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Merck memo warned of mercury in vaccines

A March 1991 memorandum, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, said that 6-month-old children who received their shots on schedule would get a mercury dose 87 times higher than guidelines for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish.

“When viewed in this way, the mercury load appears rather large,” wrote Dr. Maurice R. Hilleman, an internationally known vaccinologist.

More than 4,200 claims have been filed with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund, alleging that children suffered neurodevelopmental damage as a consequence of mercury exposure from thimerosal in vaccines.

Thimerosal has largely been removed from pediatric vaccines manufactured for use in the United States in recent years, as a “precautionary measure,” although a May 2004 report from the Institutes of Medicine concluded that the evidence “favors rejection of a causal relationship” between vaccines and autism. (LA Times 2/8/05)

Influenza vaccine, now recommended for babies, still contains 0.25 mcg per 0.5 cc dose.

Additional information:

Information on thimerosal

IOM meeting on vaccines and autism, February 2004

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