In the face of a flu vaccine shortage, the state of Delaware is temporarily lifting its ban on vaccines containing thimerosal, the “controversial” ingredient that some activists (cough-Jenny McCarthy-cough) blame for causing autism, despite massive pushback from the medical community.
This week pediatrician and Director of Public Health Karyl Rattay temporarily lifted the ban on vaccines made with thimerosal, a preservative that contains trace amounts of mercury.
Normally, Delaware law forbids doctors from giving vaccine containing mercury to pregnant women and children younger than age 8.
“We branded thimerosal with a scarlet letter,” said Dr. Paul Offit, who heads the Division of Infectious Diseases at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “And now there are people who are scared of thimerosal even though there is now abundant data showing that the level contained in vaccines was never harmful.”
Now: The thimerosal-autism connection has been widely discredited and even called ”the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years.” But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t stuck in the minds of the public. Which means this temporary relaxation of the ban will lead to years and years of hysteria. [NewsWorks]