Parents Advocate Mercury-Free Flu Shots
Jan 01, 2007 03:48PM
A new survey by PutChildrenFirst.org reveals that an overwhelming majority of Americans are unaware that 90 percent of this season’s flu shot supply contains mercury. Four out of five say they’d refuse such a shot in favor of paying $2.50 more for a mercury-free vaccine for themselves and their children. As far back as 1999, government agencies called for the removal of Thimerosal, the mercury-based preservative in most vaccines. Two years later the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that “efforts should be made to reduce exposure [to mercury] to the extent possible to pregnant women and children as well as the general population.” Now new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association notes that “there is scant data on the efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccine in young children.” Yet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to recommend the vaccine for pregnant women and children six months and older.
“A common myth is that Thimerosal is added to vaccines in ‘trace’ amounts,” says Mike Wagnitz, a senior chemist with the University of Wisconsin. He clarifies that the concentration of mercury in a multi-dose flu vaccine vial is 50,000 parts per billion, “250 times higher than what is legally classified as hazardous waste.”