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Uruguayan Medical Journal

ISSN: 1688-0390

Vol.20 - Nº 1 - Mar. 2004

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General considerations about mercury, thimerosal in pediatrics vaccines

Rev Med Urug 2004; 20: 4-11
Full text (spanish) |  Full text (spanish) (New windows, pdf) | Abstract


Thimerosal, a mercury derivative, has been used in the medical field because of its antiseptic properties. Since at least 60 years it has been used as a preservative in vaccines to prevent bacterial contamination, particularly in multidose containers. However, by the end of the 90?s it has been questionned in the United States and Europe due to its theoretic risks and neurological effects in infants.

Since 2001, international organizations, NGOs and government organizations, and WHO?s committees have been reviewing available information on this issue. According to their reports, there is no evidence of harm caused by mercury in children nor in adults who have received thimerosal-containing vaccines. Thus, immunization with thimerosal-containing vaccines do not need to be changed.