Your Child’s Flu Vaccine May Contain Mercury

by Elaine on September 22, 2008 · 13 comments

in Family,Health,Parenting

I took Sammy to the doctor last Friday for his 5 year old check up. Among other things, he was due for a flu shot. Since I had Sophie with me too, they offered to get her flu shot done at the same time as well. I agreed so that I wouldn’t have to come into the office again.

In our pediatrician’s office, they have a regular flu vaccine and an infant flu vaccine for children under age 3. I normally request the infant flu shot for both of my children because it is thimerosal-free. Sophie is not yet 3, so she would receive the infant one anyways, but I have been making special requests that Sammy receive the infant version as well.

According to the CDC, “Since 2001, with the exception of some influenza (flu) vaccines, thimerosal is not used as a preservative in routinely recommended childhood vaccines.” The FDA states: “A preservative-free version of the inactivated influenza vaccine (contains trace amounts of thimerosal) is available in limited supply at this time for use in infants, children and pregnant women. ” The older children generally get the regular or adult flu vaccine, which contains thimerosal. Thimerosal is a mercury based preservative that may or may not be linked to autism. There are numerous articles and studies both supporting and disproving the link between thimerosal and autism.

I err on the side of caution and try to avoid as much mercury as possible. However, many parents may not realize that their child’s flu shot has mercury in it. Or if they are aware of it, they may not know that there is an alternative. Since flu season is approaching, I just wanted to post this so that parents and caregivers would be aware of it and ask their pediatricians to give their children a thimerosal-free flu vaccine. Some pediatric offices only have a certain amount of infant flu vaccines, so make your child’s appointment in mid to late September to increase the chances of getting the mercury-free version.

If the infant flu vaccine is not available to your child, ask your pediatrician about the nasal flu vaccine, which is also thimerosal-free. It is marketed under the name MedImmune’s FluMist. The CDC describes in detail the brands and manufacturers of thimerosal-free flu products, but also claims that “there is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the small amount of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor effects like swelling and redness at the injection site due to sensitivity to thimerosal.”

How do you feel about childhood immunizations and the possible link to autism? Do you believe the flu vaccine is beneficial for children? What does your child’s pediatrician say about all of this? Please share your comments below.

{ 1 trackback }

Concerns about the Swine Flu Vaccine at MarloElaine
September 9, 2009 at 10:51 pm


1 Maya September 23, 2008 at 11:46 am

Thanks Elaine for sharing this information. I was planning to take my kids to get their flu shots next week. I’ll be sure to ask for the mercury free flu shot.

2 Amy September 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm

My baby Sophie is coming up on her first birthday on Oct. 8th. That day, we are also scheduled to get the last of her immunizations and I requested for both of us to get flu shots. I got one last year and did fine. However, when I asked about the mercury-free flu shot for Sophie, they said they didn’t carry it. I’m torn. With all the media about autism and vaccinations, I’m scared. Especially since she is getting SIX vaccinations PLUS a flu shot that day. I may ask that they space them out over the next two months so I can go ahead and get the flu shot.

3 Elaine September 27, 2008 at 12:13 am

Amy, I suggest you call your pediatrician’s office well before the appointment to discuss Sophie’s alternative vaccine schedule . Dr. Bob Sears wrote on, “parents who have concerns and extra questions about vaccines need to understand the best way to talk to their doctor. You can’t wait until your baby’s two-month appointment, wait until your doctor is done examining the baby, then suddenly hit the doctor with a dozen questions. It takes a good 15 to 30 minutes to discuss vaccine concerns and options in detail. Us doctors don’t have the time to do this within the normal amount of time allotted to a regular checkup. You have to schedule a separate appointment, preferable well before your baby’s first shots are due. That way you and your doctor have a nice chunk of time directly devoted to discussing vaccines, without having to go over all the other questions and concerns of a normal checkup.”

4 Anthony October 28, 2008 at 10:57 am

You definitely should not put anything into your child with Mercury! Before shots are given always ask the nurse/doctor to show you the vaccine insert to make sure it doesn’t contain Thimarisol (Mercury). Refuse the shots if it does!

Why would you believe anything the FDA says? The medical industry has lobbyists in Washington that spend billions to ensure the FDA doesn’t tell the truth.


5 Theresa Jackson November 1, 2008 at 11:49 am

My son Blake (now 7) was always a good, quiet, content little boy. I used to (still do…) thank god for blessing me with a son of such qualities. If you knew my other two children who have severe Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) -combined type, you would understand and respect my thoughts. I used to say that Blake was an introvert and Brianna and Brett were extroverts. Although their personalities and developmental milestones were different, I was reassured that was “normal”. It wasn’t until my middle son, Brett (now age 9) was going to be held back in Kindergarten and my daughter, Brianna (now age 16) entered the special education system for a learning disability that I decided to ask for help. I couldn’t do it alone anymore, and my children were suffering from my refusal to medicate their disabilities. Within the first year, Brianna and Brett made leaps and bounds in academic achievement with the help of medicine. Blake also started to open up and explore! Although transitions were still a bit difficult, I could tell he wasn’t as hyper-focused and was more interested in what was happening around him. In preschool, Blake was attached to the teacher and was slow to adapt. But as time progressed, Blake was ready to start Kindergarten. Then, that’s when something changed! Blake became violent, defiant, and almost impossible to handle. Kindergarten was a huge transition, and the difficulty was understandably so. But Blake had become a totally different child. Looking back, and knowing what I know now, the reason is quite clear. Blake changed right after he got his Kindergarten shots. At the same time, he also got a flu shot that contained thimerosal. Within the first few weeks of Kindergarten, Blake was transferred to a different school. He was diagnosis with Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD) a Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – high functioning) at age 5. What was once manageable, had now became unmanageable. Come to find out, he has always shown signs of ASD, but because I didn’t ask the right questions, I thought it was just his personality. Autism doesn’t effect all children. Autism doesn’t effect all children the same. There is no proven link to its cause, but we do know that some children have a predisposition to its development. So, the question is… did Blake develop ASD at a very early age, even as early as a newborn when he got his vaccines? But because the preservative thimerosal may have been present in vaccines but in different quantities and the amount of thimerosal contained in his flu shot was an amount he could not tolerate?

