Is Your Health Negotiable? Washington State Thinks So….

In an interesting health move, Washington State has suspended the safety levels of mercury in vaccines for a 6-month period in order to ensure more people have access to the H1N1 vaccine.

The decision allows pregnant women and children under the age of 3 to receive versions of the H1N1 vaccine that would otherwise have been deemed dangerous due to the amounts of thimerosal and mercury used as preservatives in the vaccines. And while the attempt to make more swine flu vaccine available to a larger segment of the population is commendable, the idea that safe levels of mercury — and, therefore, the health of children — is negotiable is disturbing.

The American Association for Heath Freedom first published information regarding Washington’s decision to suspend safe limits of mercury in the swine flu vaccine on their website at Their article is republished here in it’s entirety:

Despite the known risks associated with administering mercury/thimerosol-stabilized vaccines to pregnant women and children under the age of 3, health officials in Washington state have temporarily canceled the limit on how much mercury may be allowed in swine-flu vaccine given to pregnant women and to children up to the age of 3. The six-month suspension will be in effect through March 23, 2010, and applies only to the swine-flu vaccine.

Mary Selecky, secretary of the Washington State Department of Health, has said, “Mercury-free H1N1 vaccine may not always be in stock, and we want to be sure there are no barriers to protecting people”.

H1N1 vaccination is voluntary in Washington, but the law requires that women who are pregnant or nursing, and parents/guardians of children under the age of 18, be told that the vaccine they are getting contains more mercury than is usually permitted. Most patients will learn this from a handout. But will the handout contain any information about the risks of mercury administered to pregnant women and young children? And will the handout explain that there is a subset of the population who are unable to detoxify mercury, a possible link to learning and behavior disorders, including autism?

Epidemiological studies in the United States have discovered less than optimal levels of vitamin D in certain vulnerable populations, including seniors, pregnant women and young children. Given that Washington is at a latitude where vitamin D deficiency is common, the suspension of limits on mercury in order to “improve access” to the H1N1 vaccine rings hollow unless that state’s residents are also educated about vitamin D and the flu, monolauric acid and the flu, and how nutrition and lifestyle can optimize immune system function.

American Association for Heath Freedom

What does this mean for health regulations going forward? Is Washington State setting a dangerous precedent that health and safety regulations may be compromised if it suits the public agenda? Are officials saying that mercury toxicity is less of a threat than the flu? In either instance, this is a case of your health — and the health of children — being negotiated… would you be willing to trade one health risk for another, or would you rather see a constructive solution: a fulfillment of the promise made years ago to find a safe alternative to thimerosal and mercury used as preservatives in vaccines?



  1. […] Update: Despite the risks (and regulations) associated with thimerosal and mercury in vaccines, Washington State has issued a 6-month suspension on safety limits of the preservative used in the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine. For more details, please read our article “Washington State Suspends Safe Levels of Mercury in H1N1 Vaccine.” […]

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