A mumps outbreak recently occurred at Syracuse University despite the fact that students were vaccinated. Merck & Co, which is the company that made the vaccine, has been accused of deceptive marketing. Stephen A. Krahling and Joan A. Wlochowskia filed a lawsuit against the company in 2010. They are former employees and accused the company of deceptive marketing.
Stephen and Joan stated that they knew that a resurgence of mumps would occur. The effectiveness of the vaccine has been decreasing since 2010. Merck & Co. is a company that is based in New Jersey. The company brings in $40 billion in revenue each year. They have denied the allegations.
Vaccine Failure Leads to Outbreak
The outbreak at Syracuse University has raised questions about the effectiveness of the vaccine. All of the students received the two required doses of the vaccine. Stephen and Joan are former virologists. They stated that Merck had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because the vaccine did not provide enough protection.
Stephen and Joan stated that the company said the vaccine was 95 percent effective. However, the real efficacy rate is less than that. They allege that the failure of the vaccine is what caused the outbreak to occur.
Whistleblowers Say They Were Threatened With Jail
Joan and Stephen worked at a Merck lab located in West Point, Pennslyvania. They saw firsthand how data was manipulated in order to conceal the efficacy of the vaccine. They also stated that they were forced to participate in the fraud. Furthermore, they stated that they were told that they could go to jail if they told the Food and Drug Administration.
They are seeking a compensation that is three times the amount the damages suffered by the United States. They also want to get the maximum allowable award. The lawsuit stated that the government has had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of the fraud.
Vaccine Cut the Prevalence of Mumps
Mumps is a contagious disease that is passed through respiratory and saliva secretions. It causes muscle aches, tiredness, headache and fever. The mumps vaccine is administered as a part of the MMR combination vaccine. It is given in two doses. The first dose is given between 12 and 14 months. The second dose is given between the ages of 4 and 6.
There were 186,000 mumps cases reported each year before the vaccine came out in 1967. Mumps cases decreased by 99 percent after the vaccine came out.
Resurgence Started in 2006
In 2006, mumps began to resurge. There were 6,353 mumps cases reported in 2016. Many of these outbreaks occurred on college campuses among students who had been vaccinated.
Vaccine Immunity Decreases After 10 Years
The immunity only lasts for 10 years. This is around the time that many young people start college. Rubella was eliminated in America in 2005. Measles was eliminated in 2000. However, these diseases started to come back when parents started to opt out of vaccines.
Mumps was never eliminated, but the vaccine greatly decreased mumps cases. It also decreased the risk of developing serious complications from mumps. Syracuse University has responded to the outbreak by offering people a third dose of the vaccine. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone who is at a high risk for developing mumps get a third dose.