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Mercury Rising?

Local Matters


Published October 19, 2005 at 12:08 a.m.

In recent weeks, Seven Days has received numerous letters about an article in the September 14 issue entitled "No Child Left Behind: Rethinking the Meaning of Autism." The article mentioned the suspected link between autism and Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used in some vaccines. Readers expressed concern that information printed in our "Letters" section was inaccurate or false. In particular, they asserted that the Act-HIB vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae, a serious bacterial infection that can cause meningitis, contains Thimerosal.

Seven Days checked with the manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, which confirmed that its Act-HIB vaccine does not contain Thimerosal, even in trace amounts. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Today, with the exception of some influenza (flu) vaccines, none of the vaccines used in the U.S. to protect preschool children against 12 infectious diseases contain Thimerosal as a preservative." Currently, no pediatric vaccines purchased by the state of Vermont contain Thimerosal, nor does the Vermont Department of Health require schoolchildren be immunized with vaccines containing the preservative.

For more info, visit the CDC website at or the National Vaccine Information Center website: