August 8, 2005

Still Finding Thimerosal in Doctors Offices

Yesterday on Meet The Press, David Kirby, author of Evidence of Harm debated Dr. Harvey Fineberg, head of the Institute of Medicine on the contraversy over the role that thimersoal may play in the development of autism.

One point that was repeatedly stated was that except for the flu shot, all vaccines that have been offered to parents since 2003 have been thimerosal free. This is not the case.

Because parents in the autism community are very concerned about the prospect of their children getting mercury in their vaccines, many of them routinely ask to see the packaging before their child gets a shot. What some parents are finding is that vaccines with the full 25 micrograms of mercury are still being distributed in doctors offices, some with an expiration date of 2007.

My recommendation is this, always ask to see the package insert. If the list of ingredents includes thimerosal, ask for a thimerosal free vaccine.

Following are parent reports of finding these vaccines at the pediatricans office in the last year:

Dear Mr. Russert,
Thank you so much for having both Mr. Kirby and Dr. Fineburg on your show. I think that it was the start of a nice debate. I encourage you to continue this on another show as the amount of time allotted was not sufficient for a full discussion and as you know this is a complicated subject.

I would like to correct a statement that Dr. Fineburg made. He stated that thimerosal had been removed from all vaccines for children with the exception of some flu vaccines. On July 25, 2005, just two weeks ago, I took my 18 month old daughter in for her well check and vaccines. I asked the Dr. about the thimerosal in the shots and he did tell me that the DTP still contained a trace of it. He mentioned to me that he may have some thimerosal free DTP and that he could give hr that one. I told him that of course I wanted the one without thimerosal as I have an autistic son and am terrified that my daughter might become autistic as well. Several minutes went by and he came back in the room to tell me that all they had at that time was the DTP with thimerosal; but that he would be glad to order the thimerosal free shot for me. He also mentioned to me that he just recently found out that there was even a DTP without thimerosal available. This is a very well respected Dr. in my community and he has been a pediatrician for nearly 30 years.

When the doctors office called several days later to tell me that they had the thimerosal free version in stock now and from now on that would be all that they would order. I asked the nurse why this was just now becoming an option. she told me that the state of NC just recently - in the past month or so began paying for the thimerosal free version.

While I do appreciate my Drs. Honesty with me, it is appalling that it was recommended to remove the mercury from shots in 1999 and in 2005, they are still on the shelves.

Beth Fields

Dear ABC News,

I am the mom of a darling 7 year-old boy with mercury poisoning, also known as autism. While I appreciate the fact that your station has done some reporting on the autism crisis in our country, [snip] you reported that thimerosal was removed from vaccines in 1999. This is NOT true.

There was never a recall on mercury-containing vaccines. Many are still on the shelves at doctor’s offices. Today’s flu vaccines are full of mercury, and they are being pushed on pregnant women and infants. [snip]

Just last month, I had my older son at the doctor’s office for a checkup, and was told that he needed a tetanus booster shot. Since I already have one son with mercury poisoning, I requested a mercury-free version. The doctor assured me that they ONLY use mercury-free vaccines in her practice. However, when I checked the vial that the nurse brought in, it clearly said “Contains thimerosal”. The doctor got flustered and said to the nurse “You brought in the wrong vial. That’s the one we give to the Medicaid kids.” Then she turned to me and explained that the state won’t pay for mercury-free shots. (How’s that for a follow-up story: State-funded mercury poisoning of kids!) We left the office without receiving the tetanus shot, and will never return. [snip]

Sue Swanson
Alpharetta, GA

Dear Meet the Press,

The vaccine records I have for my daughter show that she was given thimerosal containing vaccines as late as 2004, and not the trace amounts of thimerosal. My daughter received between 39 and 50 micrograms of mercury in one visit. The expiration dates on the vaccines extended into 2006.

She recieved:
• Full amount of thimerosal in the Connaught DTaP she received on 5/13/2003. Expiration date: 7/2004.
• Full amount in the Connaught HIB she received on 5/13/2003. Expiration date: 1/2005.
• Full amount in the Aventis Pasteur ProHibit HIB she received on 6/18/2004. Expiration date: February, 2006.

Vera Smith

Dear Mr. Russert,

As the parent of a child with mercury poisoning and autism, I want to thank you for hosting today's show on the autism-mercury connection. It was a good start to the public debate.

May I offer a few items for your consideration? First, Dr. Fineberg was dead wrong when he stated, and you reiterated at the end of the show, that vaccines have been mercury free as of 2003. On the contrary, you can walk into doctor's offices across the USA today and find full-dose mercury containing vaccines still in use.

I run a large support group and I am still getting many emails and calls from parents who went to their doctor's office and upon asking to see the label on the vial, found full dose vaccines with expiration dates as late as 2007. It is true that vaccines that were thimerosal-free were being made in late 2003, but the thimerosal-containing vaccines are still in use and were never recalled, despite the autism community asking repeatedly for their recall. Please, do not tell the public that vaccines are thimerosal free until you have checked it out for yourself. [snip]

Again, thank you for broaching this topic and I look forward to seeing more about it on your show and others very soon.

Holly Bortfeld
Orrtanna, PA
Mom to Max, almost 10 years old

In May of 2005 my daughter was offered a tetanus shot with the full 25 micrograms of thimerosal at her doctor’s office in Old Saybrook, CT.

Janice Crabtree
Guilford, CT

1 comment:

Payton said...

I would LOVE to know if there is a site to find a pedi in Illinois who will order the thimerosal-free shot. My pedi considers preservative-free shots thimerosal-free shots which is shocking.

My daughter received DTP & HIB at 9 months and ended up with "sensory aversion" symptoms two months later. I was SO p*ssed off that even after asking the doctor to give her a thimerosal-free shot, he LIED to me and gave her the preservative-free one, containing thimerosal. He's lucky she isn't permanently affected, otherwise, I'd try to sue him. We changed pedi's and we love her, but, she's convinced also that the preservative-free shot containing 0.05% thimerosal is safe. Well, I'm not, and want a pedi who will order the shots for me WITHOUT ANY thimerosal.

Any advice would be helpful! We are even willing to fly outside Illinois to get these shots for our daughter, that's how convinced we are that thimerosal is dangerous in any amount.

I also would like to commend the parents who are taking control of this epidemic and remaining their child's advocate. We are their voice. It is and will always be our responsibility to protect them.
Jen Carstensen