Current Medicinal Chemistry

Atta-ur-Rahman, FRS
Honorary Life Fellow
Kings College
University of Cambridge
Cambridge
UK

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Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are they Safe?

Author(s): L. Tomljenovic and C. A. Shaw

Affiliation: Post-doctoral fellow, Neural Dynamics Research Group, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, 828 W. 10th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1L8, Canada.

Keywords: Aluminum adjuvants, adjuvant safety, autoimmunity, autism, Gulf War Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, macrophagic myofasciitis, neurotoxicity, seizures, Th2 immune response, vaccines

Abstract:

Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical sciences understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. There is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds. In spite of this, the notion that aluminum in vaccines is safe appears to be widely accepted. Experimental research, however, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences. In our opinion, the possibility that vaccine benefits may have been overrated and the risk of potential adverse effects underestimated, has not been rigorously evaluated in the medical and scientific community. We hope that the present paper will provide a framework for a much needed and long overdue assessment of this highly contentious medical issue.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 18
ISSUE: 17
Page: [2630 - 2637]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/092986711795933740