Flu Vaccine 2012-2013 - Thimerosol

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    Boy oh boy, I am looking into working for a company that provides flu and other vaccines for the general public (flu shot clinics and etc), and I am having a tough time.

    I say the jury is still out as to whether thimerosol contributes to the incidence of autism, or even whether the amount of thimerosol in multidose vials of flu vaccine is significant. I hear all kinds of "facts," and am referred to research that says yes, and some says no. I am tempted just to not take the job, because if I am required to give a child something that potentially causes this problem, I can't do it. I've seen the effects of autism on kids and families, and it just breaks my heart. Can anyone give me a definitive answer? Even the CDC site contradicts itself.
  2. 7 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Quote from Liddle Noodnik
    Boy oh boy, I am looking into working for a company that provides flu and other vaccines for the general public (flu shot clinics and etc), and I am having a tough time.

    I say the jury is still out as to whether thimerosol contributes to the incidence of autism, or even whether the amount of thimerosol in multidose vials of flu vaccine is significant. I hear all kinds of "facts," and am referred to research that says yes, and some says no. I am tempted just to not take the job, because if I am required to give a child something that potentially causes this problem, I can't do it. I've seen the effects of autism on kids and families, and it just breaks my heart. Can anyone give me a definitive answer? Even the CDC site contradicts itself.
    Can you give us a link to the studies that say it does cause autism?
    hiddencatRN likes this.
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    That study was proven to be false.
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    Where do you see on the CDC site that it says anything about thimerosal causing autism?

    From the CDC website:

    Does thimerosal cause autism?


    Research does not show any link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder. Although thimerosal was taken out of childhood vaccines in 2001, autism rates have gone up, which is the opposite of what would be expected if thimerosal caused autism.
    CDC - FAQ Thimerosal (Ethylmercury) - Vaccine Safety

    MANY studies have been done on this topic and none have demonstrated a causal relationship between vaccines and autism. The vast majority of childhood vaccines do not contain thimerosal and the one typically blamed for "causing autism"- the MMR- never did. There was ONE study in 1998 that theorized that there was a relationship and it was a study of 12 children. Study after study has refuted this claim since then.


    Only multi-dose vials of influenza vaccine contain thimerosol.
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    Quote from KelRN215
    Where do you see on the CDC site that it says anything about thimerosal causing autism?
    It was a separate study/article w/ a CDC "address," and there were a few others. You know how it is when you find so many sites your eyes cross... half say "yes," half say "no," half say "maybe." (see, I am no good at math) will find the cdc one tomorrow. I appreciate you guys taking the time!
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    well I have done further research and I can't seem to find the articles I mentioned that seem to relate autism to thimerosal... must have lost it or more likely not seen it, because there is a wealth of articles that say there is NO relation between the two. I also found an article that said the type of mercury in thimerosal is different from the mercury we find in fish and soil and etc. So that was interesting. Anyway also the amt of thimerosal in the flu vaccine is minimal. And, if a parent is hesitant and wants to go to their ped. for thimerosal-free flu vaccine I am all for that. Meanwhile I will have some articles with me at the ready for parents who want to read up, and will continue to find out more between now and then.

    If anyone has some more info on this they would like to share, I'm all for it, but I am sorry to have caused any alarm or concern, I appreciate you guys taking the time to help educate me!
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    There are many things you could do/give as a nurse that will potentially cause problems. Administering a new medication, even FDA approved, could later be found to have serious side effects. Procedures and treatments that are best practice now might later be shown to be harmful (like using Mercury as a treatment for illness or performing a lobectomy for psychiatric illness).

    The fact is that patients/parents are entitled to make their own medical decisions. Provided they are educated about the risks vs benefits (that's why everyone must be given the CDC vaccination information sheet prior to vaccine administration) and your intention is to do good, not harm, then it's perfectly legal/ethical for you to administer the vaccine when the parents/patient consents.
    hiddencatRN likes this.
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    No matter what you read, no matter what others say about this controversial issue, you have to be comfortable with your decision. We can provide you with links to respected and dependable sites, we can send you to sites that do not have the same kind of reputation. You can research parental sites with opinions and facts about their experiences. You can read books and even participate in research. Nonetheless this is your decision. As nurses, we do many things that can be considered harmful by some and not by others. Often nurses advocate for their patients against some treatments that ultimately we feel would be futile and we consider the quality of a patient's life to be more valuable than the longevity. It is all relative. Honestly, I don't think that there will be a definitive answer anytime soon. There will always be valuable input from unexpected sources. "Credible" government agencies are not the only sources of beneficial knowledge. Do your research, don't short-change your gut feelings and make a decision that you can live with. Good luck.


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