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Posts from the ‘Vaccine Ingredients’ Category

Immunology 101 Series: Adjuvants, Aluminum, and Gelatin! Oh My! The Scientific Scoop on Vaccine Ingredients

By Aimee Pugh-Bernard, PhD

Are the ingredients in vaccines necessary and useful? YES!

All of the ingredients within vaccines are vital and play a role in important things like helping the immune system respond, maintaining the longevity of the vaccine itself, and keeping the vaccine safe from contamination.

In the ninth installment of the Immunology 101 Series, Aimee will explain the science behind the ingredients in vaccines. Read more

Coming Soon! ‘Immunize for Good’ Website for Spanish-Speaking Parents


There’s a lot of chatter going on these days about vaccines. Moms-to-be, new moms and seasoned moms are faced with loads of questions and concerns. What’s in the shots? Why are there so many? Should we space them out? Are they safe? What are the risks? And the challenge is, each of these questions is often met with conflicting answers. Read more

Thimerosal: Something to Worry About?

I’m back to talk about childhood vaccines ingredents.  In this episode I talk specifically about thimerosal and if you should worry about your child’s health.

If I’ve never heard of it and can’t pronounce it, is it safe to put in my baby’s body?

Lactalbumin…hydrolysate…formaldehyde…aluminum:  ingredients used in the most common childhood vaccines which protect against diseases like poliomyelitis (polio for short), diphtheria, hepatitis A and B. If you have a vaccinated child between the ages of two months and eight years, your kiddo (like mine) has gotten at least one, if not several, of these.

When I read the ingredients listed in a vaccine, I recognize very few. The ones I do know, formaldehyde and aluminum, make me hesitate.

Formaldehyde takes me back to 8th grade biology class.  Who can forget the smell from the container of preservative where the frogs were kept before dissection?

And aluminum, haven’t I stopped using certain pots, pans and deodorant to avoid the long-term effects of exposure?  This is scary stuff. No wonder there is much being said, blogged, and tweeted about the safety of vaccine ingredients.

Vaccines are safe, yet the individual ingredients can be scary. I encourage parents to ask questions. Find out why a particular ingredient is used. Many of the elements I found scary in vaccines have a critical role in ensuring its safety and effectiveness.

Toxicity, or the degree to which something is poisonous, is defined by the presence of an ingredient, how it is used, when it is added to the process and if it is taken out. The simple fact that the ingredient is present DOES NOT make it harmful to humans.

Let’s look at two common examples of labeling compound elements as good or bad.  Vitamin C is on our “good for you” list. However, taken in large quantities it can lead to complications, overdose, and even death by kidney failure. Vitamin C, at certain levels, can be toxic.

Chlorine, a strong cleaning agent used to kill bacteria can cause severe burns if drank or inhaled, which I AM NOT recommending. However, when chlorine is combined with another element, sodium (a highly reactive element that explodes when it comes into contact with water), you have a safe compound: table salt.

There are rigorous studies by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on every newly recommended vaccine before it is approved for use by doctors. Vaccines must be tested first on their own merit for safety and effectiveness, then on how they interact with existing vaccines. This is to make sure there are no negative interactions among vaccines. Here is a link on evidence of this because I know that some parents doubt this fact.

The government is very careful and forthcoming about vaccine ingredients. I am confident that no one is attempting to poison our children.  There is no “hiding” what goes into vaccines. You can find all the ingredients used in childhood, adult and travel vaccines here.

Vaccines have a proven track record of being safe, being effective in preventing disease and in saving lives. This is proven time and time again.

BTW…Lactalbumin is cheese whey. Hydrolysate is a process used to create proteins that feed cells.  Formaldehyde is used to “kill” the live virus so the body can fight the weaken disease while building immunity. Aluminum is used to boost the vaccines effectiveness.

So what do you think about ingredients? Did this post put you at ease or just make you want to learn more?