Pneumococcal vaccine reduces only 4 cases of pneumonia per 1000 children. The cost for vaccinating 1000 children comes to $ 12,750. Treating the 4 cases of pneumonia in India using WHO protocol, would cost $1. The pneumococcus strains prevalent in India are nearly all sensitive to inexpensive antibiotics like penicillin. In the US which has been using the pneumococcal vaccine for some years now, there has been a strain shift – strains covered in the vaccine are being replaced by other strains. Ominously the new strains are more antibiotic resistant. Vaccine has simply made the problem of pneumococcal disease worse. Yet this vaccine is being pushed in Africa and Asia.
Advocates of mass immunization point to the decline in the incidence of diseases after the introduction of modern vaccination programmes. But one of the anti-immunization lobby's central arguments is that many diseases were already waning – thanks to better public health, hygiene and diet – before vaccines were introduced. Scarlet fever, for example, was a major killer in the last century, yet it is virtually unknown today – and there is no vaccine. Rubella (German measles) is on the increase in the UK despite a mass immunization programme among babies and selective immunization of mothers. This may be a reflection that antibody levels have fallen in the population at large because children are no longer getting the mild diseased naturally. Why not immunize only women of childbearing age who have not developed natural immunity?
As yet, there is no body of information in the anti-immunization camp as powerful as society's existing faith in the science of vaccination.