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HEP A Vaccine: Contents and Dangers

“Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection. Most adults with hepatitis A have symptoms, including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, that usually resolve within 2 months of infection; most children less than 6 years of age do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. Antibodies produced in response to hepatitis A infection last for life and protect against reinfection. The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.” – Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

You are most susceptible to hepatitis A if you:

Are a man who has sex with other men.

Travel to countries where hepatitis A is common.

Have sex with an infected person.

Use illegal drugs.

Have a clotting disorder (such as hemophilia).

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that children begin the hepatitis A vaccine schedule at one year of age. The schedule consists of two doses spaced six months apart and can be started at any age.

There are two hepatitis A vaccines made available for the public by two separate vaccine manufacturers. They are, Havrix which is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals and VAQTA which is manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc.

Havrix Ingredients:

aluminum hydroxide, amino acid supplement, polysorbate 20, formaldehyde, neomycin sulfate, phosphate buffered saline, MRC-5 celullar proteins, aminoglycoside antibiotic.

VAQTA Ingredients:

bovine albumin, sodium borate, formaldehyde, non-viral proteins, sodium chloride, neomycin.

-Danger Breakdown-

I will only discuss ingredients that have been found to have possible negative repercussions when used.


The Havrix version of the hep A vaccine is the only one that contains this ingredient, with 250 mcg of aluminum. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends no more than 5 mcg of aluminum per kg (about 2.2 lbs) of bodyweight. This means that the lowest weight a person can be to safely be given 250 mcg of aluminum is about 113 pounds. However, with the ACIP recommending the vaccine be started at one year of age, and the average one year old weighing 18.2-21.4 lbs, that means 250 mcg of aluminum is being given to a person that should (according to the FDA) only be given 41.4-48.6 mcg of aluminum. That is more than five times the recommended amount.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), taking in too much aluminum can lead to it accumulating in the bones and brain and becoming toxic. It can also cause neurological damage and can even cause death in cases where the child has weak kidneys, other kidney disorders, or in premature babies.

Amino Acids and Proteins:

Havrix contains amino acids and VAQTA contains non-viral proteins and bovine albumin, which is a protein. The amino acids and proteins typically contained in vaccines often come from foreign bodies such as chickens, monkeys, and cattle (bovine). According to Dr. Robyn Cosford, when foreign proteins make it into our bloodstream without having first been broken down (through our GI tract) it can set off an autoimmune response in our bodies. This means that our body’s immune system will start attacking things it shouldn’t. Dr. Cosford also states that, “By injecting things never meant to be in the body we are not only bypassing body defenses but wrongly activating other defenses.” This can cause autoimmune disorders such as: Addison’s disease, celiac disease, Graves disease, multiple sclerosis, pernicious anemia, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, and others.


Formaldehyde, called formalin in its liquid form, is an ingredient in both of these vaccines. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recognizes formaldehyde as a known carcinogen, which means it causes cancer. However, our bodies also naturally contain low levels of formaldehyde for synthesizing DNA and amino acids (“Vaccine Ingredients – Formaldehyde | Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,” n.d.). The levels of formaldehyde in vaccines are largely considered non-dangerous with Havrix at .05  mg for a child and .1 mg for an adult. VAQTA contains .0004 mg for a child and .0008 mg for an adult.

However, the National Research Council states that, “Fewer than 20% but perhaps more than 10% of the general population may be susceptible to formaldehyde and may react acutely at any exposure level.”

MRC-5 Cellular Proteins:

MRC-5 was a baby boy that was aborted in the 1970’s at 14 weeks gestation, his cells are used in the Havrix version of the vaccine. In vaccines 100,000,000 strands of human DNA are allowed per dose. It is used as an adjuvant, helping the body’s immune system respond positively to the antigen (vaccine). This not only poses an ethical issue for those who believe abortion is wrong, but a medical one as well.

DNA contains blood, and when different blood types are mixed together within a human body bad things can happen. Dr. Helen Ratajczak conducted a study on what could go wrong with containing human DNA in vaccines. When asked why it can have negative side-effects Dr. Ratajczak said:

“Because it’s human DNA and recipients are humans, there’s homologous recombinaltion tiniker. That DNA is incorporated into the host DNA. Now it’s changed, altered self and body kills it. Where is this most expressed? The neurons of the brain. Now you have the body killing the brain cells and it’s an ongoing inflammation. It doesn’t stop, it continues through the life of that individual.”

She also found a correlation between a spike in autism in the mid 1990’s and when the chicken pox vaccine was cultured in human tissue.

In Closing:

The quote from the CDC website at the beginning of this post states that the antibodies produced from battling hepatitis A last for a lifetime, making a future infection very unlikely. Also, the means by which hepatitis A is typically contracted, through fecal to oral means or by ingesting contaminated food or drink, are easily remedied. Simple hygiene care, proper food treatment, and water filtration and treatment can solve both of these issues. Which then leaves the question as to why one needs the vaccine and the potential damage it may inflict? And why does the CDC say that the best way to avoid infection of hepatitis A is to get the vaccine, rather than to simply wash your hands and not eat or drink anything that might be contaminated? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section, I will read them and likely respond.


C. Wilson; Chronic Exposure and Human Health (1993), McFarland & Company taken from Our Toxic         Times Feb 1997 pgs 18 & 19.

Hepatitis A Information | Division of Viral Hepatitis | CDC. (2017, September 29). Retrieved from

Ratajczak, H. V. (2011). Theoretical Aspects of Autism: Cause – A Review. Journal of Immunotoxicology,     8(1), 68-79. Retrieved from           causes-a-review1-1.pdf

Vaccine Ingredients – Formaldehyde | Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Vaccine Ingredients. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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Your final question was really the one I thought of as well. Why would it be so highly recommended if those basic hygiene and safety practices are the best way to prevent. I could see maybe that being the best way to prevent in maybe some 3rd world countries where there is high water contamination risk, low hygiene practices, and therefore a higher risk for the disease. However, even in those scenarios, the illness is not deadly in most cases, and once you’ve had it, you then become immune from contracting it again.


I want to start off by saying I really appreciate your well researched post. You make a lot of great points with lots of very good data. I am a first-year medical student and I have seen amongst my peers some resistance towards people who refuse vaccines, but there is often a lot of logic behind the skepticism when it comes to vaccines. There is this principle that we learn in our training about autonomy of the patient and that the patient has the ultimate choice in what they decide to do with their own bodies. On the other hand,… Read more »

Donnie Malloy
Donnie Malloy

Thanks for this article, I am travelling to Nepal (from the U.S.) next month, and although I am skeptical of all vaccines, and didn’t want to get any of the 7 or 8 “highly recommended” vaccines that the CDC mentions for travel to Nepal, it seems like the Hep A vaccine is the only one of them that I really should get. Apparently after the earthquakes in Nepal a few years ago, many underground sewage and water lines have been crossed, and there is much contamination of the water and fresh (uncooked) foods. I will be doing my absolute best… Read more »

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