indications that any tampering of the data occured as a result of the source of funding.

Strength/Weakness 3

Mild weakness: Industry Independence

The authors have ties to various vaccine manufacturers and groups interested in vaccine safety. There are no indications this has contaminated the data shown or research performed in any way.

Strength/Weakness 4

Mild strength: Well Designed Research

The researchers made sure to include the most relevant and accurate data.

Conclusion 1

This research indicates that vaccination against measles significantly reduces the odds of catching the disease.

Conclusion 2

This research shows that the whooping cough vaccines is good at preventing infection from the disease This in spite of recent concerns about the current vaccines wearing off over time

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