Glaxo Smith Kline prepares to deploy flu vaccine with squalene-like adjuvant [updated]

Posted on September 17th, 2009 Dan

The US Food and Drug Administration and pharmaceutical company Glaxo Smith Kline are conducting human H1N1 vaccine trials using GSK’s proprietary oil based adjuvant, AS03.

“Adjuvants” are chemicals designed to increase the body’s immune response to the vaccine antigen.  “Antigens” are generally viruses or irradiated virus fragments, toxoids, bacteria, or proteins derived from the disease being vaccinated against. Preservatives are often included to increase shelf life.  All these components are suspended in a solution (usually saline) for injection.

Fats/oils are found naturally in the human body, including the insulating myelin sheath around nerve cells.  Squalene is a natural and vital part of the synthesis of cholesterol, steroid hormones, and vitamin D in the human body. [1]  There is ample evidence in animal models that injecting oil-based adjuvants can confuse the immune system into thinking these types of oils are also foreign invading pathogens, triggering an auto-immune attack against the body’s own oils [2,3,6].

The effectiveness of squalene-like oils as adjuvants has been known for many years, but their use may result in auto-immune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and Guillan-Barre syndrome.  Currently, oil-based adjuvants are not used in vaccines for civilians in the US.  Instead, aluminum salts (phosphate, hydroxide), and thimerosal (ethyl mercury) adjuvants are used.  Some scientists believe “Gulf War Syndrome” was caused at least in part by Anthrax vaccines containing an oil-based adjuvant.

To dissolve an oil in water, a surfactant (detergent) chemical, such as octoxinol in the case of GSK’s H1N1 vaccine, must also be used.  Little research is avaialble on the synergistic effects of injecting oils, surfactants, aluminum, and mercury together.

In spite of evidence contraindicating the use of oil adjuvants, governments and drug companies are conspiring to scare populations into taking a poorly tested vaccine, risking widespread auto-immune disease. Drug companies stand to make massive profits and thanks to legislation enacted in 1986, will enjoy zero liability for adverse reactions [4].  Not surprisingly, a 2008 GSK study found no evidence for autoimmune disorders caused by it’s AS04 oil and aluminum adjuvant [5]. will be recruiting volunteers if you would like to be a guinea pig for GSK’s new flu vaccine with the experimental adjuvant cocktail, mercury, and formaldehyde.  There are just a few reasons you might be excluded from the trial:

If you…

Have a known allergy to eggs or other components of the vaccine (including squalene based adjuvants, gelatin, formaldehyde, octoxinol, thimerosal, and chicken protein)

Have a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Any takers?

More info:

GSK press release: HHS purchases vaccine components.

HHS purchases oil based adjuvant for use in vaccines.


[1] Wikipedia entry for Squalene (Yes, really)

[2] Autoimmunity induced by adjuvant hydrocarbon oil components of vaccine [pdf]. Yoshiki Kuroda, Dina C. Nacionales, Jun Akaogi, Westley H. Reeves. and Minoru Satoh

[3] Protracted, relapsing and demyelinating experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in DA rats immunized with syngeneic spinal cord and incomplete Freund’s adjuvant [pdf]. Johnny C. Lorentzen, Shohreh Issazadeh, M. Starch, Maha I. Mustafa, Hans Lassman, Christopher Linington, Lars Klareskog, Tomas Olsson.

[4]  From PUBLIC LAW 99-660-NOV. 14, 1986 [pdf]: “No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death associated with the administration of a vaccine after the effective date of this subtitle if the injury or death resulted from side effects that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings.”

[5]  Analysis of adverse events of potential autoimmune aetiology in a large integrated safety database of AS04 adjuvanted vaccines [pdf]. (All authors work for Glaxo Smith Kline) Thomas Verstraeten, Dominique Descamps, Marie-Pierre David, Toufik Zahaf, Karin Hardt, Patricia Izurieta, Gary Dubin and Thomas Breuer

[6] Arthritis induced in rats with adjuvant oil is a genetically restricted, alpha beta T-cell dependent autoimmune disease. R Holmdahl, T J Goldschmidt, S Kleinau, C Kvick, and R Jonsson


87 Responses to “Glaxo Smith Kline prepares to deploy flu vaccine with squalene-like adjuvant [updated]”

  1. CORRECTION 10-31-09: AS03 does not contain aluminum. AS04 does.