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Are People Becoming More Aware of Mercury-Laden Vaccines?

Despite the work of many to alert people to the dangers of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal in vaccines, the answer to the rhetorical question posed in the headline above remains a resounding No.

Many remain dangerously unaware mercury taints vaccines or even realize other options exist -- thimerosal-free vaccines or better yet, in my opinion, none at all, according to this awesome piece in the Kansas City Star. So much so, manufacturers are producing far fewer mercury-free vaccines this year.

And Sanofi-Pasteur, the only FDA approved drugmaker to offer a mercury-free pediatric flu vaccine, has cut back production from 8 million doses to 6 million, about half as many as the CDC estimates would be needed just to vaccinate American children between ages 6-23 months.

Here's another factoid that shows you how little patients and, I suspect, conventional medicine really understands the dangers of thimerosal: A Sanofi-Pasteur spokesman points out his company had sold out its supply of thimerosal-laden vaccines consistently over the past several years while never running out of thimerosal-free product. Moreover, he had no idea why more health officials didn't buy more of it.

Besides gross ignorance on the part of health officials, the lack of thimerosal-free options, as it is with many things, comes down to the almighty dollar. A single-dose vial costs the CDC about $2 more than the standard mercury-laden dose of flu vaccine.

Just a reminder, most flu shots contain 12.5 micrograms of mercury, about 14 times the daily amount considered safe by the EPA for a baby weighing 20 pounds. Noted biochemist Boyd Haley estimates that kind of exposure to mercury would only be safe, based on EPA standards, for a baby weighing 275 pounds.

The Kansas City Star October 9, 2005 Registration Required

The (Fort Wayne, Ind.) News-Sentinel October 14, 2005

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