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So what’s the deal with aluminum in vaccines, anyway? Part I

As I was saying in my previous post, Dr. Bob Sears, in The Vaccine Book, is very concerned about the amount of aluminum in the current vaccine schedule. So concerned, in fact, that he’s made up an alternative vaccination schedule to – so he claims – expose the child to less vaccine-derived aluminum at any one time and prevent possible neurological damage as a result of aluminum poisoning.

He bases his aluminum-related worries on a lack of research regarding safe levels of injected aluminum, and a number of studies in the medical literature dealing with:

1) harm from aluminum in people with kidney disease (who have trouble excreting aluminum from the water they drink and medical preparations they’re given), which happens over a period of months to years of constant aluminum administration
2) Premature infants given aluminum-containing intravenous nutrition who developed signs of slight neurotoxicity when it was administered continuously over a period of weeks
3) animal and/or in vitro cell studies, in which very large amounts of aluminum were administered over a period of time which showed either cellular damage or elevated brain aluminum.

Sears concedes that none of these scenarios really correlates well to a term baby given vaccines via the intramuscular/subcutaneous route, in discrete events that occur months apart from one another. Despite this, he is concerned that the growing amounts of aluminum in the current vaccine schedule are putting babies in danger of brain damage, and thus recommends his trademark alternative vaccine schedule, which necessitates many more visits (not to mention many more needles!) and schleps out those vaccines normally given in the first two years of life, over six of them. We’ll be discussing other aspects of this alternative schedule in a future post, but right now I want to concentrate on the presumption of guilt Sears attaches to the aluminum levels in the current vaccine schedule, and whether what we know about how aluminum behaves in the body warrants such a presumption. And whether spreading out vaccines over several months, as opposed to bunching 2-3 up every few months, really matters all that much.
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