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Mechanisms of Aluminum Adjuvant Revealed: Vaccine Risks to Children Clarified

Sun-in-Wrong-Spectrum-by-Gina-TylerA new journal report destroys the concept that adjuvant-based vaccines are safe for children. The methods by which aluminum acts as a vaccine adjuvant and how that can affect a developing child are examined. It leaves little room to doubt that we’ve been playing with the health and future of our children. The report demonstrates that genuine investigation into vaccine risks has not been undertaken. The means by which both immunological and neurological damage occur are explained. The study by Lucija Tomljenovic and Christopher Shaw, entitled “Mechanisms of aluminum adjuvant toxicity and autoimmunity in pediatric populations”, was just published in the journal Lupus. It starts with a direct, but gently worded, statement of the issue:

Aluminum(Al )is highly neurotoxic and has been shown to impair both prenatal and postnatal brain development in humans and experimental animals. In addition to its neurotoxic properties, Al is a potent stimulator of the immune system, which is the very reason why it is used as an adjuvant. Given this, it is somewhat surprising to find that in spite of over 80 years of use, the safety of Al adjuvants continues to rest on assumptions rather than  scientific evidence.

The article is heavily-cited, and all factual claims are backed up by citations of studies.

Aluminum As an Adjuvant

Aluminum has long been used as an adjuvant in vaccines because of its well-known strong stimulatory effects on the immune system. If it isn’t added to most vaccines, they cannot provoke an adequate immune response. The paper points out the known conditions that cause the autoimmune inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA). Disorders of ASIA include arthritis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, macrophagic myofasciitis, and Gulf War syndrome. In adults, long term persistence of aluminum is known to lead to mental decline, as in Alzheimer’s disease, and autoimmune disorders. Its use as an adjuvant has only been presumed to be safe, but has never been seriously subjected to scientific study. The article goes on to state:

Yet, in spite of these observations children continue regularly to be exposed to much higher levels of Al adjuvants than adults, via routine childhood vaccination programmes.

An additional concern to using a neurotoxic substance such as Al as an adjuvant in pediatric vaccine formulations is the fact that infants and young children shold not be considered simply as “small adults” when it comes to toxicological risk. In spite of this, a review of the literature to date relating to Al-toxicology indicates that the vast majority of previous research and testing has been dedicated to Al exposure in adults.

The Question: Are Aluminum Adjuvants a Toxic Risk to Children?

The paper describes five areas of concern regarding the use of aluminum adjuvants in children’s vaccines.

  • During critical periods in brain development, even very small immune challenges can result in permanent harmful changes in brain and immune system functions. Experimentation has shown that even a single hepatitis B vaccine administered to a newborn primate can cause significant developmental delays in suckling responses required for survival.
  • Preschool-aged children are routinely subjected to significant aluminum exposure through multiple vaccinations, which are repeated at short intervals. This is done during critical neurological development periods. Therefore, high exposures to the known neuro- and immuno-toxic aluminum adjuvant should be considered risky unless proven otherwise.
  • It’s generally believed that immune responses caused by adjuvants, as opposed to the antigens presented in vaccines, have no effect on brain function. However, there is “overwhelming research evidence” that clearly contradicts this belief. [It’s truly curious that such a concept could ever have been developed. By what logic does anyone assume that no harm can come from the injection of a substance that is known to be toxic and is also known to stimulate the immune system ? This seems like magical thinking, not logic—and it’s certainly not science-based. -Ed.]
  • The same components of the neuro-immune regulatory system that have key roles in both brain development and immune function are heavily affected by aluminum adjuvants.
  • Experiments have shown that genetic resistance to autoimmune disorders can be overcome by strong adjuvant effects.

Any one of these concerns should be indicative of the need for investigation into the use of aluminum adjuvants in children’s vaccines.

Correlation Between Aluminum Adjuvant Effects and Chronic Disorders

The Tomljenovic-Shaw paper also documents the mechanism by which aluminum in vaccines may be causing both neurological and immunological harm.

