Do vaccinations contain high levels of mercury?

Hayden M. Pasco, MD
Family Medicine
Some people are concerned that vaccinations contain high levels of mercury (thimerosal). However, almost all routine childhood vaccinations are now mercury-free, in response to a U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) request to manufacturers in 1999.

Thimerosal is a mercury-containing organic compound preservative that had been used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930s. There has been no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of the ingredient that used to be in some vaccines and other treatments, but it was removed as a precautionary measure, regardless. The only vaccines that may still contain this preservative are inactivated flu vaccines, which only make up a small part of the flu vaccine spectrum.

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Vaccines & Immunizations

Vaccines & Immunizations

Vaccines are commonly given to children in the form of a shot to help prevent serious diseases like measles and mumps. Vaccines are developed using either dead strains of a disease, weakened strains, or strains of a different dise...

ase. As adults, we receive flu vaccines or may need a booster of childhood vaccines to retain immunity. Travelers may receive vaccines either as a condition of entry to a country, or on recommendation of health officials. Generally there is little or no reaction to a vaccine, but in some cases the vaccine may cause an allergic reaction or a temporary, mild illness. Some vaccines are not safe for pregnant women, so it’s important to check with a healthcare professional.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.