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Thimerosal In Flu Vaccines

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

I received an email from a reader who “had a problem with my statement about vaccines being thimerosal free”.  Since 2001 all vaccines given to children under the age of 6 are thimerosal free, with the exception of the influenza vaccine. She is correct in pointing out that influenza vaccines may contain a minimal amount of thimerosal (a mercury based preservative), but influenza vaccines are also available thimerasol free.  The LAIV (live nasal vaccine/flumist), is also thimerasol free and is available for use in children 2 and older.

images-3Although injectable influenza vaccines may contain a minimal amount of thimerosal, the amount is negligible and is deemed safe by both the FDA and the CDC.

Infants are not receiving a series of vaccines containing thimerasol, and at most would receive 2 influenza vaccines after they are 6 months of age during the first season that they are vaccinated, and subsequently would receive one dose per year thereafter.  There are also thimerasol free influenza vaccines available (this year both seasonal and “swine flu” vaccines) for use.

By the time a child is 2 years of age, they would at most have received 3 doses of an influenza vaccine that had  0.01% thimerasol or less which would be between <1 mcg – 25 mcg/0.5ml vaccine dose. (Do you know how much mercury is in the fish you eat or other products you consume daily?)  After the age of 2 parents may choose to have their child immunized for influenza with the LAIV nasal vaccine that is also thimerasol free.

As with many things in life one must weigh the risk benefit ratio, in this case of giving a vaccine that contains minimal thimerasol. In my opinion the science has quite eloquently proven that there is not a link between the preservative thimerasol and autism. With that being said,  I also believe that the risk of an infant developing flu and having complications from their infection, far outweighs any hypothetical or anecdotal concern about thimerasol.

As I have said before, we know what does not cause autism and it was not thimerasol in vaccines. In fact the rate of diagnosis of autism has gone up, rather than down, since thimerasol was removed from vaccines. We need to continue to devote research dollars to finding the cause of autism.

In the meantime, I stand corrected and wanted to give all of you more detailed information about thimerasol and influenza vaccines.

That’s your daily dose.  We’ll chat again tomorrow!

Send your question to Dr. Sue! (click here)

Related Posts on www.kidsdr.com

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One Response to “Thimerosal In Flu Vaccines”

  1. laura says:

    Not to mention, the mercury in fish is methyl mercury, which is NOT the same thing as ethyl mercury (in Thimerosal). Comparing the two is like comparing ethyl and methyl alcohol. one will kill you, the other will make you drunk. One accumulates in your system and can effect your nervous system (methyl, as in contaminated fish) the other hasn’t shown either of those propertie (ethyl, as in thimersal).

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