According to the Associated Press article published in the New York Times on 10/22/08 (The New York Times), a Federal Government panel, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, recommended the Pneumococcal Pneumonia Vaccine for all adult smokers in addition to the prior recommendations for all person over the age of fifty and all infants under two. The attempt to protect the population from a devastating epidemic is commendable, but are vaccines the only way to achieve that goal? No. We all have immune systems that our Creator built to take care of protecting us from pathogenic organisms. Yet we have epidemics and the medical establishment and federal government are selling us these synthetic magic bullets called "vaccines" made from the actual organisms that cause the diseases.
Additionally, we get a barrage of news articles, advertisements and health care providers telling us that we are at risk and we need protection. Ah, but if you should ask, "What about the side effects?" The government officials and healthcare workers will tell you, "Oh, there might be a few rare casualties along the way, but the general population will receive protection from this devastating disease." Of course, the rationale being that the need for protection of the many outweighs the vaccine-induced illness and death of a few.
On the other hand, the whole issue of vaccines begs the question, "Is this 'protection' really protecting us, and, if so, from what?" Well, for one thing, each vaccine stimulates the production of antibodies for that one specific strain of bacteria or virus and for no other. As the vaccine sales people forgot to tell us, the Pneumococcal class of bacteria as well as every other pathogenic (disease causing) organism has an innumerable variety of subspecies and we can not keep tract of them all because they have this uncanny ability to mutate with each new generation. Thus, it is impossible for the health care system to inoculate us against all the different strains of a particular class of potential infection.
Furthermore, there are the side effects of the Pneumococcal Pneumonia Vaccine, and I had to search through many links to find out what they are. I finally came across a report of the known adverse affects of this vaccine from Drugs.com (Drugs.com) This site reported "Fever; redness, soreness, swelling, or a lump at the injection site; severe allergic reactions (rash; hives ; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); weakness. The authors also said that there may have been side effects that no one has reported thus far. The standard disclaimer also appeared saying, "check with your doctor", notwithstanding that your physician can not prevent the reaction unless he or she uses Taro cards and tea leaves with a high degree of accuracy. Although, those who disclose the known side effects are telling us that they are rare, but we have yet to find out how rare. It's a meaningless statement unless you are ordering a steak.
Therefore, in view of all of the above, the government is doing a disservice to we the people with all this hype about pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine. We do not have enough information and the questionable benefit of maybe being inoculated against one type of pneumonia and still remaining susceptible to all other types does not outweigh the risk of injury and death from unexpected reactions.
In conclusion, the immune system is a complex array of many different organs working in a coordinated effort to protect our bodies from foreign invasion with many lines of defense from outer barriers and inner layers to secretions of hormones and various kinds of white blood cells that are always in search and destroy mode (UHA). Thus, we need to spend more resources researching natural ways to beef up our immune systems with nutritional supplements and other modalities, rather than injecting our bodies with weakened antigens. Although, vaccines do work, you the public need to have sufficient information to make an appropriate choice. It's up to you if you want to take the vaccine, but you need to know that there are alternatives in being protected against contracting pneumococcal pneumonia.