In brief: Health District suspends mercury limits for H1N1 shots
Washington health officials have temporarily suspended limits on the amount of mercury allowed in the upcoming H1N1 influenza vaccine for pregnant women and children younger than 3 years old.
The move comes after Health Secretary Mary Selecky was informed that the initial batches of vaccines against the swine flu may not include enough doses that were specially packaged without thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative.
The preservative is controversial among some people who believe that it may be linked to autism and other childhood disorders. But widely accepted and peer reviewed medical studies have shown there is no harm caused by thimerosal.
Selecky said the suspension is designed to ensure that pregnant women and children have access to the vaccines, even though they may contain thimerosal.
The swine flu vaccines will be available in early October, while the seasonal flu vaccines are available now.