I appreciate this level of engagement and discussion, as opposed to ad hominem attacks, though describing the accurate statement of mortality rate from a specific cause as “an anti-vax tactic” is a bit silly.
Yes, the mortality rate of 1 out of 500,000 reflects number of measles associated deaths out of the total 1963 population. Your logic that mainly only children were getting the measles, and that we should therefore disregard the figure out of the total population misses one very important, very significant and critical point. Why were mainly only children contracting measles? Because when measles was allowed to circulate freely so that people contracted it as children, they gained immunity and received exposure boosts throughout their lifetimes as the virus circulated throughout the environment. A wonderfully complex and effective system which resulted in 364 measles related deaths out of a total population of 189.2 million in 1963. To narrow our perspective from any other stat is not taking the whole picture into account.
Before the vaccine was in use, we had real herd immunity. Babies were protected by their mother’s innate and acquired measles immunity passed on to them through the placenta and breastmilk. And the elderly were immune, as they had lifetime immunity acquired through childhood measles and continued exposure boosts. Now, that’s no longer the case.
And to top it off, due to the lack of exposure boosts (something it seems initial vaccine science completely forgot to take into account in their attempt at replicating herd immunity), the vaccine becomes less effective. So we can expect the call for another booster or a new vaccine. It’s Homer Simpson science at its finest.
And as you point out, the vaccine has reduced the incidence of measles, which logically reduces the incidence of deaths associated with measles. But at what cost?