Vaccination Information Service

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Pneumococcal vaccination

New pneumococcal vaccine - an even worse betrayal of trust??

April 2005

Published in “New Vegetarian and Natural Health”, Winter 2005.  

Hayley Graves was 9 months old and described by her father Ray Graves as “perfectly healthy, happy” until she received her second dose of Prevenar. 30 hours later, she was in hospital having seizures that could not be stopped and continued almost the entire next 45 days with her slipping in and out of a coma until she died.1 

Starting from the 1st of January 2005, due to a move that was facilitated last year by a political jostle between the major parties that no doubt pleased both parties’ big business sponsors no end, newborn Australians from six weeks old are now subjected to yet another vaccine that for some is fatal, which is the new pneumococcal vaccine, Prevenar.

So are tax payers getting any benefit for risking losing their children’s lives?

You would like to think so. Totalling over $240 per child including all 3 scheduled doses, this is one of the most expensive vaccines in history.

So let us examine the purpose of this vaccine, whether it is effective at achieving it, what the adverse effects are and what the real reason is for its provision.

The purpose of this vaccine

Like many parents, Ray and Lisa Graves were told by their paediatrician that Prevenar would help to prevent "otitis media" - ear infections. Parents are officially being told this by government, and in doctors’ continuing education the so-called “correct” answer to: “Which type of pneumococcal disease is the Prevenar vaccine effective in preventing?” is "all of the above", including "acute otitis media."

Yet Prevenar was never licensed to prevent ear infections, and in fact, clinical trials have not demonstrated any ability of it to do so,2 as the control group is always given another, sometimes even experimental vaccine, the best result being only 7% less ear infections than the experimental vaccine group. It is claimed to reduce the number of ear infections from some bacteria, but admitted to increase the number caused by others.

Prevenar was actually approved officially to fight some strains of pneumococcal meningitis, pneumonia, and bacteremia. Critics say there's not enough threat to frighten parents into getting the vaccine, but because ear infections are (now) so common (4 cases for every 3 children born), recommending Prevenar for that purpose can generate much more interest.

So what is the risk of developing these diseases?

According to studies quoted by Prevenar’s manufacturer, if your child is over two years old, he or she has about a 1 in 5,000 chance of being diagnosed with a pneumococcal disease. If your child is under two, the risk is 7.5 in 5,000. The mortality rate, though, is much lower, at approximately 1 in 178,571 children from pneumococcal meningitis which is 3 Australian children every 2 years.

However even these figures misleadingly exaggerate the risk for most children, particularly those unvaccinated. To explain why this is, the cause of such diseases must be understood.

Like meningococcus, up to 30% of people host this gram-positive bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae, at any given time without illness. Apart from questions as to the ambitiousness and practicality of trying to contain such a common bacteria, a fundamental question is what provokes these common bacteria on such relatively infrequent occasions to cause severe illness (particularly rare in the case of meningitis)?

Louis Pasteur answered this with the words he is said to have uttered on his death bed:

“The seed is nothing, the soil is everything”, meaning that the cause of illness, or “dis-ease”, is not the microbe itself but the condition of the host. Bacteria are opportunistic. In a healthy, well nourished, oxygen-rich environment in the body, the bacteria that thrive are aerobic and do not produce highly toxic waste products. The immune system will also of course be functioning optimally. Where there is any dead, waste or foreign matter to be cleaned up and eliminated from the body, bacteria will change into change into a form that is appropriate for that purpose and such bacteria will tend more to be anaerobic that in turn produce their own toxins. However in a healthy body there will be little material that provokes the multiplication of such bacteria, which are also kept in check by a properly functioning immune system.

So what causes the unhealthy environment? Needless to say malnourishment will, but what is a more direct factor in our modern, developed world is the poisons to which we are constantly exposed. They cause our systems to function less effectively, which also increases our need for various nutrients, particularly for the restoration of good health.

