Today’s post is inspired by a question that I received from a new mom. She is getting ready to get a flu shot for her 8-month old and asked for my feedback. I personally have always given my son the flu shot. But what I learned over the last few years is that you have the option of getting a preservative free (no mercury, no thimerosol) version of the flu shot (and any vaccine for that matter). So now I always ask for the thimerosol free version for any shots that my son receives.
When I first did this my pediatrician actually gave me some push-back. I was told that “my son had the kind with preservatives” for his other shots. So I insisted on getting the preservative free kind and told them that “I am more knowledgeable now than I used to be and I would like to remove all heavy metals and preservatives from anything that goes into my son’s body.” That was fine – they didn’t like it, but they gave him the version that I requested.
Why should you be concerned about Thimerosol? Well, the evidence isn’t conclusive about possible links between thimerosol and childhood diseases (including Autism), but since 2001, the CDC has recommended the removal of Thimerolsol from vaccines routinely given to children. And for me, the fact that mercury has been eliminated in thermometers because of potential health hazards is enough to convince me that I don’t want it going into my child’s body.
My recommendation? Do your homework and feel comfortable with what you are doing. If you believe in vaccines or you don’t – knowledge is power - so take a look around and be sure to avoid preservatives or other potentially hazardous substances in childhood shots.
Do you give your children flu shots? Do you have difficulties finding ones that are preservative free? Please leave a comment and share your advice/experiences.