Wednesday, November 4, 2009

11/4 Edit - Sharethis: Thimerosal Suspension for H1N1 (swine flu) Vaccine - Immunization Program - Washington State Department of Health

11/4 Edit: Here's a link to another good discussion of the thimerosal issue in the H1N1 vaccine.

10/13 Edit: Good discussion going in the Comments.


This is troubling news. The U. S. Department of Health has suspended the allowable level of thimerosal for the H1N1 vaccine. Troubling because thimerosal is a mercury substance.

Generally, I'm in favor of vaccinations and inoculations. I'm in the age group with scars on our shoulders from smallpox inoculations. Down here in Alabama, tetanus is a problem. Inoculations and vaccinations are important for public health.

I am NOT in favor of unrestricted thimerosal levels in anything. Pregnant women are advised to avoid fish so they (and their babies) won't be exposed to mercury--yet pregnant women have been labeled as high-risk for H1N1 problems and should be amongst the first to get the unrestricted thimerosal vaccine? What's wrong with this picture??

I do not plan to get the H1N1 vaccine. There is simply no good reason to do so.

Please read the article listed on the U. S. Department of Health website. Read all you can from sources you trust so that you can make an informed decision.

Consider not getting the H1N1 vaccine. To suspend the restrictions on thimerosal levels is insane, in my opinion.

Thimerosal [mercury level] Suspension for H1N1 Vaccine
Thimerosal Suspension for H1N1 (swine flu) Vaccine - Immunization Program - Washington State Department of Health

Parin Stormlaughter sent this using ShareThis.


  1. I'm understanding this a bit differently. Per the CDC's website, "Since 2001, no new vaccine licensed by FDA for use in children has contained thimerosal as a preservative, and all vaccines routinely recommended by CDC for children under six years of age have been thimerosal-free, or contain only trace amounts, except for multi-dose formulations of influenza vaccine."

    The H1N1 vaccine, like other flu vaccines, comes in several formulations, both with and without thimerosal. Single-dose vaccines can be (and are) manufactured without thimerosal, but multiple dose containers typically have it to avoid contamination issues. In a typical flu season, children and pregnant women would not be expected to have a problem accessing thimerosal-free flu vaccines.

    This year, because of the rapid spread of H1N1, there are fears that not everyone who would want the vaccine would be able to access it. The article you link to states that the Washington State Dept of Health (not the US Dept of Health) has temporarily suspended thimerosal limits, but from what I can see, WA state has more stringent requirements about mercury content than the US. The vaccines are still all required to meet the FDA's requirements. Also, WA state is requiring health care providers to inform their patients (in the case of children or pregnant women) if the only vaccines available contain thimerosal, so the patients can make the decision whether to get the vaccine or not.

    I do agree that everyone should do their own research before making a decision about getting vaccinated.

    The CDC has more information here:

    Be well,

  2. My comments are about pregnant women rather than vaccines for children under age six produced since 2001.

    The article is about the state of Washington deciding to suspend their laws about thimerosal levels in vaccines, which have already contracted for production by the U. S. government. The article in my blog is listed on the state of Washington's page on the U. S. Department of Health website.

    As the CDC article you mentioned reads, the U. S. government already contracted to produce the H1N1 vaccine in several formulations which will contain thimerosal (and one formulation, the intranasal one, should not have any thimerosal according to the article). At the bottom of the state of Washington's DOH page is a link to a .pdf FAQ about the issue which is much more clear than the CDC information, in my opinion. It contains information about the U. S. government's own thimerosal limits in vaccines. Here's the link from the state of Washington DOH page:

    It seems to me that the statement in the CDC article that the CDC doesn't recommend thimerosal-containing vaccines for children under age six isn't relevant to pregnant women who have been categorized by the U. S. government as needing the H1N1 vaccine in an especially significant way.

    The state of Washington has determined that it will allow for administration a vaccine with levels of thimerosal already prohibited by its law. The CDC clearly states that 85% of the H1N1 vaccines it has contracted for production likely will contain thimerosal. The state of Washington clearly expects that the majority of the vaccine it can get contain more thimerosal than their law allows.

    The .pdf FAQ document explains the state of Washington's thinking behind their laws restricting thimerosal in vaccines for pregnant women (and children under age 3 which my blog column isn't intended to address). Here's a quote from that doc:

    "The state law was created as a precaution so pregnant women and parents or guardians of young children won’t avoid vaccination due to safety concerns."

    The U. S. government doesn't restrict tobacco but it (as well as the state of Washington and perhaps other states, I have no idea) does restrict thimerosal. If that isn't enough to sway a person away from thimerosal, I don't know what would.

    It troubled me to learn that thimerosal was still in use in the world of medicine. I thought it went the way of Merthiolate long ago. Now I see that I must be much, much more vigilant about what I allow myself to be injected with.

    There! This is what I wanted to say to begin with! :p

    As I mentioned in another article in an edit to fix typos (in which I misspelled "typos"), I shouldn't try to write when I can't. I'm in a multi-day Meniere's/Migraine attack and should just quit before I get too far behind.

    I always, and I mean always benefit from every comment you make. Thanks for caring enough to read. :)

  3. I'm not sure how much research has been done regarding pregnant women and thimersol in vaccines, though clearly it is not good to be exposed to mercury in any case. I will also admit I've done very little research on this subject.

    From what I can see, this particular WA state law has been on the books for a number of years, and was put in place in case of a pandemic or vaccine shortage. And there are at least some safeguards in place - namely, required disclosure if the thimerosal-free vaccines are not available.

    It does confirm what we both know - do your research before making these kinds of medical decisions. I will likely be getting the H1N1 vaccine as I work in a medical office, and as staff there I will be receiving the intranasal vaccine (as far as I know that's the delivery system being provided for medical professionals and other high-risk groups).

    Although, looking at the information published by my county government, the intranasal delivery is not recommended for pregnant women (I'm guessing because it's a live virus vaccine?).

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment and clarify your initial post. I, too, am guilty of trying to post in the midst of bad brain fog, with questionable results. :)

    Be well,

  4. And I forgot to post the link to my county government's press release. Oops.

  5. in 1982,83 and 64 i had meniers syndrome.knowonw knew what to do. i have painted homes for 30 years.a few years ago they took the lead and mercury out of paint. quite likely my meniers was from toothe fillings and mercury in i understand. if they take mercury from apint to protect americans then why do they inject it into us as vaccines??same mercury,just as deadly---why not use vit d and do away with all vaccines


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