No adverse effects of aluminium in vaccines

January 28, 2004

Writing in the February issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Tom Jefferson and colleagues (Cochrane Vaccines Field, Rome, Italy) report that aluminium in vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis causes no serious or long-lasting adverse effects.

Aluminium salts (potassium aluminium sulphate, aluminium sulphate, or aluminium hydroxide) have been used for decades in vaccine formulations as adjuvants (non-specific stimulators of the immune response), and in this role they are vital to the protective efficacy of vaccines. But aluminium has been blamed for side-effects in vaccine recipients, such as local reactions at the site of vaccination and a chronic progressive syndrome called macrophagic myofasciitis. However, replacing aluminium with another adjuvant would be a massive undertaking because all such vaccines would have to be tested in clinical trials and relicensed; besides, no obvious replacement is available.

After an exhaustive trawl of the medical literature for relevant studies, Jefferson and colleagues collected data for a meta-analysis from five published trials. The authors compared adverse events in two settings: vaccines containing aluminium hydroxide versus no adjuvant for children aged up to 18 months, and vaccines containing different types of aluminium versus no adjuvant in children aged 10-16 years. Although aluminium-containing vaccines were more likely than plain vaccines to cause erythema (redness) and induration (hardening of the skin) in young children, and local pain lasting up to 14 days in the older children, there was no evidence that the aluminium-containing vaccines were responsible for serious or long-lasting side-effects.

Jefferson and colleagues recommend-unusually, perhaps, for modern medicine-that no further research be done on this topic.
Contact: Dr. Tom Jefferson, Cochrane Vaccines Field, Via Adige 28a, 00061 Anguillara Sabazia, Rome, Italy. T/F) 39-06-999-00-989; E)


Related Vaccines Articles from Brightsurf:

Comprehensive safety testing of COVID-19 vaccines based on experience with prior vaccines
'The urgent need for COVID-19 vaccines must be balanced with the imperative of ensuring safety and public confidence in vaccines by following the established clinical safety testing protocols throughout vaccine development, including both pre- and post-deployment,' write David M.

Safety of HPV vaccines in males
A new analysis published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology shows that HPV vaccines are safe and well tolerated in the male population, and the side effects that may occur after immunization are similar in both sexes.

Model could improve design of vaccines, immunotherapies
Researchers have discovered a general property for understanding how immune cell receptors sense and respond to microbial signals, which could lead to more effective vaccines for both existing and novel viruses.

Better vaccines are in our blood
Red blood cells don't just shuttle oxygen from our lungs to our organs: they also help the body fight off infections by capturing pathogens in the blood and presenting them to immune cells in the spleen.

Challenges in evaluating SARS-CoV-2 vaccines
With more than 140 SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in development, the race is on for a successful candidate to help prevent COVID-19.

Designing vaccines from artificial proteins
EPFL scientists have developed a new computational approach to create artificial proteins, which showed promising results in vivo as functional vaccines.

Misinformation on vaccines readily available online
Parents researching childhood vaccinations online are likely to encounter significant levels of negative information, researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.

Battle with the cancer: New avenues from childhood vaccines
A new research from the University of Helsinki showed for the first time how the pre-immunization acquired through common childhood vaccines can be used to enhance therapeutic cancer treatment.

Personalized cancer vaccines
The only therapeutic cancer vaccine available on the market has so far showed very limited efficacy in clinical trials.

Doubts raised about effectiveness of HPV vaccines
A new analysis of the clinical trials of HPV vaccines to prevent cervical cancer raises doubts about the vaccines' effectiveness.

Read More: Vaccines News and Vaccines Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to