Stress, cooked, particularly microwaved, food and lack of sleep will cause an internally produced toxic load, and environmental poisons can include antibiotics, hormones, pollution, drugs, etc. However, there is little awareness of what is demonstrably the most dominant source of poisons we now encounter and which, without further exposure, tends to subtly or severely affect us permanently (though it can be somewhat countered afterwards).

Provocation by vaccination

This source is vaccines – their contents and damaging invasive delivery, which is repeated many times over. The toxic contents, whose amounts vary unpredictably between batches (hence the industry term “hot lots”), include among many chemicals, formaldehyde, mercury (found to be still in vaccines, contrary to manufacturers’ claims3), aluminium compounds and phenol, all of which even individually are well known immune system sensitisers, meaning they increase susceptibility to infection – the exact opposite of an immunising effect as claimed. The direct injection of foreign material is also known to have an immune sensitising, also called “anaphylactic”, effect.

The non-specific immunosuppressive effect of vaccines has been observed and documented for more than 100 years. Dr Wright (1901)4, a British army surgeon, wrote about “The changes effected by antityphoid inoculation on the bactericidal power of the blood”, which can last months or more after vaccination.

Craighead (1975)4 revealed the sensitising effect of vaccines resulting in an accentuated pattern of disease upon natural or experimental exposure.

Vogel et al. (1983)4 described inhibition of the primary antibody response by pertussis (whooping cough) toxin injected in the PT (part of DPT) vaccine.

There are dozens more such articles, DTP and Hib being the best researched vaccines.

Tomasz (1994)4 wrote that “During the past decade gram-positive bacteria have gradually emerged as the most frequent causes of nosocomial (hospital-related) disease.” That was when vaccination was greatly intensified.

Does Prevenar work at all?

Apart from saccharides of 7 serotypes of the bacteria, this vaccine contains aluminium compounds, diphtheria toxoid and latex. It is made using bovine (cow) tissue, which the manufacturer claims is not in the final product, however given the difficulty of complete removal, the falsity of the usual sam mercury-free claim and an allegation of corner-cutting in the production5, it is safer to assume that some may remain, along with contaminant bovine viruses. Like all vaccines, this material is directly injected, bypassing critical

defences which are also vital for developing immunity, hence vaccines make the recipient more, not less, vulnerable to infections - “sensitised”, not “immunised” as claimed. (Note that vaccine-induced antibodies have never been shown to bring immunity. Outbreaks, indeed deaths6, have occurred in people with high levels of vaccine-induced antibodies.)

The vaccine may also provoke the bacteria to change to other more virulent serotypes, as occurred in the UK with the meningococcal C vaccine - a 25% increase in meningococcal B7.

The studies claiming effectiveness described on the product insert have been provided by the manufacturer, with close ties to the researchers, and the “control” group was not unvaccinated but given an alternative vaccine. In the principle study this was an experimental meningococcal vaccine. It is only recommended for healthy (low risk) children, yet it has still been reported to have failed in such children.8

Dr. Erdem Cantekin, PhD Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh, lecturing on Prevnar at the 2nd International Vaccine Information Center Conference Sep 9 2000, Washington DC, stated "It is an ineffective and toxic vaccine.”

Misrepresentation of the effectiveness of vaccination began when vaccination did. The virtual wipe out of diseases occurred before the vaccines were introduced, yet vaccines were given the credit. As each vaccine has failed, the “authorities” have made stricter the disease diagnostic guidelines and/or criteria, which then feign success, a classic example being polio.9

Adverse effects

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics,10 Prevenar is one of the most reactogenic of vaccines, causing excessive numbers of local reactions. It is also too new for any long term studies.

The product insert admits safety tests were done only on healthy infants and cautions about giving it those at higher risk of infection.

