Vaccine safety is certainly a highly controversial topic this year, and in this interview, Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic helps shed light on an important aspect of this discussion, which is how vaccine adjuvants can affect your brain.
Dr. Tomljenovic is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where she works in neurosciences and the Department of Medicine.
"The reason why I got interested in this area is [because] there is a lack of research demonstrating safety," she says.
"When one reviews most of the pharma-based trials on the safety of vaccines, you will see that they either use another vaccine as a placebo or the aluminum adjuvant, and neither of those constitutes a proper placebo.
It's very easy to claim that the product is safe if you're using a comparator that inherently might be toxic."
Another factor that triggered her skepticism about what was being reported in the peer-reviewed literature was her coming face to face with scientific corruption. A former boss actually asked her to falsify data on an experiment they were doing with statin drugs.
They were testing a cholesterol-lowering medication in mice, and more mice were dying from the statin treatment than from the placebo treatment, which in this case was plain water.
"When the result came, my boss told me to ignore the dead mice from the statistics, because it wouldn't look good on the drug. I thought to myself, 'I didn't get a PhD degree to lie to earn money,' so I quit my job," she says.
“I started questioning what else have we been sold in sciences that were dodgy data...My boss was receiving money from the drug companies, and obviously they would have not given more money to a lab that published unfavorable reports about their drugs.”
Aluminum Adjuvants Are Falsely Assumed Safe
When asked about why researchers (and the peer-reviewed journals who review these studies) allow the use of improper placebos—meaning placebos that may be toxic rather than inert—when testing vaccines, she suggests increasing their sales as a primary motivating factor.
It's sobering to realize that when the aluminum adjuvant was first approved for use in vaccines, some 90 years ago, it was approved because of efficacy. It was never actually tested for safety. Even the total allowable limit was based on efficacy data, not safety data. They just assumed it was safe.
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