A little more research (between my daughter’s volleyball tournament games) has revealed some reassuring referenced statements about Thimerosal.
The official CDC statement is here:
And the official Canadian Statement is here:
WHO’s official statement on Squalene is here:
A REALLY good and well referenced review of Squalene appears to be this one:
Bottom line is that it was a good exercise to go through: being asked by a patient to do a mini-lit review on this subject – with additional online discussion through a Physician's newsgroup list. Accepting the popular opinion just isn’t enough....going through the exercise of finding/evaluating/reading well referenced material has been invaluable.
The components of the H1N1 vaccine that are causing concern are the Thimerosal (Mercury) and the Squalene (the stuff blamed on "Gulf War Syndrome". The articles detailed above are very well written, researched and referenced. The bottom line is that - while it is probably preferable to not have these things in the vaccine, having them present in the H1N1 vaccine is not sufficient to exclude the vaccine from your "to do" list.
This is really a question about "RELATIVE RISK". After everything is said - your risk of morbidity or death is higher WITHOUT the H1N1 vaccine than it is WITH it!
I am now a lot more confident in recommending the H1N1 flu shot. At least now, I’ll be able to have a lot more familiarity with the increasing onslaught of questions I’ve been getting about the safety of these components of this vaccine.
This has been a great exercise!
Ps. The Tom Baines Boas got Silver!