Many organizations like SafeMinds are grounded on the purported link between chemicals in vaccines and autism. However, many studies say there is no causal association between thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders.
But some experts are looking past the debate.
"We're never going to convince SafeMinds that it doesn't matter what type of flu vaccine you get," said Dr. Jon Abramson, chair of the committee of infectious disease at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Abramson said the video campaign may prompt many to ask their doctors about which type of vaccine is appropriate. He said many will probably respond that, "from a medical standpoint there's just no difference."
Schaffner agreed, saying while there's no reason to request thimerosal-free flu vaccines, a patient has the right to ask for it if it makes them feel more comfortable.
"You may just have to make the extra effort to get it," said Schaffner.
"To me, it doesn't matter," said Abramson. "To us the most important thing is for people to get the vaccine. So if they're concerned for their own personal reasons that we have it without thimerosal, we need to make sure they'll get it if that's what they want."