The report documents excessive Th1 and Th2 resulting from aluminum in vaccines. Th1 and Th2 are types of T-cells, which are responsible for stimulating the production of antibodies in the the presence of antigens. In a healthy system, an antigen is a specific signal of a specific invader, such as a virus or bacterium, which needs to be attacked and destroyed. However, excessive Th1 and Th2 are also known to be associated with many severe chronic diseases—and excessive Th1 and Th2 are caused by the use of aluminum as an adjuvant.

These excesses in Th1 and Th2 stimulate increases in several types of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Excesses of these cytokines are known to be associated with several severe chronic diseases—and they are also the result of aluminum adjuvants. These cytokines include:

  • Certain interleukins (IL-x)
  • Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)
  • Macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)
  • NLRP3 gene
  • Reactive oxygen species (ROF)

By the use of a table, the authors demonstrate that:

… the same mechanisms that drive the immunostimulatory effects of adjuvants have
the capacity to provoke a variety of adverse  reactions, including those associated with the “ASIA” syndrome.

Here is a simplified portion of their table:

Disease Disease
Inflammatory Profile
Aluminum Adjuvant
Inflammatory Profile
Arthritis*† Increased IL-1, IL-6, IL-12, TNF-α, IFN-γ, MIP-1α & oxidative stress Increases cytokines (IL-1α IL-1β, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-18, TNF-α)Increases chemokines (IL-8, MCP-1, MIP-1α, MIP-1β)Increases ROSIncreases nitric oxide

Activates the NLRP3 inflammasome complex and NLRP3-dependent cytokines

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease Increased IL-1, IL-6, IL-12, TNF-α, IFN-γ, MIP-1α & oxidative stress
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)/Crohn’s DiseaseType 1 Diabetes Mellitis*Multiple Sclerosis (MS)*†

Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE)

Increased NLRP3 inflammasome complex signaling & NLRP3-dependent overproduction of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-18, TNF-&alpha & reactive oxygen species (ROS) in MS, EAE, Type 1 Diabetes Mellitis, & animal models of IBD.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus* Increased IL-10, IL-18, IL-6, IFN-γ, & TNF-α
Macrophagic Myofasciitis*†Chronic Fatigue Syndrome*† Increased IL-4, IL-6, B-cell hyperlymphocytosis, infiltration of large periodic acid-shiff-positive macrophages, and CD8+ T lymphocytes in the absence of conspicuous muscle fiber damage
Gulf War Syndrome*† Increased IFN-γ, IL-5, IL-6
Autism Spectrum Disorders* Increased IL=1β IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, TNF-γ IL-8, MCP-1, MIP-1β MHC class II. Increased astrocyte & microglia reactivity
*Linked to aluminum adjuvanted vaccines.
†Recognized as ASIA diseases

Notice that the known autoimmune effects of aluminum adjuvants are quite similar to many of the chronic conditions that have become so common today—not to mention those that are known to be caused by aluminum adjuvants.

Aluminum adjuvants provoke serious effects on the autoimmune/inflammatory system. These are a close match for disruptions in those systems associated with many severe chronic disorders. With such a close parallel, it is obviously foolish to suggest that the addition of aluminum to vaccines is benign. 

Mechanisms of Aluminum Adjuvant Immune Stimulation

Tomljenovic and Shaw go on to discuss the ways in which aluminum adjuvants act upon the immune system, and correlate it to the fact that this is the intended result, because attenuated, inactivated, and partial viruses and bacteria utilized in most vaccines do not cause enough of an immune system response to produce the antibodies desired.

Blood-Brain Barrier and Detox Function in Infants

The report states:

[D]uring prenatal and postnatal development the brain is extremely vulnerable to neurotoxic insults.  Not only are these highly sensitive periods of rapid brain development but also, the blood-brain barrier is incomplete and thus more permeable to toxic substances during this time.

Furthermore, the renal system of infants is not mature. Therefore, infants’ ability to eliminate a toxin like aluminum is compromised.

