Do U.S. flu vaccines use adjuvants?
No, at least not in the initial doses.
But since the swine flu has been declared a public health emergency, the Food and Drug Administration has the power to use adjuvants in vaccines even though they have not been approved for use in the U.S.
Adjuvants boost the immune response in humans so less antigens can be used. This allows more vaccines to be made in a shorter period of time.
The Center for Disease Control has purchased a stockpile of adjuvants that could be added to the swine flu vaccines in the future to increase production.
European vaccine makers Glaxo and Novartis claim that clinical trials and the thousands of people that have already been vaccinated with adjuvants with no ill side-effects proves that their adjuvants are safe.
Opponents claim adjuvants are an unnatural immune booster that could trigger autoimmune diseases in susceptible individuals.
Is the amount of Mercury in flu vaccines harmful?
The nasal spray flu vaccine Flu-Mist currently being distributed does not contain mercury or any other preservatives.
But both seasonal and H1N1 flu shots do.
A typical mercury-containing flu shot has 25 micrograms of mercury in a .5ml dose.
*The EPA’s recommended maximum daily consumption of methyl-mercury from fish is 0.1mcg/kg/day to prevent health effects in women.
A typical adult female weighs about 150 pounds.
This 150-pound woman should not eat more than 6.82 mcg of mercury from fish in a day, but she would be getting 25 mcg of mercury from the vaccine.
To look at one more comparison specific to this fall, the current recommendation is that children age 5-9 need two doses of H1N1 vaccine. If a parent doesn’t ensure that the vaccines are mercury-free, a 50 lb child (whose maximum methyl-mercury dose from eating fish should be 2.27mcg of mercury daily) would, on two separate occasions, be getting 25 mcg of mercury from their vaccines. If they receive the seasonal flu shots at the same time (2 doses on each of two visits), they would be receiving about 20 times the EPA’s limit for ingested methyl-mercury at each visit.
Flu shots without mercury are available upon request.
*information from safeminds.org