September 1, 2009 -- Question: I have heard of concern from some people about the preservative thimerosal in vaccines. Should I be worried, and how can I get thimerosal-free swine flu vaccine?
Answer: Thimerasol is a preservative that has been used in vaccines over time. Since 2003 however, it's not been a part of routinely administered childhood vaccines with the exception of some forms of the seasonal influenza vaccine. According to current plans much of the vaccine that will be available for H1N1 will contain thimerasol but the CDC is hoping that we will have thimerasol-free vaccine available to give to pregnant women and also to very young children.
That said it's important to understand that many studies now have shown that there is no link between receipt of thimerasol and the development of autism which is what most parents worry about when they consider this issue.