SafeMinds Launches Mercury-Free Pregnancy Campaign
Cautions that CDC and others are failing to protect infants
In a letter dated December 5, 2011, the CDC and 11 national organizations encouraged health professionals to advise their pregnant patients to get vaccinated against influenza during any trimester. However, they neglected, once again, to recommend readily available mercury-free vaccines or even to alert doctors that the majority of influenza vaccines still contain mercury.
SafeMinds has been educating the public about mercury in influenza vaccines for the past three years. This year’s annual campaign has been expanded to include materials for obstetricians and gynecologists. It gives them information to help them protect their patients from being exposed to mercury during pregnancy.
For the 2011-2012 flu season, approximately 53% of the flu vaccine supply still contains mercury in the form of thimerosal. All types of mercury are toxic to fetal neurological development and pregnant women should avoid exposure to mercury from any source to help ensure a healthy, unimpaired child. These new materials provide doctors with the information they need to order mercury-free vaccines for their patients -- including a video narrated by Cindy Schneider, MD, SafeMinds’ Medical Advisor. To view the video, go to www.safeminds.org. Free posters on how to avoid mercury sources during pregnancy are also available to order on the website.
The American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the United States Public Health Service set a goal in July, 1999 "to remove or greatly reduce thimerosal from vaccines as soon as possible” saying that while there was no evidence of harm from thimerosal, this goal was feasible and would be a wise precaution.
In 2001, the Institute of Medicine recommended that “full consideration be given by appropriate professional societies and government agencies to removing thimerosal from vaccines administered to infants, children, or pregnant women in the United States.”
Since then, many studies have indicated that there is plausible evidence of harm to infant brains from mercury in vaccines. This literature is available here.
SafeMinds believes that exposures to mercury should be avoided whenever possible, especially during pregnancy and childhood. Any purposeful exposure should be avoided, particularly if alternatives exist, as in the case of influenza vaccines. As SafeMinds President, Sallie Bernard says, “Mercury in all forms is neurotoxic, endocrine-disrupting and allergenic. It simply does not belong in babies.”