In July 2018, two young children died shortly after being injected with a contaminated measles-mumps-rubella vaccine in a clinic in Samoa. A nurse, it turned out, had mixed the vaccine powder with expired muscle relaxant instead of water. It was a tragic error that cut two lives short and sent the nurse and another colleague to prison for negligence.

But it was an accident, not evidence that vaccines are inherently dangerous. Nevertheless, anti-vaccination activists seized upon this sad story to push their false narrative that immunizations are more harmful to children than the diseases they are designed to protect against. It’s hogwash, of course. Years of data and scientific study have confirmed that vaccines are overwhelmingly safe. And the fact that a disease that killed millions of people, most of them of babies and children, on a regular basis before MMR vaccines were widely available now has a fatality rate just a fraction of that should be proof itself that immunization works.

Credit: CDC

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