Educate parents! This didn’t have to happen!

6 Kelly November 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm

I am a 36 year old mom of 2. 30 years ago when I went into kindgergarten we had 10recommended vaccinations, now there are 32 recommended vaccinations before a child reaches kindergarten 32!!!!!!. YES i do believe autism and other behavior issues are caused by over use ofvaccinations. It is not natural to put mercury (flu) shot into your body, SO WHY DO IT? I havent died in 36 years from the flu and either have you or you wouldnt be reading this. Come don’t give your children stuff they dont need. It is just pure commen sense. Really? Think about it. I will bet anything in 20 years from now there will be issues arrising from vaccinations, just like it has with smoking and everything else. We just don’t know what these vaccinations are doing to their little bodies. My children are vaccinated with the general ones, I received as a child -minus the MMR i am holding off on for my 2 yr old until he gets older. I dont give my children anything “extra” I’m not taking the chance. I do believe there is a link between AUTISM and vaccinations, NO IFS ANDS OR BUTTS. My children are healthy and do not have autism. But I strongly believe there is a link.

7 Joy March 2, 2009 at 11:41 am

I read this just now and I’m grateful for the info! Thanks (as always) Elaine!!

8 Elena April 27, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Well, its great that u provide this information to the public so that parents can make informed desicions! I chose to throw out the window the entire vaccine schedule because they cultivate the viruses in aborted fetal cells and other animal tissu and also because of the mercury issue. This is done legally with a vaccine exemption from immunization for one of three reasons:
Medical (if your child is alergic to eggs since some vaccines are cultivated in chick embryo)
Religious (by having a belief, not a specific religion like we are the temple of God so why should we dirty our dna with dna of other animals??
Phylosophical (this is only available in about 23 states if im not wrong)

im not here to criticize you or for you to criticize me, just to inform people, like it was done above here in the article.

With an affidavit for religious reasons is enough to avoid the whole schedule altogether. And definitely by putting some healthy foods in your plate everyday (you are what you eat).
Thanks for your time, G-Bless!

9 Jennifer October 6, 2009 at 4:02 am

I was really disappointed when I took my 2 year old and 4 year old to have their flu shots today and I specifically asked about the mercury free ones. They were going to give my 2 year old one, but not my 4 year old. They said they didn’t have the right dosage in the 4 year old one (he would need 2 of the lower dosage ones). I said to the nurse that was OK with me, and could she ask. She came back with the answer that they couldn’t give him the Thimerosal free “since it was provided by the state.” Presumably, they had more infant doses (it’s just early October) but the State gives them regular one (with mercury) for older kids. I went along and let him have the regular shot, although I didn’t feel right about it. My son is shot phobic (like most young kids) and I didn’t want to drag him into the Dr’s office again. Wish I had thought to ask about the FluMist for him instead. I want both of my boys to be able to get that for swine flu when it’s available, but for some reason it slipped my mind to get it for the regular flu. Anyone have any advice on what I can do if the Dr’s office (this was their regular office, though not the regular nurse) says this next time? I am trying not to worry too much, as most if not all other peds shots at the office (I ask every time and have researched them) don’t contain mercury so his exposure from just this one is pretty small. It’s lame that the state doesn’t just provide mercury free shots for EVERY child say, under 12 . But I guess it comes down to cost, since the large batch ones with mercury are cheaper. I wish they would just outlaw Thimerosal!

10 Jennifer October 6, 2009 at 4:03 am

Just posting again to get follow up comments

11 Elaine October 6, 2009 at 9:41 am

Jennifer, I’m sorry to hear that you had a hard time at the doctor’s office. When I took my kids for flu shots last year, there were enough infant doses that my 2 and 5 year olds could get them. This year, there were no flu shots at all, both infant and adult (children over 3 get the adult version). I was told to call back in a month.

I do not have experience with FluMist, but as long as your child is over 2 and does not have asthma or any of the other conditions listed on, it sounds like a good alternative to an injectable flu shot. I believe the H1N1 vaccine will be available in a mercury free nasal spray vaccine as well. Both nasal sprays contain a live virus, so read about it carefully before giving it to your children.

Our pediatrician and our allergist both recommend the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine for myself and my children. We are not eligible for either nasal spray due to asthma.

Since I am still unsure about the mercury content in the injections, I frequently check the AAP and CDC websites for updated information and recommendations.

12 Jennifer October 6, 2009 at 10:02 am

The AAP and CDC both seem to think the current levels of Thimerosal in the recommended shots for kids is OK. I tend to think that just the one flu shot with the mercury in it, when all the other peds shots my son gets are Thimerosal free (and he has hardly had any shots in the last year) will not cause him any lasting harm. I think the harm comes when kids receive multiple vaccines, all at once or within a short time frame, which all contain Thimerosal. But I am still going to call his Dr’s office today and try to have them put on both of their charts that I want only Thimerosal free vaccines for both of them.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: