There is much debate going on right now regarding whether or not we parents will be getting our kids the H1N1 or as I call it, the Swine flu vaccine. I'm surprised by how many people are opting out of getting this vaccine. However, I do realize it is of great concern, since it's a 'first' in terms of vaccinations. I myself am very concerned.
After reading up online and researching this vaccine containing mercury, I decided to email our NP (nurse practitioner) at the cancer center. I wanted to get her take on it. I thought I'd share that email response from our NP with you all. The blue is our NP's reply. What the CDC has to say is below the following.
I am glad that Carly is doing well.
We are recommending that kids get the H1N1, particularly recommended
for kids with malignancy (which doesn't include Carly) but also kids
with cardiac issues.
Most of the vaccine forms contain thermerosal (a form of mercury)-both
the seasonal and the H1N1. Really this vaccine basically is no
different than the season flu shot, except it is modified to that
particular virus; this is the same thing that is done each year in that
the new seasonal flu shot is modified each year for that particular
I have copied below what the Center for Disease Control has to say
about the thermerosal. Hope this helps.
What the CDC has to say:
Will the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine contain themerosal?
The 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines that FDA is licensing (approving) will
be manufactured in several formulations. Some will come in multi-dose
vials and will contain themerosal as a preservative. Multi-dose vials of
seasonal influenza vaccine also contain themerosal to prevent potential
contamination after the vial is opened.
Some vaccine manufacturers will be producing 2009 H1N1 influenza
vaccine in single-dose units, which will not require the use of
themerosal as a preservative. In addition, the live-attenuated version
of the vaccine, which is administered intra-nasally (through the nose),
is produced in single-units and will not contain themerosal.
I have concerns about the use of themerosal. Is themerosal still being
People have a right to expect the vaccines they receive are safe and
effective. CDC and FDA also hold vaccines to the highest standards of
safety. That is why CDC and FDA continually evaluate new scientific
information about the safety of vaccines. Since 2001, no new vaccine
licensed by FDA for use in children has contained themerosal as a
preservative, and all vaccines routinely recommended by CDC for children
under six years of age have been themerosal-free, or contain only trace
amounts, except for multi-dose formulations of influenza vaccine. This
was done as a precautionary step and not because there was evidence
confirming that themerosal-containing vaccines were causing health
problems. The most recent and rigorous scientific research does not
support the hypothesis that themerosal-containing vaccines are harmful.
Themerosal is an important preservative that protects vaccines against
potential microbial contamination, which may occur in opened multi-dose
vials of vaccine. Such contamination could cause serious illness or
death. Since seasonal influenza vaccine is produced in large quantities
for annual immunization campaigns, some of the vaccine is produced in
multi-dose vials, and contains themerosal to safeguard against possible
contamination of the vial once it is opened.
Three leading federal agencies (CDC, FDA, and NIH) have reviewed the
published research on themerosal and found it to be a safe product to
use in vaccines. Three independent organizations [The National Academy
of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, Advisory Committee on Immunization
Practices (ACIP), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)] reviewed
the published research and also found themerosal to be a safe product to
use in vaccines. The scientific community supports the use of themerosal
in influenza vaccines.
Is themerosal safe when used as a preservative in vaccines?
CDC places a high priority on vaccine safety, surveillance, and
research. CDC is aware that the presence of the preservative themerosal
in vaccines and suggestions of a relationship to autism has raised
concerns. These concerns make the decisions surrounding vaccinations
confusing and difficult for some people, especially parents. Numerous
studies have found no association between themerosal exposure and
autism. Since 2001, no new vaccine licensed by FDA for use in children
has contained themerosal as a preservative and all vaccines routinely
recommended by CDC for children under six years of age have been
themerosal-free, or contain only trace amounts, except for some
formulations of influenza vaccine. Unfortunately, we have not seen
reductions in the numbers of children identified with autism indicating
that the cause of autism is not related to a single exposure such as
The federal government is committed to assuring the safety of vaccines.
This is achieved by FDA oversight of rigorous pre-licensure trials and
post-licensure monitoring by CDC and FDA. This commitment not only stems
from our scientific and medical dedication, it is also personal – for
most of us who work at CDC are also parents and grandparents. We too,
place tremendous value on the health and safety of children.
Still unsure? Me too. However, I have to look at the big picture with Carly. #1, her cardiac issues. This flu could be really bad for Carly. Is that a chance I really want to take? NO. Does it make it any easier to go ahead and have her vaccinated? NO. I really don't like the fact that I need to make this decision. Although, I do know that I have to do my very best to keep this little gal healthy. If she were to get this flu, followed by complications of this flu, then I would never forgive myself. It would be my fault. I'm very torn over this. I'm very concerned having her get the vaccine, but I'm getting more and more terrified of the stupid swine flu.
I'm hoping and praying the CDC has the prediction of the swine flu all wrong. I hope it's as it was when it first reared it's ugly head here in the U.S.A . MILD.
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