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How do you check for mercury/thermasil?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok, this is probably a stupid question. All I can find is info that says you need to check to make sure the vax is mercury free. HOW do I do that? What am I looking for?

We delay/select vax and he's getting his first on Tuesday and I can't figure out what to look for.

Thanks!!!
post #2 of 12
First of all, except for the flu vaccine, all vaccines now given to children in the US are either thimerosal-free or contain only trace amounts of thimerosal (there is debate over the significance of these "traces," although they represent a very substantial reduction from the full load some of these vaccines originally contained). There are also vaccines which never had any thimerosal to begin with. What kind of shot is your child getting?

You can call your doctor's office and ask for the brand name of the vaccine your child will be getting. You can then either search the package insert online, which will give you a list of ingredients, or you can post again and ask one of us to help you find it. If you decide to proceed with the vaccine, when the nurse begins to prepare your child's shot, ask her for the package insert. See if it matches the one you looked at ahead of time.
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrklynMama View Post
First of all, except for the flu vaccine, all vaccines now given to children in the US are either thimerosal-free or contain only trace amounts of thimerosal
That is not correct.

The T, DT and meningitis (Menomume) vaccines all contain 25 micrograms of thimerosal in the multi-dose formulations.

DT is indicated for children up to age 7
T is indicated for individuals age 7+
Menomune is indicated for individuals age 2+

Also, the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine is also indicated for children and contains 37.5 micrograms of thimerosal (infants/toddlers are given 1/2 that to make 18.75 per dose).
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrklynMama View Post
If you decide to proceed with the vaccine, when the nurse begins to prepare your child's shot, ask her for the package insert. See if it matches the one you looked at ahead of time.
Even though routine infant vaccines do not contain full strength thimersoal, that is not how you should check to see if the vaccine contains thimerosal.

The BOTTLE the nurse brings to the examination room needs to be checked. Also, thimerosal free vaccines may be presented as single dose, pre-filled syringes.

FTR, parents should ALWAYS check the bottle to make sure the correct vaccine is being given. You'd be surprised at the number of administration errors which occur, particularly now that Tdap has been licensed. It is often mistaken for DTaP. I just read a VAERS report about a one year old getting Gardasil.

Always check the bottles, even if you think the nurse/doctor will think your nuts.

I bumped up a thread entitled "Vaccine Administration Errors" in the main forum. Anyone who vaxes should read it.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongIsland View Post
That is not how you should check to see if the vaccine contains thimerosal. .
Well, actually, there is no way that a vaccine on the childhood vaccine schedule is going to contain anything other than trace thimerosal unless you are talking about some formulations of the flu vax. So checking the bottle for thimerosal specifically is not really the point, although it's a fine suggestion. My impression is that the OP was trying to figure out if the type of vaccine her son was getting contained thimerosal; I think checking the package insert in advance and looking at it again in the office is a very good way to reassure herself on this score. You seem to be speaking more to the concern that the wrong vax altogether will be administered.

As for the T, TD, and Japanese encephalitis, since they're not on the recommended schedule, I'm not sure how relevant they are to the OP's situation. I doubt that someone who has delayed vaxes for her child is going to be starting with Japanese encephalitis. Of course, if I'm wrong, or if the child is actually a teenager, the OP can let us know.
post #6 of 12
Let me repeat what you stated in your initial post: all vaccines now given to children in the US are either thimerosal-free or contain only trace amounts of thimerosal

Again, that is not correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrklynMama View Post
I think checking the package insert in advance and looking at it again in the office is a very good way to reassure herself on this score. You seem to be speaking more to the concern that the wrong vax altogether will be administered.
How is checking the insert going to help if nurse brings out DT instead of DTaP for instance? Parents need to check the BOTTLE, not the insert.


.
post #7 of 12
You know what, Long Island, I think my posts speak for themselves, and are relevant to the specific concerns of the OP. What amuses me is that between the two of us, we've done a darn good job answering her question. I guess that's bipartisanship in action. Signing off for today -
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
We will be doing Hib and polio on Tuesday.

Thank you all for the information, I will look at the bottle to make sure it is the correct vaccine. Single does though - does that still come in a bottle just a smaller one? Or in a syringe?
post #9 of 12
multi-dose IPV doesn't have thimerosal. Single dose, preservative free vials (bottles) are smaller than multidose vials but some vaccines come in prefilled syringes instead of vials.
post #10 of 12
You have to know ahead of time by reading the vaccine package inserts (I have a journal entry that contains most vaccine package inserts: http://quaintpassion.livejournal.com/62525.html ) Check the bottle before vaccination...
post #11 of 12
Just to kind of clarify- you can look at the bottle to double check what vaccine your're getting but the bottles themselves aren't going to list ingredients or specifically say that they're preservative free. That's on the insert so you'd either need to see the insert as well or to have looked at them ahead of time.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by amnesiac View Post
Just to kind of clarify- you can look at the bottle to double check what vaccine your're getting but the bottles themselves aren't going to list ingredients or specifically say that they're preservative free.
I believe the full strength thimerosal-containing vials state "0.01% Thimerosal" directly on the label.

Years ago I saw a photograph of the DT and DTaP vials and the thimerosal content was listed right on the vial as stated above. Anti-mercury groups were criticizing America's pediatricians because they looked at these vials day in and day out for decades (Hep B, Hib and DTaP) and didn't put 2 and 2 together.

FTR, .01% is 50 micrograms of thimerosal and 25 micrograms of mercury.

ETA: It appears as if DT is no longer manufactured in multi-dose formulations. I'm going to double check that with the manufacturer though.
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