Measleds killed nearly 2,000 people in Denmark in February.
This month, the Danish government declared the vaccine a success, despite fears of an increased risk of respiratory infection and other complications from the virus.
But there is still some debate over the safety of the vaccine.
“The question is, is the vaccine safe?” asks Erik Lassman, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“If we want to go back to the 1950s, when the measles vaccine was being developed, is there a safety risk for this vaccine?
Or are we still in the same place we were in 20 years ago?”
There’s been a lot of discussion in the last few months, but no consensus about the safety, Lassmans says.
“There are a lot more questions than answers about this vaccine.”
The Vaccine Safety Datalink, an independent group of researchers, released a report last month saying there is no scientific consensus on whether the vaccine is safe.
But that didn’t stop a vocal group of lawmakers from trying to push through a bill that would make the vaccine more expensive and require that the vaccine be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“It’s the same argument that was made against the HPV vaccine,” says Paul Sperry, a health economist at George Washington University who studies vaccines.
“They were trying to do something that would be a lot less expensive, which would increase the amount of vaccines, and that’s why the FDA approved the HPV vaccines.”
A federal judge in September rejected the bill, finding that it didn’t meet the state’s requirements for a vaccine that is safe and effective.
But the vaccine remains on the docket, and the government is looking at how to revise it.
Lassminas says the government could consider changing the formula to better balance the cost and safety of each vaccine.
But he thinks that could take years.
“This is something that’s been going on for decades now,” he says.
And with the virus spreading faster than ever, vaccines are being rushed through quickly.
There are still a few more weeks left in the year, and Lassmann says the debate over how to get the vaccine to people faster will only intensify as more people get sick.
“What I would expect is that the government will eventually be looking at these kinds of things and will say, ‘You know what?
Let’s not do it,'” Lassmen says.