I just read a thoroughly thought-provoking article in Mothering magazine about aluminum additives in vaccines ("Is Aluminum the New Thimersol?," page 46, Jan/Feb 2008). The article, written by Robert W. Sears, MD, FAAP (yes, he is related to the well-known pediatrician Dr. William Sears; he's his son) questions the amount of aluminum added to vaccines to make them more effective. Could it be toxic at the levels kids are commonly getting? As Sears points out, not enough research has been done on the topic.
What's a parent to do? Sears recommends asking your doctor to use vaccines that do not contain aluminum (for those that are available aluminum-free), and asking for the lowest-aluminum option for others. He also suggests a modified vaccination schedule, that allows children to receive all of the recommended vaccines but spaces out the number of vaccines given in one visit, to limit the amount of aluminum taken at one time (the body does rid itself of the aluminum, but large amounts may not be as easily cleared from the system).
Vaccines--for so many reasons!--are a hot topic in my circle of moms. Are they in yours? Have you taken an alternate path when it comes to vaccinating your kids? Which resources have helped you make those decisions? Tell us.