Thimerosal in Vaccines: Safety Debate

Over the past few years, there has been a heated debate over the safety of vaccines, both in their makeup and regarding the dosing schedule recommended by the CDC. Much of the focus of these concerns has been on the ingredient thimerosalt Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that has been used in vaccines since the 19305, and has been recently linked to autism and other disorders (WHO) Much of this concern has focused on a study, one that was debunked but still persists to this day.

And the anti-vaccination movement persists, even as nearly all vaccines since 2001 are thimerosal-freel This is due to an unrelated effort by the CDC, and others, to limit mercury exposure in general, (CDCl) Due to the fear of autism, many parents are forgoing vaccinations for their child, opening the door for numerous infectious disease. Prior to vaccinations, diseases like diphtheria and rubella sickened and killed many people.

In addition, measles has been on the rise due to the reduction in vaccinations, As of August 21, 2015, there have been 188 cases reported in the US, This comes after a record high of 688 cases in 2014, the highest number since measles was reported eliminated in the U51 (CDC3) In addition, there is now a push to ban thimoersal worldwide, in order to protect people from the possible effects of mercury, despite the fact that thimerosal contains ethyl-mercury, not the more harmful methyl-mercury, (Pisani) The ban on thimerosal could create global health problems by requiring that vaccines be dispensed in costly single-dose vials, rather than multi- dose vials.

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(WHO) Preservative-free vaccines also require cold storage, dramatically complication vaccination efforts in low—income and rural countries, (Pisani, WHO) Essentially, due to unfounded fears, the rates of preventable diseases are on the rise, and the worldwide eradication effort for diseases like polio may also be at risk.


  1. Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism, (2015, August 28). Retrieved September 1, 2015, from (CDCl) What Would Happen If We Stopped Vaccinations? (2014, May 19).
  2. Retrieved September 1, 2015, from http://wwwicdcig0v/vaccinesafety/vaC-gen/whatifstopihtm (CDC2) Pisani, At (2012, December 17).
  3. Worldwide Ban on Thimerosal Would Cost Livesr Retrieved September 1, 2015, from http://shotofprevention,com/2012/12/l7/worldwide—ban-on-thimerosal- would-cost»lives/
  4. Thimerosal 7 questions and answers (2011, October 1) Retrieved September 1, 2015, from http://www.whoiint/immunization/newsroom/thiomersal_questions_and_answers/en/ Measles Cases and Outbreaks, (2015, August 24} Retrieved September 1, 2015, from (CDC3)

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Thimerosal in Vaccines: Safety Debate. (2022, Jul 12). Retrieved from

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