My Family and the Measles Vaccine

March 23, 2023

Sixty years ago, in March 1963, the U.S. Surgeon General granted licenses to two drug companies to produce the first measles vaccines. It had taken nine years of research before a vaccine was ready for release to the public. That was too late for my sister, Mary Maura Grimaldi, who died at age 6 of encephalitis caused by measles, on the same day the licenses were announced.

By contrast, it took only about a year for scientists to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. The difference was largely due to advances in research technology and $18 billion in taxpayer funds, said Dr. Paul Rota, chief of Viral Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Perhaps a more important difference is that most Americans ultimately embraced the measles shot, urged on by a “no shots, no school” campaign requiring vaccinations for all students, noted Dr. Walt Orenstein, a professor of epidemiology at Emory University.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

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