"It can be more serious than you think," says a brochure handed out at doctors' offices across the United States. "And you may be at risk." The brochure is for Prevar 13, a vaccine designed to protect against 13 strains of pneumococcal pneumonia. People as young as 50 are at risk, it continues as it urges immunization for adults 50 years and older, and for children six weeks to five years of age. But even the brochure that advocates vaccination admits, "There have been no controlled trials in adults demonstrating a decrease in pneumococcal pneumonia or invasive disease after vaccination with Prevnar 13."
Wait ... doctors are urging tens of millions of people to have this vaccine, yet there are no trials proving that it is effective? "Yes," says Dr. David Brownstein, author of the newsletter Dr. Brownstein's Natural Way to Health. "We don't have any proof that this vaccine works," he tells Newsmax Health. "In fact, there's hardly any information on this vaccine at all.
"I think it is shameful that this vaccine is recommended for prevention of pneumonia when there are no controlled studies showing it is effective," he says. "This is another example of a poorly studied vaccine — just like there are no controlled studies on the flu vaccine, either."
Although the pharmaceutical company recommends the pneumonia vaccine for all older people, vaccines, in general, have not been shown to be particularly effective in seniors. "There aren't any vaccines that work well in the elderly," says Dr. Brownstein. "Their immune systems don't respond well to vaccines, and all vaccines, including the pneumococcal vaccine, contain toxins, such as mercury, phenol, or formaldehyde."
Although no one denies that pneumonia is a serious disease, experts question the policy of widespread vaccination without proof the vaccine is effective. "I can't find any studies that show this vaccine is effective in the elderly," Dr. Brownstein says. "The proper studies haven't been done to show that the vaccine prevents pneumonia in the population they recommend it for.
"In addition, it is preserved with phenol," he says. "Phenol is toxic to bacteria, but it's also toxic to us." And the substance is cumulative. You may already have phenol in your body, especially if your job requires you to undergo routine tuberculosis skin tests.
"One study listed in the Physicians' Desk Reference gave the vaccine to miners in South Africa. They found it was effective in 75 to 80 percent of the miners, but they measured effectiveness on whether or not the body produced antibodies against those strains of bacteria that cause pneumonia," Dr. Brownstein says. "But there's no correlating data on whether or not there are any fewer cases of pneumonia or fewer deaths from pneumonia."
Dr. Brownstein checked records for pneumonia rates in the United States published by the Centers for Disease Control. Theoretically, if the pneumonia vaccines work, deaths from the disease should be dropping. "When I looked at the CDC's records for pneumonia, I can't see where there has been any decline in deaths from pneumonia."
In his medical practice, Dr. Brownstein does not advise his patients to take the vaccine. Instead, he urges patients to embrace a healthy lifestyle. "The best way to protect yourself from pneumonia and all disease is to boost your immune system," he says. "Eat good food, avoid sugar, exercise, keep hydrated, and wash your hands.
"That's a better way to avoid becoming sick than any pneumococcal vaccine, and there's no toxicity."
Still considering taking the vaccine? "Do your own research," advises Dr. Brownstein. "But if any vaccine contains toxic substances, I would think very carefully before I would inject that into me.
"This is a perfect example of why it is so important to become more knowledgeable before making a health care decision."
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