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Aluminum in Vaccines

by Amelia on January 1, 2008
category: 0 – 1 year (baby),In the news

I just read an interesting article in Mothering Magazine about aluminum in our children’s vaccines. In the past 10 years there has been a lot of discussion about the additive of thimerosal in vaccines. Thimerosal is a form of mercury and there was a lot of speculation about whether the mercury in vaccines was a contributing factor of the increase of autism in children. There have since been several studies showing that there isn’t a connection between the two but as a precaution thimerosal has been removed from most vaccines. In the article I read it mentioned that Merck (pharmaceutical company) was aware that the mercury in vaccines was well above the recommended amount (87 times!) and that a research doctor sent a memo to the president of his division stating his concerns.

Now there is a new concern about aluminum in vaccines. Aluminum can be toxic in large amounts. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that toxicity can cause neurologic damage and can be harmful for those with kidney disease. The shocking thing to me is that vaccine makers have done no studies to show that the amount of aluminum given to infants is safe or harmful. It is alarming to me that aluminum (a known potential toxin) is considered safe until proven harmful rather than the other way around.

30 mcg of aluminum per day for a 12 pound 2 month old baby is considered a safe amount. Some vaccines have 7 to 25 times the recommended amount. For example, the Hepatitis B vaccine has 250 mcg of aluminum. The Pediarix vaccine, which is a combination vaccine of DTap, Hepatitis B, and Polio, has 850 mcg of aluminum. It is a little scary to me that my baby could get that much aluminum at one time when it is unknown how babies process an abundance of aluminum.

What can you do about it? You can ask your pediatrician to use the vaccines that have a smaller amount of aluminum in it. There is a Hib vaccine that does not have aluminum in it but you would need to find out what kind your doctor uses. You can also ask your doctor how much aluminum is in the DTaP vaccine. There are several choices that contain different amounts. Another alternative would be to limit the number of vaccines your child receives per visit and go back for a special “shot only” visit. You may want to find a copy of this article and print it off for your doctor to read and get his/her input.

I have chosen to do delay vaccines with Graham for different reasons. I decided to wait to give him the Hepatitis B vaccine until we are done with all our other shots. Hepatitis B is contracted through sexual contact, IV drug use, and the mother. I know I don’t have it and I seriously doubt that Graham will be doing any sexual activities or drug use anytime soon. I decided to space out vaccines to allow his immune system not to get overloaded. One of my concerns about the doubling, tripling, and quadrupling of vaccines is that if my baby does have a bad reaction I wouldn’t know which one was the culprit. After reading this article though, I am going to show it to our pediatrician and continue to space out the vaccines.

The pediatrician who wrote the article, Dr. Robert Sears has written a book called The Vaccine Book which recommends a delayed vaccine schedule.

7 Responses to Aluminum in Vaccines

  • Gravatar
    Comment by McKenna
    January 3, 2008 @ 10:58 am

    I spaced Darah’s vaccines out because she has never been on the typical growth chart. I was nervous about them giving her dosages that they give 25 lb babies when she was only 15 lbs. I will probably continue to do that with her. She now is about 25lbs on her “fat” days and 3 1/2 years old. Connor is also 25lbs at 13 months old. I haven’t given him his 1 year shots because he’s been so sick with upper respiratory viruses and I want him to be healthy when he gets his shots.

  • Gravatar July 6, 2008 @ 11:45 pm

    [...] Aluminum in Vaccines [...]

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Ashley
    August 4, 2008 @ 9:13 am

    I am baffled that so many moms think they know more than the thousands of medical experts and research around the world. A specific component of vaccines may not have been tested (who would pay for this?, who wants to wait 12 years for the trial to be done?, who will volunteer their baby to go into the clinical trial testing for this?) but vaccines themselves have been tested more than any other drug class in this country. Delaying vaccines carries it’s own set of risks. I am a research scientist (and mom) and the notion that vaccines “overwhelm” a child’s system is wrong. If you want to talk about overwhelming then you should wait until your child has one of this deadly diseases, something delaying puts your child at risk for. I was just 12 years old when my brother almost died from a infectious disease that is now completely preventable with a 30 second shot. I have now made it my mission to dispell rumors this article propogates.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by mommyto3
    August 31, 2008 @ 10:49 pm

    I definitely think each parent should do his or her own research regarding vaccines. We have vaccinated all 3 of our children on schedule, but I understand the concern about the aggressive vaccine schedule and can see the potential benefit of spacing them out. You may like to take a look at a really great debate about vaccines and autism at http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/are-autism-and-vaccines-linked. Experts from both sides weigh in and make some great points regarding vaccines. A really interesting read!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Shannon
    November 13, 2008 @ 2:33 pm

    I couldn’t disagree with Ashley more.

    I’m also a research scientist, neuroscience, and a mom. And I have to say that I give the mom’s a lot more credit than the researchers when it comes to vaccines. Trust your instincts and do your own research. Doctors need to give advice that benefits populations of people not your individual child. Vaccines do prevent the spread of disease, but there are probably still unknown risks and consequences.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Carolyn
    December 2, 2008 @ 9:09 pm

    I am a mother to a son with autism. It “baffles” me how some scientist are not “determined” to find out what is causing this alarming rate of autism? It “baffles” me to think that any scientist would think that any curable illness, in the year 2008, is worse than having a child that will have a lifelong debilitating illness. Does that make sense? No. I say….bring on mumps…bring on rubella….bring on measles! At least my child would have a chance of recovery. Unfortunatly, that is not the case with autism.

    I wish that I could be so blatant as to suggest that the powers to be are more knowledgable than a parent that has seen the demise of their perfectly healthy child. I do not have that luxury.

    Ashley…….I am making it my lifelong mission to support parents the freedom of vaccinating their children. This is America. Parents have the right to choose what is the best interest for their child and their family. Until questions are answered, parents have the right to say no to the current vaccine schedule. (Ask your doctors why their have not been studies done on the population of children not vaccinated in this country ex: the Amish)

    Austism 1 in 150
    Divorce rate 80%
    Medical coverage and insurance for a child with autism 0

    Know the facts……..Autism is not going away!!

  • Gravatar April 21, 2009 @ 9:25 am

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