Controversy persists over thimerosal recommendation

March 5, 2007

According to the National Autism Association (NAA), CDC's decision to continue to recommend thimerosal-containing influenza vaccine to infants, children, and pregnant women is an outrage. At a February meeting of the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP), Jay Lieberman, M.D., presented, "Thimerosal, Reviewing the Evidence," and determined that the preservative-containing vaccine was still acceptable for use in these groups. NAA argued that Lieberman has acted as a consultant to the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the influenza vaccine—Merck, Sanofi-Pasteur, and GlaxoSmithKline—and therefore possesses conflicts of interest. NAA said it requested that a counterpoint speaker without ties to the pharmaceutical industry attend the ACIP meeting to present peer-reviewed toxicological data, but the request was denied. Current CDC recommendations suggest flu shots for pregnant women and children ages six months through five years.

According to the National Autism Association (NAA), CDC's decision to continue to recommend thimerosal-containing influenza vaccine to infants, children, and pregnant women is an outrage. At a February meeting of the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP), Jay Lieberman, M.D., presented, "Thimerosal, Reviewing the Evidence," and determined that the preservative-containing vaccine was still acceptable for use in these groups. NAA argued that Lieberman has acted as a consultant to the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the influenza vaccine—Merck, Sanofi-Pasteur, and GlaxoSmithKline—and therefore possesses conflicts of interest. NAA said it requested that a counterpoint speaker without ties to the pharmaceutical industry attend the ACIP meeting to present peer-reviewed toxicological data, but the request was denied. Current CDC recommendations suggest flu shots for pregnant women and children ages six months through five years.

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