Author Affiliation: Institute for Vaccine Safety, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Md.
In late June of this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed
that some infants who receive multiple doses of vaccines containing thimerosal
could be exposed to total amounts of mercury that exceed some federal guidelines.1 Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative used
in some Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), diphtheria
and tetanus toxoids with acellular pertussis (DTaP), hepatitis B, influenza,
and other vaccines.2 Federal agencies, the
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), international agencies, and vaccine
manufacturers have responded quickly to address the concern.1,3,5
However, more can be done to maintain public confidence in vaccines and to
reduce childhood exposures to mercury from all sources.
Halsey NA. Limiting Infant Exposure to Thimerosal in Vaccines and Other Sources of Mercury. JAMA. 1999;282(18):1763-1766. doi:10.1001/jama.282.18.1763