It also admits that each of the following adverse effects: injection site reactions, fever (>38ºC), irritability, nervous system disorders (drowsiness, restless sleep) and gastrointestinal disorders (decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea), occur in more than 10%, and seizures in 0.01-0.1%, of recipients, within 2-3 days after vaccination. It neglects to mention that most of these are symptoms, and may be the only symptoms, of encephalitis or meningitis, in which the body is trying to protect the brain from this unnaturally deep invasion. These symptoms do not have to last for damage to the brain to last, ranging from an unnoticeable lowering of IQ right through to mental retardation. Also the follow up did not continue after 3 days, despite the fact that the most serious effects do not usually appear that soon. Other effects that have been reported include asthma, ear infections(!), invasive pneumococcal infections(!), rash, hypersensitivity reactions, angioneurotic oedema, erythema multiforme, uticaria, pruritis, lymphadenopathy, immune-mediated events, thrombocytopenia and serum sickness.11 Prevenar has not been evaluated for carcinogenicity, mutagenicity or impairment of fertility.

In one trial, of 17,066 subjects, there were 162 visits to the emergency room within 3 days of a dose, and 12 deaths (5 “SIDS” and 7 “with clear alternative cause”).10

Dr. Cantekin said that a study by the vaccine's own manufacturer shows seizures happened 4 times more often in infants given Prevenar than in the “control” group. Further, a team of investigative journalists in Dallas (News 8 Investigates) reviewed nearly 800 adverse reaction reports filed with the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) in the previous 9 months and found that 1 in 10 children with suspected side effects suffered a seizure.

Nor is there any reason why Prevenar would not, like other vaccines are documented to, cause damage that can result in such serious conditions as asthma, allergies, ADD, autism, arthritis, paralysis, disabilities, genetic damage, cot death, cancer, diabetes and MS. Many of these conditions are now epidemic with the vaccination schedule having expanded in the last 40 years from 12 to 60 vaccines by school age. Immunologist Dr J. Bart Classen fears Prevenar will cause diabetes at 7 times the rate the Hib vaccine does and that 1% of recipients will develop an autoimmune disease.12

Dr Cantekin believes “the FDA approval of this vaccine is an act of irresponsibility… the FDA is following their regular course.”

So how did this vaccine get approved?

Many have long expressed concern about the number of direct and indirect ways by which the very powerful pharmaceutical industry is able to influence the process of vaccine approval, including heads of advisory panels being allowed to own shares in pharmaceutical companies.

Out of 12 committee members on the US CDC (Centers of Disease Control) Vaccine Advisory Committee that drafted the Prevenar recommendation, 4 had financial ties to the manufacturer. 3 out of 12 FDA committee members voting on Prevenar's license received waivers for conflicts of interest. "These committees have become the rubber stamp committees for the drug companies to push their product," said Dr. Cantekin.


As with all the vaccines before it, the evaluation of safety and efficacy, federal approval and promotion of Prevenar is laden with false and misleading advertising and conflicts of interest. There has been no true efficacy or safety testing, particularly for the few at significant risk of developing the disease, and with other vaccines already well documented to cause acute and chronic, debilitating and life threatening diseases the risk from this vaccine appears to be even higher.

An immune system does not thrive on immune-sensitising poisons, rather on sufficient nutrition and minimum exposure to poisons. We need look no further than the exceptionally robust, vibrant health of unvaccinated children in our developed (well nourished) world to see this glaring truth in practice.


1.   News 8 Investigates: Prevnar Part 1 Updated: Feb 23, 2001,

2.   Prevnar vaccine product insert, also available in Medical Index Manual (MIMS)

3.   J ACNEM Sep 2004, Vol. 23, No.2:13.

4.   Re: Re: Re: Re: A Fatal Misdiagnosis, BMJ Rapid Responses Feb 22 2005 Viera Scheibner, PhD,

5.   Pharmaceutical Plant Employee Fired After Raising Alarm Over Vaccine Production, Eyewitness News Investigates, 7 May 2004

6.   Vaccination: The Hidden Truth (video/DVD), Vaccination Information Service (1998)

7.   Lancet 2001, 357; Lancet 2002 (May 25), 359

8.   Pneumococcal jab fails to stop disease, Courier Mail, 8 Oct ‘04





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