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Originally published March 3 2010

Vaccine Study Shows Higher Rates of Chest Infections

by Aaron Turpen

(NaturalNews) A study published in the January 2010 edition of the journal Pediatrics shows that childhood pneumococcal vaccination may be linked to an increase in serious pneumonia complications. Of course, reportage claims that the benefits of the vaccine, introduced in 2000, far outweigh the risk. Findings from the study's researchers, based in the University of California, Davis, show only that the vaccine is not lowering rates of empyema-associated hospitalization, which have actually increased during the vaccine's use.

Su-Ting Li, MD, MPH and Daniel J. Tancredit, PhD, authored the study and their conclusion says that empyema-associated hospitalization rates have actually increased, not by some small sum, but by a whopping 70% for the study's window:
"Among children 18 years of age, the annual empyema-associated hospitalization rates increased almost 70% between 1997 and 2006, despite decreases in the bacterial pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease rates. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is not decreasing the incidence of empyema."

This shows a probable unintended consequence of the pneumococcal vaccination regimen (now recommended by the CDC and mandated in several states) to be an increase of empyema. Empyema is a collection of pus in an anatomical cavity, usually in the lungs' pleura, and is most often associated with serious pneumonia infections.

Pneumococcal disease is a type of pneumonia caused by a virus and the bacteria, pneumococcus, is actually naturally occurring in most people's bodies. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends vaccinations (called the PCV7 series) in infants and children at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12-15 months as well as increased dosage and series for several "at risk" categories.

The study looked at the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) to estimate the number of children (18 years or younger) who were associated with empyema in 1997, 2000, 2003, and 2006. This was correlated with Census data to get annual incidence rates per 100,000 children. These were then compared to see the rate of growth in empyema hospitalizations amongst children.

The result, with a 95% confidence interval, showed that rates of hospitalization for empyema went from 2.2 per 100,000 in 1997 (pre-vaccination) to 3.7 per 100,000 in 2006. That 70% increase was also accompanied by a 44% increase in pneumonia complications requiring intubation (chest tube insertion). All of this was followed by a 13% decrease in pneumonia infections.

So the study found some interesting correlations. Not only did pneumonia decrease (the intended use of the vaccine) by 13%, but it also gained strength, raising the number of people who had serious complications in their pneumonia infection by 70% and the number of people requiring severe medical intervention (intubation) to treat their infection by 44%.

Note that these numbers are not by number infected, but are by population as a whole. So despite the vaccine being credited with lowering pneumonia infections by a few percentage points, the study shows that by population, serious complications of pneumonia are on a dramatic rise.

1 - Empyema Hospitalizations Increased in US Children Despite Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, Pediatrics, Jan. 2010, Su-Tin T. Li, MD, MPH and Daniel J. Tancredi, PhD

2 - Pneumococcal Disease In-Short, Centers for Disease Control, Vaccines & Immunizations

3 - Empyema, Wikipedia

4 - Vaccine information on NaturalNews

About the author

Aaron Turpen is a professional writer living in Wyoming in the USA. His blogs cover organic/sustainable living and environmental considerations ( and the science debunking mainstream medical and proving alternatives (

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