MMR is one of the most studied vaccines in the world, given that Andrew Wakefield maligned it in a fraudulent paper. Measles goes into the brain in one out of 1000 cases. It's not the weak or fragile, it's just random. This is where the deaths tend to occur. There were 72 deaths from measles in Europe in 2018 but 110,000 deaths globally in 2017, the most recent year for which I could get a global total.
Pertussis (whooping cough) is the vaccine preventable illness from which I've personally witnessed the most deaths. If you are over 5, you'll cough your lungs out for a hundred days. If you are a baby, there's a decent chance you die. My most recent death from pertussis was an Amish baby, in 2013. He was exclusively breast fed. They lived on a farm in Wisconsin, way out in the boonies, and raised their own food. All his older siblings got the whooping cough, and he died. That's how it used to go.
Our first vaccine for pertussis was rather effective, but also caused very real side effects in some people. We switched to acellular pertussis vaccine over 20 years ago and now pertussis immunity is less persistent - you need to get boosters - all y'all, folks! It's in the tetanus vaccine (Tdap) that you should get every 10 years. You heard about the boy who got tetanus, right?
Strep pneumococcus is the bacteria that the Prevnar vaccine protects against. When I would bargain with parents about vaccines, I used to be willing to delay the Prevnar vaccine in order to make sure the kid got the pertussis vaccine. I thought "well, it causes pneumonia, but that's not so bad." Then we had a non-vaccinated toddler, 16 months old (not sure how this happened, our vaccine policy insists on pertussis, prevnar and MMR) get strep pneumo. It causes necrotizing pneumonia
. The kid was in the hospital for a month. He was in the ICU for 8 days. He was intubated for a week. The PICU docs kept consulting the surgeons saying "Don't you want to stick a chest tube in this kid and suck out some of this goo?" and the surgeons were like "No, we really don't. You're doing fine, keep doing what you're doing." After he got off the ventilator, he went into renal failure, because apparently that's a thing that happens when you get strep pneumo. So, he went onto dialysis. At the end he required physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy because he'd regressed in his skills.
My brother in law is severely hearing impaired due to congenital rubella. My dad suffered from post-polio syndrome in his last years. The diseases are real.
So yeah, I've been living this for decades now, and I've developed some rather strong opinions. I think vaccines get blamed for all sorts of things they have nothing to do with. I'm more worried about the toxic stew in which we all live and breathe and bathe.
As I say nearly every day at work, I went into pediatrics because I love children. And so I make them cry. Every. Single. Day.