"Focus on Vaccines" Correction:

January 1, 2007
Linda S. Nield, MD

,
Deepak M. Kamat, MD, PhD

Volume 6, Issue 1

Consultations & Comments: "Focus on Vaccines" Correction: MMR Never Contained Thimerosal

The recent special issue, "Focus on Vaccines," that was published with the October issue of Consultant for Pediatricians included 2 articles that examined the alleged but unproven link between vaccination and autism. One article, "Vaccine 'Scares': Update on Thimerosal" (page S9), reviewed the scientific basis for the controversy over use of this preservative in vaccines.1 A second article, "Update on the MMR-Autism Debate: No Evidence of a Causative Link" (page S13) focused on whether there is any credible evidence to link the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine with autism.2

The second article concluded that "the currently available scientific data overwhelmingly do not support a causative link between MMR and autism . . ." It also noted, however, that "MMR is no longer manufactured with the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal."

We heard from several readers who pointed out that the last statement was incorrect and noted that the MMR vaccine never contained mercury. The response to readers' comments by the author and the issue's guest editor appears below.

We appreciate readers' close scrutiny of our special vaccine issue and, in particular, their comments about the MMR vaccine. We agree that pediatricians need to be well informed about all aspects of vaccine manufacturing and administration.

Several readers accurately pointed out that the statement that the MMR vaccine "is no longer manufactured with thimerosal" is incorrect. According to the FDA, none of the vaccines listed in the Table ever contained thimerosal.3

---- Linda S. Nield, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics West Virginia University School of Medicine Morgantown

---- Deepak M. Kamat, MD, PhD Professor of Pediatrics Wayne State University Vice Chair of Education Director, Institute of Medical Education Children's Hospital of Michigan Detroit

References:

REFERENCES:


1. Nield LS. Vaccine "scares": update on thimerosal.

Consultant for Pediatricians.

2006;5:S9-S12.
2. Nield LS. Update on the MMR-autism debate: no evidence of a causative link.

Consultant for Pediatricians.

2006;5:S13-S17.
3. US Food and Drug Administration. Thimerosal in vaccines. Available at:

http://www.fda.gov/Cber/ vaccine/thimerosal.htm#t1

. Accessed November 8, 2006.