Monday, March 01, 2010

Autism Vaccine Myth Busting: Thimerosal Is Still Used In Vaccines

One of the myths pushed in the mainstream media is that thimerosal, the mercury preservative used in vaccines, has been removed from vaccines.  That position simply is not true. 

The recent H1N1 panic showed that health authorities and pharmaceuticals still push vaccines containing thimerosal when it suits them.  The Ipswich Massachusetts Chronicle web site on  February 2, 2010 advertised immunization clinics for February 16 and 25, 2010 for thimerosal containing H1N1 shots:

"Only the injectable (shot) form of the H1N1 influenza vaccine will be used.

Participants should wear a shirt with loose0fitting sleeves or short sleeves to the clinic since the injection will be given in the upper arm.

Just like the seasonal flu vaccine, many formulations of the H1N1 vaccine contain a preservative called thimerosal. The vaccine that will be used at the clinic contains thimerosal."

Here in New Brunswick Canada the H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine also contained thimerosal and adjuvants and which were declared safe by our provincial health authorities as reflected in this  October 8, 2009 NB government news release. Of particular note, our provincial health authorities declared that thimerosal does not cause autism and is safe to give to pregnant women, one of the high priority groups targeted to receive the H1N1 shot during the fall H1N1 Pandemic/Panic:

  • There have also been reports and public speculation about the safety of the H1N1 vaccine. The contents of the H1N1 vaccine will protect against contracting H1N1. The included additives and preservatives are there to help the vaccine work, and are not cause for alarm.
  • As a multi-dose vaccine, the H1N1 influenza vaccine will contain a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal to prevent contamination of the vaccine by serious infectious agents from the growth of bacteria. Thimerosal also has a stabilizing effect on the vaccine, ensuring its effectiveness.
  • The seasonal flu vaccine and most hepatitis B vaccines are also multi-dose vaccines, and thimerosal is added during the manufacturing process to maintain sterility of the vaccine.
  • There is no safety reason to avoid using vaccines containing thimerosal. The best available scientific evidence to date shows no link between vaccines containing thimerosal and any adverse health condition, including neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.
  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has reviewed the safety of thimerosal and concluded that, "There is no legitimate safety reason to avoid the use of thimerosal-containing products for children or older individuals, including pregnant women." International bodies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, share this opinion.
  • Most of the H1N1 vaccine available in New Brunswick will also contain an adjuvant. An adjuvant is a substance that is added to a vaccine in order to boost an individual's immune response. It also means that less of the virus, or antigen, is needed to make a dose of the vaccine. Unadjuvanted vaccine has no booster element, and more antigen is needed to create this kind of vaccine.
  • By developing an adjuvanted vaccine, Canada has used less of the virus material (antigen), allowing us to immunize more people in a timely manner.
  • Adjuvants are not new. Many commonly used vaccines in Canada contain an adjuvant. Adjuvants have been used for several decades to boost immune response to vaccines. However, adjuvants have not previously been used with influenza vaccines in Canada.
  • The WHO has indicated that it has no special concerns about the safety of adjuvanted H1N1 vaccines in general.

The WHO is now under scrutiny for its role in pushing the H1N1 panic button.  And not everyone shares our NB officials' unquestioning faith  that thimerosal does not play a role in causing autism particularly when given to pregnant women.  Dr. Bernadine Healy, a highly respected former US National Institutes of Health Director has stated several times that the issue of a thimerosal autism connection is still an open question. She has made particular reference to the possible effect of the mercury preservative thimerosal o the fetuses of pregnant women:

"thimerosal crosses the placenta, and pregnant women are advised to get flu shots, which often contain it. Studies in mice suggest that genetic variation influences brain sensitivity to the toxic effects of mercury. And a primate study designed to mimic vaccination in infants reported in 2005 that thimerosal may clear from the blood in a matter of days but leaves inorganic mercury behind in the brain."

Former NIH Director Dr. Healy's concerns do not appear to have been taken seriously by public health authorities during the great H1N1 Swine Flu scare of 2009.

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Anonymous said...

"Ethyl mercury is pixie dust" is another recurring sentiment repeated by vaccine distributors, and allowed to stand uncorrected by the CDC. Thimerosal contains "the gentle mercury" or is a "gentle bacteriostatic."

Yeah. Right.

A quick search of PubMed quickly uncovers hundreds of studies showing Thimerosal's extreme neurotoxicity at extremely low levels. Those toxicity studies date back decades, and come from many countries.

Public health administrators who employ wishful thinking rather than scientific method are not deserving of trust.

Ian MacGregor said...

Anonymous, I've never read any article which says that ethyl mercury is not toxic. The question is whether at the levels children are exposed to during the vaccination schedule results in delayed or abnormal neurological development.

There have been numerous studies which address the issue and they conclude that vaccinations do not adversely impact neurological development. All do have a caveat that there maybe a population of children which do ti other factors are more susceptible to damage from various vaccine components. No one has shown such a population exists.

Can you point me to the particular articles of which you speak? There are 1340 articles found if you search for thimerosal on PubMed?

It is totally untrue that this problem has not been looked at using rigorous scientific methods.

barb said...

The mercury/autism link is like the fat lady who overeats chocolates, cake, ice cream, and cookies. She gives up eating vanilla ice cream and moans about not being able to lose weight. Because every time she gives up one food, none of the weight comes off!

All vaccines cause ministrokes in the brain. Dr. Andrew Moulden has done ample research. Watch his videos on youtube or at

Also many autistic children also have severe food allergies. This is due to trace amounts of food protein remaining in the vaccines. There is a new book out "The History of the Peanut Allergy Epidemic by Heather Fraser.

Heather is a historian and mother of a child who has the "deadly" peanut allergy. For those of you who are unaware of this epidemic: 1 in 17 children under the age of three have a food allergy and 1 in 125 children now have a severe peanut allergy.

The FDA in all its wisdom decided that refined peanut oil is GRAS and made it voluntary for the pharmaceutical firms to put it on the package insert. They haven't volunteered...

And you cannot find out which vaccines contain peanut oil because that is a protected trade secret.

It's all in her book which you can buy from her website:

or at

I also have information on my website: