Posts Tagged ‘aluminum’

Aluminum is an ingredient in many of the infant/ childhood vaccines. Aluminum can be found naturally in our food, water, soil, and air. So what is all the hype over putting aluminum in our children’s vaccines? Should you be concerned? I hope to shed some light on this situation. It is always better to be informed about what we choose to inject into our children’s bodies.

I first learned about the possible dangers of aluminum in vaccines when I read The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears. He did a long write up in his book about the potential risks large amount of aluminum pose to our young babies. Here is some information I learned from the book:

A group called the ASPEN (The American Society for Parenteral and Enternal Nutritionists) published a study in 2004. In the study they looked at newborns that received IVs (which contain aluminum) for prolonged periods. They reported that aluminum can build up in the body tissue of newborns. It should also be noted that the IV packaging places a warning that states, “This product contains aluminum that may be toxic.” The packaging also warns that premature babies should be limited to 5 micrograms perĀ  kilogram of body weight per day. But most of the vaccines contain way more than 5 micrograms. Below is a list of vaccines that contain aluminum and their amounts.

  • HIB- 225 micrograms
  • PC- 125 micrograms
  • DTaP- 170- 625 micrograms
  • Hep B- 250 micrograms
  • Hep A- 250 micrograms
  • HPV- 225 micrograms
  • Pentacel (DTaP, HIB, Polio) 330 micrograms
  • Pediarix (DTaP, HIB, Polio) 850 micrograms

As you can see this is way more than 5 micrograms of aluminum per shot. A study done in 1997 looked at the neurological development of premature babies who were given a standard IV feeding solution that contained aluminum and compare it to premature babies who were given the same IV feeding solution but with the aluminum almost filtered out. The babies who received the IV with aluminum in it showed “impaired neurological and mental development at eighteen months compared the infants who had the IV with hardly any aluminum in it. Those who got aluminum received an average of about 500 micrograms spread out over an average of 10 days, or about 50 micrograms per day. The babies who got the solution with aluminum filtered out received about 10 micrograms daily, or 4 to 5 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. ” (p.197 )

There have been no studies that tests the amounts of aluminum in vaccines to date. The studies with the premature babies is enough to bring on some concern. So if aluminum can be toxic, why are they keeping it in the vaccines? Aluminum helps the vaccines to work better by helping our immune systems recognize the vaccine better. There are some vaccines that do not have any aluminum in them and they work just fine. It would cost the drug companies a lot of money to reconfigure their vaccines to contain no aluminum in them. So until there is a major study that shows that aluminum in vaccines can be toxic to young babies and children, I believe there will be no change.

What can we do?

  • Choose the do the Alternate Vaccine Schedule outlined by Dr. Sears. This schedule has spaced out the vaccines so that your child does not receive more than one aluminum contain vaccine at a time. See my post on the Alternate Vaccine Schedule https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/alternate-vaccine-schedule/
  • Ask doctor for the HIB vaccine that does not contain aluminum and the DTaP that has a reduced amount of aluminum in it
  • try not to give your child combination vaccines (more than one vaccine) that has more aluminum than the individual shots

Other Resources

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What is HIB?

  • HIB ( Haemophilus Influenza Type B) is a bacterium
  • can cause serious illness such as: meningitis, blood infections, bone infections, and pneumonia
  • transmitted like a cold through an infect person’s cough, mucus, or saliva
  • usually remain only in the nose, ears, or throat and only cause some minor cold symptoms
  • serious side effects could be: fever, lethargy, vomiting, and poor appetite
  • diagnosed through spinal tap or blood test
  • if infected, does not give you life long immunity

Dose your child run a risk for contracting HIB?

  • Only 25 reported cases a year (thanks to the HIB vaccine), most in children under the age of 3
  • It is serious. 5% die and 25% will have brain damage of some sort
  • Most parents don’t take their child to the doctor until they have been ill for a while and test results can take up to two days- this is too late if the illness is very advanced

What is in the Vaccine? (There are 2 possible HIB vaccines)

  • Both vaccines contain only certain portions of the disease germ. There is no way to catch the actual infection from this vaccine.
  • ActHIB: sugar, tetanus toxoid complex, saline solution
  • PedVaxHIB: sugar, saline solution, Neisseria protein complex, aluminum (225 micrograms) I will write a post either later today or tomorrow about aluminum in vaccines.

Side Effects

  • Less that 5% of babies may have: fever, fussiness, redness, and swelling
  • serious side effects that have been reported are: Guillain-Barre Syndrome and serious HIB infection (this is extremely rare)

Reasons to Get Vaccine

  • meningitis and blood infections can be very serious
  • continue HIB vaccines keep the virus from growing and the number of people from becoming ill from the HIB
  • safest side effect profile of all vaccines
  • ingredients are very pure compared to other vaccines
  • if you travel outside the country, HIB is more common in other countries

Reasons some people might choose to not give the HIB vaccine to their child

  • HIB disease remains very low (25 cased/year)
  • breastfeed and do not attend day care help reduce the risk of contracting this illness

What did I decide?

I decide to go with the alternate vaccine schedule, which included giving this vaccine. I felt that because this vaccine has a low risk of side effects and a minimum amount of aluminum, that it was safe to give Cooper. He received his first does was when he was 3 months old. He did not have any side effects at all.

More information about the HIB vaccine

Please leave a comment and share with me what you decide to do for your child concerning the HIB vaccine. If you have any other information about the vaccine that I have not shared, please leave a comment! The more we are informed about each vaccine the better choices we can make for our children!

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