Cochrane – Aluminium and vaccine safety

Cochrane Lancet Infect Dis

Internationally, Cochrane undertakes systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy, including reviews of vaccine products. 

Cochrane declare: “We gather and summarise the best evidence from research to help you make informed choices about treatment…Our work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information…Our mission to provide accessible, credible information to support informed decision-making has never been more important or useful for improving global health.”[1]

I suggest some Cochrane systematic reviews of vaccine products did not make the ‘gold standard’, particularly Tom Jefferson et al’s review of aluminium and vaccine safety, i.e. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence.[2]

I suggest Jefferson et al’s scientifically unsound review has facilitated poorly evidenced acceptance of the safety of aluminium-adjuvanted vaccines.  As a consequence, an increasing number of aluminium-adjuvanted vaccines are being added to vaccination schedules around the world e.g. multiple doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccines, and multiple doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, among others.  The meningococcal B vaccine is the latest to be promoted.  The long-term cumulative effects of the ever-growing list of vaccine products are unknown.

On 25 May 2016 I forwarded a letter to the then Australian Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley, challenging Jefferson et al’s review on aluminium and vaccine safety and its influence on vaccination policy, click on this hyperlink to access the letter: Letter to the Chief Medical Officer re aluminium and vaccine safety and vaccination policy.

Click on the following hyperlinks to access the full text of my earlier correspondence on this matter:

  • Letters dated 8 July 2014 and 17 July 2014 to Professor Peter Gøtzsche, co-founder of The Cochrane Collaboration and Director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre
  • Letter on this matter to John McConnell, Editor of The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, requesting that this review prepared by the Cochrane Vaccines Field be retracted (11 August 2014).
  • Letter to Dr David Tovey, Editor in Chief, The Cochrane Library, and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Cochrane Editorial Unit / Cochrane Central Executive (16 December 2014).

Both The Cochrane Collaboration and The Lancet Infectious Diseases have failed to address this matter.

I have also forwarded correspondence relative to other Cochrane systematic reviews, i.e.:


[1] The Cochrane Collaboration – About us:

[2] Jefferson T, Rudin M, Di Pietrantoni C. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence.  Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 Feb; 4(2):84-90:

[3] Demicheli V, Rivetti A, Debalini MG, Di Pietrantonj C. Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD004407. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004407.pub3:

[4] Zhang L, Prietsch SOM, Axelsson I, Halperin SA. Acellular vaccines for preventing whooping cough in children.  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001478. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001478.pub5: