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Vaccination debate

Recently there has been much furor over the national effort to vaccinate the population against the H1N1 (swine flue) virus. There has been criticism over the availability of vaccines, but also some debate over the safety of this particular vaccine and other vaccinations in general. To fully understand all potential implications of vaccines, it is helpful to cast a look at vaccine ingredients.

Nurse with syringe

The most controversial ingredient is the preservative thimerasol, which is ethyl mercury. Depending on the manufacturer, the H1N1 vaccine contains from 1 to 25 μg mercury. Mercury per se exists in three chemical forms, which are methyl mercury, elemental mercury and other inorganic and organic mercury compounds. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that exposure to methyl mercury in fetuses, infants, and children impairs neurological development. Methyl mercury can be found in contaminated fish. Opponents of vaccinations argue that breastfeeding mothers, as long as they consumed fish, would have unknown levels of mercury in their milk, thus passing it on to their infants. This then could reach potentially harmful levels after exposure to thimerasol containing vaccinations. Some people argue that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms are similar to mercury over dosage, hence proposing that vaccines could potentially cause autism. Scientists disagree and state that vaccines are not the major cause for a rise in children diagnosed with autism. However, so far there is no 100% clear evidence one way or the other.

On a different note, mercury is not the only controversial ingredient in vaccines. Another preservative is aluminum. Alone, it is not as toxic to neurons (brain cells) as mercury, but in combination with other metals it enhances toxicity. Additionally, one of the H1N1 vaccines contains formaldehyde, a poisonous gas and a potential carcinogen. Last but not least the H1N1 nasal spray contains MSG (monosodium glutamate), a food additive most commonly found in Chinese restaurants. Some people report allergic reactions to this ingredient, like heart palpitations for example.

So what can you do if you feel that you are at risk and need a vaccination? Inform yourself about what kind of vaccine your physician uses. A list of ingredients for each vaccine can be found in the Federal Drug Administration's (FDA) website. You could also make sure that you or your child receives only one vaccine at one time, and not as generally practiced, several at once. There are also alternatives to vaccines, such as getting lots of rest during the cold winter months, eating lots of fruit and vegetables and avoiding hydrogenated fats for example. More information on staying healthy without vaccines can be found here:


  • Krista C 5 years ago

    Great article, we need more information like this available to the masses. People really do need to take more responsibility to find out the facts before just blindly following what we have been told to do, especially when children are involved.

  • bfg 5 years ago

    I wonder how much of this whole vaccination thing is based on making profit. If the vaccinations are coming from a publicly traded company, the bottom line is return on investment and not quality. Quality is hard to gauge when you are the only one selling the product.

  • Fuzzylumpkins 5 years ago

    Great to see this article out there and others of its kind. You know this last H1N1 debacle may just help unravel the whole vaccine industry that has been around for so long- I recall the recent push to force women to get that cervical cancer vaccine that didnt pass in Vermont. You know that if it were up to these companies, they would love to pass laws mandating every vaccine they produce. I would love to see 2 studies- One which compared the health of vaccinated vs non-vaccinated people in general, and a second which compared the autism rate of both vaccinated and non-vaccinated as well. Swine flu scare tactics they have been employing reminds me oh so much of the red flag red herring type we saw from the Bush administration terror alerts and such. Good riddance...

  • Liz K 5 years ago

    Great information! I have been on the fence about getting the H1N1 vaccine. This article increased my understanding about the potential problems with it and now I am better prepared to make a decision. Also, the facts presented about mercury are important to understand and they were explained very well.

  • Danielle 5 years ago

    Thanks for writing this great article, I am disgusted by the ingrediants and the fact that our "healthcare system" actually reccomends putting this stuff in your body, next thing you know they will be telling us its good for our lungs to breath in smoke!

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