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Thimerosal in vaccines

Does your office carry mercury free vaccines ?

When people ask about mercury in vaccines they are referring to the preservative thimerosal. Thimerosal had been used in many vaccines since the 1930s. For the most part the vaccines we carry at Pediatric Associates are thimerosal free. The exception is the flu shot. The multi-vial flu injectable vaccine we use still contains a small amount of thimerosal. If my patients are worried about thimerosal and want a flu vaccine I recommend a flumist. There is a thimerosal free injected vaccine available, but we are currently unable to carry it secondary to cost.

In the early 1990s there was new evidence that even small doses of mercury can be harmful. Methylmercury can cause neurologic damage and death. In 1994, the environmental protection agency lowered their definition of a toxic dose of mercury. It was after this time that thimerosal came under increased scrutiny and ultimately led to its removal (by and large) from vaccines. Interestingly thimerosal is metabolized to ethylmercury, not the poisonous methylmercury. Ethylmercury is not known to be harmful. The Institute of Medicine's Immunization safety review committee investigated and found no relationship between thimerosal and developmental disorders (like autism). Unfortunately, we have seen no reduction in the incidence of autism since thimerosal was removed from the majority of vaccines.



source www.fda.gov
Written September, 2010 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician






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