Vaccines remain one of the most effective ways to prevent infectious disease and deaths globally.1 Universal childhood immunization provides herd immunity against many infectious agents and is a policy that has achieved dramatic reductions in common childhood illnesses. Thimerosal, which contains ethyl mercury, has been used as a preservative in vaccines to prevent contamination of multidose vials from bacteria and fungi since the 1930s.2 Although there are clear neurotoxic effects of methyl mercury absorption, ethyl mercury has not been associated with those consequences. Nevertheless, before data were available on risks of thimerosal in vaccines, in 1999 the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Public Health Service recommended moving toward removing thimerosal use in preservatives as a precautionary measure.3 Thus, thimerosal as a preservative has been removed from most vaccines in the United States, generally resulting in distribution of vaccines in single-dose rather than multidose vials. US...
Global Vaccination Recommendations and Thimerosal
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.
Walter A. Orenstein, Jerome A. Paulson, Michael T. Brady, Louis Z. Cooper, Katherine Seib; Global Vaccination Recommendations and Thimerosal. Pediatrics January 2013; 131 (1): 149–151. 10.1542/peds.2012-1760
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