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Aluminum in Vaccines and Risk of Asthma in Kids

Vaccines makers have put aluminum in vaccines for decades. How safe is this adjuvant? It stimulates the immune system, for good or bad.

This new study is controversial. It was funded by your tax dollars. Almost a decade ago, the Institute of Medicine requested research on the safety of childhood vaccines and aluminum. A preliminary study published in the journal Academic Pediatrics (Sept. 27, 2022) reports a link between early childhood vaccines that use aluminum as an adjuvant and a risk of asthma before the age of 5. Manufacturers put aluminum in vaccines to trigger a stronger immune reaction.

What Exactly Is An Adjuvant?

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) explains it this way:

“Aluminum is used in vaccines as an adjuvant. An adjuvant is a vaccine component that boosts the immune response to the vaccine. Adjuvants allow for lesser quantities of the vaccine and fewer doses. The adjuvant effects of aluminum were discovered in 1926. Aluminum adjuvants are used in vaccines such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria-tetanus-containing vaccines, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and pneumococcal vaccines, but they are not used in the live, viral vaccines, such as measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and rotavirus.”

The CHOP experts suggest that soy formulas provide much more aluminum than vaccines. They maintain that aluminum in vaccines is safe.

The New Research Regarding Aluminum in Vaccines:

As noted, aluminum has been used in vaccines for decades. But some researchers have expressed concern about its safety. Workers exposed to aluminum are more likely to have asthma and airway inflammation. Animal research has also indicated that aluminum may impact the immune system and pose a pulmonary problem. There are also concerns that aluminum is a neurotoxin (Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology, Sept. 3, 2022).

In the new research, babies and toddlers who received vaccines with at least 3 milligrams of aluminum were 36% more likely to be diagnosed with asthma compared to youngsters who were exposed to less than 3 mg.

In Their Own Words:

The authors describe why they undertook this study (Academic Pediatrics (Sept. 27, 2022):

“This investigation was undertaken to address parents’ vaccine safety concerns, and in response to an Institute of Medicine call for studies of the safety of the immunization schedule, including an explicit recommendation to research the safety of repeated exposure to immunogenic adjuvants. In a retrospective cohort study of more than 325,000 children born between 2008 and 2014 and followed through 2017, we found a positive association between cumulative vaccine-associated aluminum before age 24 months and persistent asthma at age 24 through 59 months among children with and without eczema. When vaccine-associated aluminum was examined as an acute exposure (eg, maximum single-day), a small positive association was found for children without eczema.”

Their Conclusion About Aluminum in Vaccines:

“In a large observational study, a positive association was found between vaccine-related aluminum exposure and persistent asthma. While recognizing the small effect sizes identified and the potential for residual confounding, additional investigation of this hypothesis appears warranted.”

Aluminum in the Diet vs Aluminum by Vaccination:

As mentioned above, the CHOP experts state that kids get more aluminum in their diet than they do from vaccinations. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about.

The authors of the vaccine study point out, though:

“Because aluminum is present in infant formula, breast milk, and food, all infants are exposed to some amount of dietary aluminum. However, a recent report concluded that ‘little to none of ingested aluminum appears to be absorbed’ through the gastrointestinal tract, and we are unaware of any studies demonstrating an immunologic response to ingested aluminum in humans.”

In other words, the way kids are exposed to aluminum may be a critical factor when it comes to the immune system. The authors of the new study call for more research “on the human health effects of aluminum.”

We could not agree more! We would like to know a lot more about the pros and cons of aluminum in vaccines. After all, aluminum has been used in vaccines for 90 years. We should have a clear understanding of the benefits and risks of this adjuvant.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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