Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


MEPs devise strategy to tackle vaccine hesitancy among public

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 23 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1378

Rapid Response:

Ignoring immunotoxicity of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines, won’t make it go away

Most vaccines use aluminum compounds as immunological adjuvants. The US FDA studied the pharmacokinetics of aluminum alone, ignoring immunotoxicity and declared that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines are safe! [1,2⁠]

A Cochrane study in 2004 by Jefferson et al., [3]⁠ on aluminum adjuvant safety, concluded: “Despite a lack of good-quality evidence we do not recommend that any further research on this topic is undertaken.”

Cochrane proposes to study the topic once again now. [4]⁠ As detailed in the feedback to that proposal, the proposal as it stands today will only kick the can down the road. Meanwhile, people continue to be sickened by this unsafe adjuvant. There is no science behind claims of aluminum adjuvant safety in vaccines. [2]⁠


1. Mitkus RJ, King DB, Hess MA, Forshee RA, Walderhaug MO. Updated aluminum pharmacokinetics following infant exposures through diet and vaccination. Vaccine. 2011 Nov 28;29(51):9538–43.
2. Arumugham V. Safety studies of aluminum in vaccines lack immunotoxicity analysis of this immunological adjuvant: Ignorance or deception? [Internet]. 2017. Available from:
3. Jefferson T, Rudin M, Di Pietrantonj C. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence. Lancet Infect Dis. United States; 2004 Feb;4(2):84–90.
4. Djurisic S, Jakobsen JC, Petersen SB, Kenfelt M, Gluud C. Aluminium adjuvants used in vaccines versus placebo or no intervention. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2017;(9).

Competing interests: No competing interests

05 April 2018
Vinu Arumugham
San Jose, CA, USA