I don't believe that the claim vaccines are safe is justified by the current state of scientific knowledge.
I'd better add the disclaimer that vaccines are harmful, is also a claim I believe is underdetermined by the evidence right now. And I'm satisfied that the claim vaccines are generally effective is true (i.e. Vaccines are useful for preventing the spread of the diseases they target).
There are lots of websites of doubtful credibility that make sensational claims about the dangers of vaccines. My skepticism isn't motivated by those. I'll explain as succinctly as I can where my reservations come from.
I'm sure that important parts of the dynamics of vaccination are well understood. But based on studies that I've read about, the precise effects of some adjuvants on the human body - particularly in the long run - do not seem to be well understood.
Though not all vaccines contain aluminum, compelling evidence of risk associated with this ingredient would be enough to undermine the general claim that vaccines are safe.
Here are a few excerpts from studies related to aluminum adjuvants. I've added emphasis for if you're in a hurry. I could link to more if I had the time. I think the sample below is enough to illustrate that there is space here for reasonable doubts about the long-term safety of vaccines containing aluminum as an adjuvant. See what you think.
Aluminum, although neurotoxic, is used in many pediatric vaccines as an adjuvant.This study investigated the effect of aluminum adjuvants on social behaviour in mice. Neonatal pups injected with aluminum hydroxide demonstrated anomalous social behaviour in some instances.
In spite of a common view that aluminum (Al) salts are inert and therefore harmless as vaccine adjuvants or in immunotherapy, the reality is quite different. In the following article we briefly review the literature on Al neurotoxicity and the use of Al salts as vaccine adjuvants and consider not only direct toxic actions on the nervous system, but also the potential impact for triggering autoimmunity. Autoimmune and inflammatory responses affecting the CNS appear to underlie some forms of neurological disease, including developmental disorders. Al has been demonstrated to impact the CNS at every level, including by changing gene expression. These outcomes should raise concerns about the increasing use of Al salts as vaccine adjuvants and for the application as more general immune stimulants.
injection of aluminum adjuvants in an attempt to model Gulf War syndrome and associated neurological deficits leads to an ALS phenotype in young male mice. In young children, a highly significant correlation exists between the number of pediatric aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines administered and the rate of autism spectrum disorders. Many of the features of aluminum-induced neurotoxicity may arise, in part, from autoimmune reactions, as part of the ASIA syndrome.
Aluminum-treated groups also showed significant motor neuron loss (35%) and increased numbers of astrocytes (350%) in the lumbar spinal cord. The findings suggest a possible role for the aluminum adjuvant in some neurological features associated with GWI and possibly an additional role for the combination of adjuvants.
We previously showed that poorly biodegradable aluminum-coated particles injected into muscle are promptly phagocytosed in muscle and the draining lymph nodes, and can disseminate within phagocytic cells throughout the body and slowly accumulate in brain. This strongly suggests that long-term adjuvant biopersistence within phagocytic cells is a prerequisite for slow brain translocation and delayed neurotoxicity. The understanding of basic mechanisms of particle biopersistence and brain translocation represents a major health challenge, since it could help to define susceptibility factors to develop chronic neurotoxic damage.
An unusual neuro-toxicological pattern limited to a low dose of Alhydrogel® was observed. Neurobehavioural changes, including decreased activity levels and altered anxiety-like behaviour, were observed compared to controls in animals exposed to 200μg Al/kg but not at 400 and 800μg Al/kg. Consistently, microglial number appeared increased in the ventral forebrain of the 200μg Al/kg group. Cerebral Al levels were selectively increased in animals exposed to the lowest dose, while muscle granulomas had almost completely disappeared at 6 months in these animals. We conclude that Alhydrogel® injected at low dose in mouse muscle may selectively induce long-term Al cerebral accumulation and neurotoxic effects. To explain this unexpected result, an avenue that could be explored in the future relates to the adjuvant size since the injected suspensions corresponding to the lowest dose, but not to the highest doses, exclusively contained small agglomerates in the bacteria-size range known to favour capture and, presumably, transportation by monocyte-lineage cells. In any event, the view that Alhydrogel® neurotoxicity obeys "the dose makes the poison" rule of classical chemical toxicity appears overly simplistic.
A second series of experiments was conducted on mice injected with six doses of aluminum hydroxide. Behavioural analyses in these mice revealed significant impairments in a number of motor functions as well as diminished spatial memory capacity. The demonstrated neurotoxicity of aluminum hydroxide and its relative ubiquity as an adjuvant suggest that greater scrutiny by the scientific community is warranted.
Conclusions from the current review point to the need for refinement of the PTWI, reduction of Al contamination in PN solutions, justification for routine addition of Al to vaccines, and harmonization of OELs for Al substances.
Herein, we have described a case of vaccine-associated chronic fatigue syndrome and macrophagic myofasciitis in an individual demonstrating aluminium overload. This is the first report linking the latter with either of these two conditions and the possibility is considered that the coincident aluminium overload contributed significantly to the severity of these conditions in this individual. This case has highlighted potential dangers associated with aluminium-containing adjuvants and we have elucidated a possible mechanism whereby vaccination involving aluminium-containing adjuvants could trigger the cascade of immunological events which are associated with autoimmune conditions including chronic fatigue syndrome and macrophagic myofasciitis.
Aluminum oxyhydroxide (Alhydrogel(®)) is a nano-crystalline compound forming aggregates that has been introduced in vaccine for its immunologic adjuvant effect in 1926. It is the most commonly used adjuvant in human and veterinary vaccines but mechanisms by which it stimulates immune responses remain ill-defined. Although generally well tolerated on the short term, it has been suspected to occasionally cause delayed neurologic problems in susceptible individuals. In particular, the long-term persistence of aluminic granuloma also termed macrophagic myofasciitis is associated with chronic arthromyalgias and fatigue and cognitive dysfunction.
It might be objected that the risks associated with vaccines are outweighed by the risks of not vaccinating. There are two difficulties with that reply right now:
- Given the apparently poor state of our understanding of the long-term effects of vaccine ingredients on general health, it's not clear how such a case could be made without new research being conducted.
- Let's assume that it turns out to be true - Even well-nourished, healthy kids in western countries, living in areas with high vaccination rates, are better off getting vaccinated. This still doesn't earn vaccination the description of safe. Jumping from a window high up in a burning building might be the least risky course of action. It would be misleading at best to declare that jumping was safe.
If I’m making some blunder here and the studies and reasoning above don't warrant hesitation, I'd like to know why. I'm interested in the truth for its own sake, but it’d also make my life a good deal easier to believe that vaccines are safe.
Though most pubmed-listed studies are peer reviewed/refereed, some caution is required here since pubmed's own pages don't indicate whether a study is peer reviewed. Any help with checking the status of the studies in this article would be appreciated.