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January 14, 2004

Association Between Thimerosal-Containing Vaccine and Autism

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(2):180. doi:10.1001/jama.291.2.180-a

To the Editor: In their article on the association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism, Dr Hviid and colleagues1 acknowledged their affiliations with Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark, but did not disclose that the institute is a for-profit, state-owned enterprise with roughly $120 million in annual revenue. According to its 2002 Annual Report,2 vaccines represent approximately one half of Statens Serum Institut's revenues and more than 80% of its profits. Furthermore, Statens Serum Institut manufactured the now discontinued monocomponent pertussis vaccine that contained thimerosal under investigation in their study. They were also the providers of diphtheria and tetanus components of a major thimerosal-containing diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) vaccine sold in the United States.3

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