Why Parents and Pregnant Women Are Concerned About the H1N1 Vaccine


Pregnant women are on the list of top five groups most vulnerable to contract the Swine Flu. But, many women are concerned about the safety of the vaccine for their babies in utero. What’s the concern? One word: mercury.

One of their primary concerns is one particular ingredient: thimerosal, or mercury.

Some believe that the federal government and corporate America are involved in some conspiracy to keep using mercury as a preservative for vaccines. While there is not quite evidence for such an allegation, there is reason to be concerned about thirmerosal as a preservative in any vaccine. Ironically, it’s one of the rare issues that brings together people on all sides of the political spectrum. People on the far Left and far Right tend to distrust the federal government, especially if someone could be profiting as a result.

Here are some of the very specific concerns:

  • Brain Damage. A Russian study conducted in 1977 showed that adults who had been exposed to the same form of mercury that is in thirmerosal later were more likely to experience some level of brain damage. For this reason, many nations around the world have banned the use of thirmerosal in their vaccines. Our government said it would also eliminate the use of thirmerosal (or, mercury) as a preservative in vaccines in 1999. While mercury was eliminated from most vaccines by the year 2002, it continues to be used in the seasonal flu vaccine, and this year in the H1N1 vaccine.

“Studies on thimerosal poisoning also describe tubular necrosis and nervous system injury, including obtundation, coma and death.”

  • Autism. Thimerosal is the ingredient that links  autism to vaccinations in the studies that have been conducted over the years.
  • Neurological Disorders. Tom Verstraeten is an epidemiologist who has studied the information on the Center for Disease Control’s database. Verstraeten said:

“that a number of earlier studies indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism.”

What I find interesting is that the federal government allows the seasonal flu vaccine, and now H1N1, continue to use thimerosal as an ingredient while at the same time making thimerosal-free vaccines available for those concerned about the health risks. If there’s no problem with the controversial ingredient, why are they providing an alternative? Why don’t they just make all the vaccines without the mercury? It’s either problematic or it’s not. It seems as though it would be much more efficient in terms of time and money to make just one. Perhaps I’m all wrong. However, if there is any risk at all to adults, babies or babies in utero, I’d like to believe that every action would be taken to protect the life, health and development of all concerned.

Pregnant women aren’t the only ones expressing their concerns. The issue affects everyone. A recent poll shows that about one third of parents are not sold on the vaccine either. It’ll be interesting to see how many people actually do end up taking the shot amidst all the controversy.

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