Thanks for the pointer to the CNN article. One thing this conversation has helped me understand is how legitimately scary the issues sound. For example, injecting aluminum directly into the bloodstream.
Perhaps I never understood this because of my peculiar background as an earth scientist who worked in water testing for years. We're so casual about aluminum that it's everywhere — in Coke cans, antacids, deodorant, foil, food, machinery, etc. — so it gets in some water supplies too.
Some percentage of the roughly 8 mg of aluminum the average person ingests every day ends up in our blood and urine, which is a scary thought. The blood and urine tests tell us the highest amounts end up in people who are aluminum welders, workers in factories that produce aluminum powder, and people who have impaired kidney function (for example, the elderly and premature infants).
I don't know how clear it is what the effects of elevated aluminum are. They are elevated in Alzheimer's patients.
What's hard for me as a cold-blooded insensitive scientist is to try and link scariness with real effects. The dose of aluminum salt in a vaccine of less than 1 mg is so small it can't be measured in blood or urine tests. It's microscopic in scope since we get so few vaccines compared to the aluminum we take in every day. So we end up having to rely on the big studies about the effects of vaccines on health.
I think that by the numbers, you can probably conclude that choosing aluminum welding as an occupation, consuming an excess of antacids, or letting your kidneys get to a bad state could lead to negative health outcomes. But overwhelmingly large, careful studies indicate vaccines are safe.
If someone can find good data that indicates otherwise, however, I for one would embrace it.