Friday, September 17, 2010

Which DTaP Brand is Best for Your Child Based on Aluminum Content?

Per the CDC schedule, the DTaP (Diptheria, Tetanus, a-cellular Pertussis) vaccine is given at 2, 4, and 6 months then between 15-18 months and 4-6years. 

You have several to choose from. All of them have aluminum levels that exceed the FDA's 25 mcg limit for infant exposure. For example:

Sanofi's Tripedia has 170 mcg of aluminum.
Sanofi's Daptacel has 330 mcg of aluminum.
GSK's Infanrix has 625 mcg of aluminum.

Although you might immediately want to choose Tripedia because it has a lower amount, please note that Tripedia also contains trace amounts of Thimerosal. Also note that if reducing exposure is your goal, then it is in your best interest to AVOID the super-combo vaccines. For example, the HepB/DTaP/Polio combo-vaccine called Pediarix by GSK contains a whopping 850 mcg of aluminum.

This site has an interactive vaccine calculator. You simply customize it to the age/weight of your child, select from the CDC schedule which vaccines you hypothetically want your child to receive and then you can choose brands from a drop down menu. It contains helpful, concise details such as which brand is designated for which age group, chemical quantities and alerts for common allergies. PLEASE bookmark! Whether you vaccinate, don't vaccinate or selectively vaccinate, this site is a gem!

A quick summary of the vaccine-related illnesses:

Diptheria: rare before and after mass vaccination, related to unsanitary conditions, average of 5 cases a year in the entire country, 10% fatality rate, treatable.

Tetanus: rare in healthy people, especially infants/children (typically a concern for the elderly and diabetics). Avoided with proper wound care. Effective Tetanus immunoglobulin is available instead of vaccine for post-exposure concerns.

Pertussis: an endemic illness (comes and goes on its own regardless of vaccination) that is only "dangerous" in very young infants or the immunocompromised. Antibiotics extend cough. Vitamin C taken orally to tolerance seems to be the only/best treatment. The most common strains mutated; previous vaccines are ineffective. The vaccine does NOT stop transmission and can make vaccinated people silent carriers of disease to at-risk populations. (Scenario: Fully vaccinated mother in law has a slight cough, holds her new grandson, gives him Pertussis).

Please remember that Aluminum is only one concern when deciding whether or not to keep your children vaccine-free. Research the other aspects of vaccination with these pro-vaccine sources:

The John Hopkins School of Public Health has compiled the actual manufacturer inserts in PDF form for almost all licensed vaccines in America. You can choose the vaccine you want to learn about from the list:

The 2010 CDC vaccine schedule:

The CDC vaccine ingredient list:

A recent, peer-reviewed study on Aluminum Hydroxide and its impact on neurological and motor function:

"Aluminum is established as a neurotoxin, although the basis for its toxicity is unknown. It recently has been shown to alter the function of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which regulates exchanges between the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral circulation. The BBB owes its unique properties to the integrity of the cell membranes that comprise it. Aluminum affects some of the membrane-like functions of the BBB. It increases the rate of transmembrane diffusion and selectively changes saturable transport systems without disrupting the integrity of the membranes or altering CNS hemodynamics. Such alterations in the access to the brain of nutrients, hormones, toxins, and drugs could be the basis of CNS dysfunction. Aluminum is capable of altering membrane function at the BBB; many of its effects on the CNS as well as peripheral tissues can be explained by its actions as a membrane toxin."

Dr. Sears works through the history of Aluminum safety limits and talks about how to choose the brand that's right for your child:

Here, you can track the yearly count for these vaccine-related illnesses right on the CDC page:

To find out the reported number of deaths, visit the CDC’s website here and type in which disease you are interested in learning about:

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national vaccine safety site run by the CDC and FDA:

An easier tool to use that searches the VAERS database is at Go ahead and search for DTaP. Read the case stories. It will give you an idea of what reactions and injuries are typically associated with this vaccine. 


  1. My previously unvaccinated daughter just "had" to get a DTaP for tetanus exposure from a dog bite two days ago. I chose to get her a tetanus shot, but was told at the Dr. office that the combined DTaP vaccine was all that is available to infants. I was upset, but felt like I didn't have a choice (and the Dr. was VERY pressuring). Thankfully my 10 month old daughter hasn't shown any reactions to it, but I definitely wish that I had gone in the Dr. office better armed with this knowledge. :(
    I'm not sure which brand they gave her either.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about that. :( But I am glad she is not showing any severe reactions.

    The Tetanus Tactic as I call it is a very popular one that I hear from many parents. So I am always trying to get the word out that an immunoglobulin exists, and that the vaccine is not a safe choice for post-exposure concerns, since it will not "take effect" soon enough.

    I know it's too late for your situation, but I will share this under your comment in case others ever need to know.

  3. I have been going back & forth about the dtap shot so far we have had no vaccines but the thought of pertussis & the vaccine scare me! The only one im on the fence about.Im pretty sure the vaccine would make the disease less sevee, only reason why id want to get it...Ugh hard decision.

  4. I too am on the fence. I have a 4 yr old that is vaccine free. I am thinking about starting some. My Dr. says that Dtap is the one. After doing much research I dont feel he is in any danger from any of these diseases. It scares the hell out of me after reading what is in this vaccine. If I give it and he is ok, great....but what if. How could I live with myself...Help

  5. The more you know, the less fear you fall for.

  6. Thank you for the information. Can a tetnus immunoglobulin be given to a child age 2? My pediatrician said no also and that the TDap was the only option which wouldn't give protection quick enough after a tetnus exposure? But I worry about vaccines. Both my non vaxed girls are super healthy and I don't want them injured in any way from a vaccine.