Children are at far greater risk from aluminum adjuvants because of the combination of rapid brain growth, an incomplete blood-brain barrier, and a limited ability to eliminate toxins.

Babies’ Immune Response Is, By Nature, Attenuated

The immune system of a baby younger than 6 months is relatively weak. Its response is attenuated. Therefore, adjuvants and closely-spaced vaccination repetitions are required to provoke enough of a response to the antigen.

This approach of giving high doses of adjuvants—usually including aluminum—and rapid repetition of vaccinations seems to be predicated on an assumption that there is something inherently wrong with an infant’s immune system, something that needs to be overcome. However, the authors point out that this attenuation exists in association with very rapid tissue development, in particular that of the brain. They suggest that the anti-inflammation response is attenuated to prevent harm to newly developing brain tissue.

Therefore, the strong immune response created by vaccines, especially ones containing aluminum, may overcome the naturally protective system in babies and cause harm to the very system that’s being protected—the developing brain.

Genetic Resistance to Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity is a result of an immune system that has gotten the message that part of its own body is an enemy that needs to be destroyed. Rheumatoid arthritis is an example. The immune system has grown confused and turns on its own collagen, a connective tissue found throughout the body, and attempts to destroy it as if it were an invader. This runs counter to normal genetics, which resists autoimmunity.

Not only is it known that vaccines can induce rheumatoid arthritis, or an equivalent indistinguishable from the real thing, especially when given in multiple doses and done in rapid sequence, vaccines “may also cause a state of immune hyperactivity, a known risk for autoimmune diseases”.

Lack of Evidence to Support Vaccine Safety

The authors state quite succintly:

…[T]o date, the clinical trials that could adequately address vaccine safety issues have not been conducted (i.e., comparing health outcomes in vaccinated versus non-vaccinated children). The lack of such controlled trials may be because historically, vaccines have not been viewed as inherently toxic by regulatory agencies.

They review different study techniques used to evade the question of vaccine safety:

  • Tests have been done that claim to utilize a vaccine control group. However, they give both the control and subject groups vaccines that contain the same aluminum adjuvant. It’s certainly not surprising that they don’t find a distinction in outcomes between the two groups.
  • Historically, vaccine trials have not included people who are routinely vaccinated. These include people with pre-existing conditions—such as premature birth, personal or family history of developmental delay, convulsive or other neurological disorders, or hypersensitivity to any ingredient in a vaccine. Such bias will assuredly skew the results.
  • The authors even document a study whose title says that its focus is on autoimmune disorders associated with vaccines—yet they didn’t set it up to detect autoimmune disorders!


On the question of vaccine safety in general, the authors conclude:

[T]he existing data (or lack thereof) raise questions on whether the current vaccines aimed at pediatric populations can be accepted as having adequate safety profiles. … a more rigorous evaluation of potential vaccine-related adverse health impacts in pediatric populations … is urgently needed.

The authors have documented several compelling facts:

  • They have demonstrated that children are not simply small adults, and that their risk of adverse effects from aluminum adjuvants is potentially quite severe.
  • They have documented that even adults are known to suffer adverse effects from aluminum in vaccines.
  • They have described the enigma of assuming that aluminum is harmless, when it’s known to be associated with several severe diseases, including arthritis, multiple sclerosis, macrophagic myofaschiitis, and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
  • They have documented that the inflammation profiles associated with several chronic diseases match that produced by aluminum adjuvants.
  • They have shown that the safety of vaccinations has never been demonstrated.

Tomljenovic and Shaw have described the mechanisms by which vaccines, especially those with aluminum adjuvants, may cause irreparable harm to children.

Will the vaccine profiteers ever step back from their ever-accelerating madness and do an honest assessment of the potential for harm? We are living in an age when the majority of children suffer from severe chronic illness. Indeed, the average state of health in children is now exceedingly poor, and their prospects for satisfying lives, or even to enjoy anywhere near the lifespans of their parents, are growing dimmer and dimmer.


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