Merck to halt sales of ethical measles, mumps vaccines

October 31, 2009 Update:
Merck reneges on promise -See related news story from CDC at:

Previous News Release:
AUGUST 4, 2009 UPDATE:  Merck has agreed to provide the separate doses again in 2011.  Read Merck’s response to one parent who wrote. While we are pleased these morally produced measles and mumps vaccines will be available to the public again, it is disappointing parents are forced to wait 2 years for this to happen.  We encourage you to continue contacting Merck and urge them to provide the doses at least by 2010, which is certainly within their capabilities.  

Note:  Merck’s separate dose for rubella, Meruvax, uses aborted fetal cell lines and taints the entire MMR II vaccine.  The separate doses of Attenuvax (measles) and Mumpsvax (mumps) use chick embryo. Without these separate doses for measles and mumps, there will be no moral alternative for parents!  See contact information for Merck below.

Merck Focusing on Combination Vaccine

Manufacturer Stops Sales of Monovalents for Measles, Mumps, Rubella

By David Mitchell

Merck & Co. Inc. has stopped production and sales of its monovalent vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella. The manufacturer instead plans to focus on its combination vaccine, MMRII.

Merck spokeswoman Amy Rose said MMRII accounts for 98 percent of the company’s volume for measles, mumps and rubella vaccines, compared to just 2 percent from monovalent vaccines Attenuvax (measles), Mumpsvax (mumps) and Meruvax (rubella).

“The combination vaccine is what’s recommended, and it’s such a significant portion of the orders we see,” said Rose. “It’s in the best interest of public health to make more of that rather than dedicate manufacturing capacity to monovalents.”

Rose said Merck had not decided when, or if, it might make the monovalent vaccines available for sale in the future.

Doug Campos-Outcalt, M.D., M.P.A., who serves as the AAFP’s liaison to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and is a former member of the AAFP Commission on Clinical Policies and Research, said Merck’s decision was insignificant in terms of public health. He added, however, that some parents likely will be unhappy.

“The use of the single antigen is pretty limited,” he said. “There’s no harm if you need one in getting all three. There are some parents out there that want a delayed vaccine schedule. They want the vaccines spread out over a longer period of time and not so many at once. That’s a lot of hooey. Alternative schedules have never been proven to be superior.”

In December 2008, the Holy See affirmed in Dignitas Personae, that “everyone has the duty to make known their disagreement and to ask that their healthcare system make other types of vaccines available.”

Let Merck know its not “a lot of hooey” to you!
Write to voice your complaints and send a copy to the CDC

Write to Merck at:

Ken Frazier, CEO
Merck & Company
One Merck Drive  P.O. Box 100
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-0100

Call Merck to complain:  1-800-672-6372

Write to the CDC at:

Consumer Complaints
Centers for Disease Control
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA  30333

Call the CDC to complain:  1-800-232-4636

Click here to read the letter we sent to Merck.

Click here to read the letter we sent to the CDC

Want to send a group letter with signatures?  PDF form-letter available

Read the commentary: Merck Mired in Mayhem by Judie Brown, American Life League