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CDC Vaccine Committee Recommends More Shots for Children
Date:2/28/2008

National Autism Association Asks Again for Removal of Toxic Mercury from Vaccines

NIXA, Mo., Feb. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended yesterday that flu shots be administered annually to children six months through 18 years of age. ACIP, functioning under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) umbrella, has been criticized for years by parents of vaccine-injured children for neglecting vaccine safety considerations in favor of keeping vaccination rates high.

An estimated 80% to 90% of this year's flu vaccine supply contained the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, even though the shots can be manufactured in mercury-free formulas. Most flu shots contain 25 micrograms of mercury, an amount considered unsafe for people weighing less than 550 lbs. Mercury is known to accumulate in several target organs including the brain, kidney, liver, and heart. A growing number of parents and scientists believe that the increased use of mercury-containing vaccines starting in the late 1980's has led to the huge rise in autism and other learning disabilities which now affect one in 6 American children.

"The committee's continued recommendation of mercury-containing vaccines poses unnecessary health risks to the public," said National Autism Association board member and parent Lori McIlwain. "Their logic for promoting flu vaccines in children is so that older citizens will be protected. Yet, children and seniors are both especially vulnerable to injury from toxic metal exposures."

Government agencies including the CDC have long expressed concerns over elevated mercury levels in infants, cautioning pregnant women about seafood consumption because of mercury content. Despite this, ACIP continues to maintain that directly injecting mercury into children is safe. "This is a dangerous double standard," commented NAA president Wendy Fournier. "We urge parents to ask for mercury-free flu shots if they decide to vaccinate their kids. As a parent, I believe the risk of neurological injury from unnecessary toxic mercury exposure isn't worth taking."

One mercury-free alternative, FluMist, poses different risks. Administered intranasally, the live flu virus can be spread to others through the side effects noted by the manufacturer, runny nose and nasal congestion. FluMist's package insert states that FluMist recipients "should avoid close contact with immunocompromised individuals for at least 21 days."

For more information on autism, visit http://www.nationalautism.org

Contacts:

Wendy Fournier (Portsmouth, RI) 401-835-5828

Rita Shreffler (Nixa, MO) 401-632-6452


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SOURCE National Autism Association
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