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Thimerosal and Autism Rates: A Minnesota Perspective

Loaded By Tim Kasemodel

A while ago my wife Laura and I were interviewed by a reporter about our son’s medical treatment for gastrointestinal issues. During our interview, we were asked a question that Laura refers to as a “loaded” question.  While we were discussing our thoughts on vaccines and their contribution to our son’s condition, the reporter asked how we felt about people saying “…mercury is no longer in vaccines and the rates of autism are still going up?”   By asking the question they way she did, she “loaded” it with the implication that all vaccines no longer contained mercury in any form.  This question should have been restated as “How do you feel about people saying that the amount of mercury in vaccines has been reduced and children are still qualifying for autism services at a rate of approximately 1 in 150 children”?

When I questioned who told her mercury was out of vaccines, she qualified her question by saying, “except the flu shot” and left it at that.  I can only suspect that she was once told something like this:

“Since 2001, all routinely recommended vaccines (except for the flu vaccine) currently being made for administration to young children in the U.S. contain no thimerosal or only trace amounts.”  

A quick read of this statement might lead someone to that mercury had been removed from all vaccines (except flu of course) in 2001.  But this does not say that mercury containing vaccines were no longer being used, it only states that mercury reduced versions of the basic vaccine schedule given to children age 0 to 6 were currently being made and had become available as a choice.  Note that the qualifier “young children” also leaves out booster shots, and some brands of meningococcal and tetanus vaccines recommended for children over age six still contain preservative level mercury TODAY.

By asking the question the way she did, prior to the qualification on the flu shots, she implied that all vaccines were mercury free.  If she had gone to the FDA website (HERE)  she would have seen that many vaccines still contain mercury.  Note as well that this list only give the vaccines “currently licensed for manufacture”.  It does not list the vaccines that were manufactured with mercury up until the publication date of the table.   For example, the Energix Hepatitis B vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline shows it to be mercury free.  This vaccine was not licensed for manufacture until January 2008.  This means that many of the Hepatitis B vaccines given to babies this very day in hospitals around the U. S. still contain up to 600 parts per billion of mercury because they were manufactured prior to 2008.  Parents should know that peer reviewed studies show that concentrations of less than 10 ppb kills brain neurons and negatively affects many other systems in the body.

Another fact frequently misrepresented through loaded questions centers around just when preservative level infant vaccines were no longer in routine use.  Only recently have we seen some reporters let go of the infamous “since 1999” only to replace it with 2001, which was actually the year in which Thimerosal reduced vaccines were first licensed and available for purchase.  Watch the first minute of this YouTube video where the Immunization Director of the Minnesota Department of Health testifies to a legislative committee that preservative level infant vaccines in the Vaccines for Children Program did not expire until 2003.  Mercury containing vaccines were still available for sale and most certainly administered up until their stocks were used up or expired.

Ensuring Mercury-Free Vaccines Hearing in MN Part 2 (HERE)

The other part of the reporter’s question dealt with the rates of autism still going up after the supposed removal of mercury.  As the question was asked, it was “loaded” with the implication that all diagnoses of autism after 2003 were in children born after 2003.

The following graph is based on data from IDEA and Minnesota Vital Statistics using the number of annual live births as a denominator to look at individual birth cohorts as well as certain age groupings.  It shows the number of Minnesota children who qualify for school services, including those with an educational diagnosis, but not necessarily a medical diagnosis.  This simply means that some children included meet at least six of the nine qualifications for a medical diagnosis.  Some parents whose child would meet all nine qualifications for medical diagnosis choose not go through the challenge of acquiring one.  It also does not include children with autism who are home schooled which is not an insignificant amount in Minnesota.  It is set up to show the growth over six years within individual birth cohorts.  If the graph went back to 20 more years you would see that it would have been flat at about 10 children (diagnosed by age 21) per year up until around the late 1980’s.

Though a small unknown percentage of these children might not qualify for a medical diagnosis of autism, it is important to note that they do have enough social and/or cognitive deficits to qualify for school services.  We are not talking about neuro-typical children getting services they do not need.

Prepared 04/28/09 by Laura Kasemodel, Wayzata, MN (Click to enlarge.)

Kasemodel MS cases   
Looking at the multi colored bar graph above labeled Autism Spectrum Disorder Cases and you will notice the six colors for each birth year corresponding to individual years of IDEA data.  For instance, for children born in 2000 (now nine years old) less than 200 accessed school services by age three (blue 2003 IDEA line), but over 1,000 children had accessed services by age eight (orange 2008 IDEA line).  As noted above, the vaccines with 50,000 pbb concentration of mercury (preservative level) were in use through 2002. 

This graph is loaded with information once you understand how to look at it.  Start with the dark blue column in 2000 birth year which is the number of children who qualified for services by age three, most likely the children most severely affected. The yellow line in the 2001 cohort, green in the 2002 cohort, red in the 2003 and light blue in the 2004 cohort and are all the number of that birth year qualifying by three years old.  The graph is limited by the IDEA year 2003 however.  We cannot go back to see how many children born earlier were diagnosed at the younger ages – the blue column for the 1993 birth cohort represents children qualifying by age 10.

For me this graph also raises many questions.  For instance, why are there half as many children qualifying by age 18 as age 10, when they had 8 extra years to diagnose them?  The number of children qualifying by ages 4, starting with the 1999 cohort, rise sharply through the 2004 birth year, as does those qualifying by 5 (starting 1998) and by age 6 (starting 1997).  Why do the number of children qualifying by age 3 starting with the 2000 cohort nearly level off?  Could it be that it represents the slow decline in the use of preservative level infant vaccines?  So many questions.

Let’s go back to the reporter’s question implying that rates of autism have continued to rise after the supposed removal of mercury from vaccines.  I added the yellow shaded area between the blue line marking 2003 data and the orange line marking 2008 data in the graph below to best represent the amount of children born before 2003 but who were given an educational diagnosis after 2003.  I did this to make it clear that the vast majority of autism diagnosis since 2003 have been in the age groups that received preservative level infant vaccines.  It is also a great visual of the tsunami of children soon to become adults.  What are we going to do as a society now that over 800 children with autism become adults each year, in Minnesota alone?  Great proportions of these adults are moderately to severely affected by autism and will require significant support services.  Society at large has too long ignored this oncoming wave, which as you can see below, is now upon us. (Click photo to enlarge.)

Kasemodel ASD Cases0001 (2)
Because boys with autism outnumber girls 4 to 1, this data shows that an average of 1 in every 43.4 boys age seven through thirteen (1995 through 2001 birth years) have enough social and cognitive deficits to qualify for autism services in Minnesota.  I told this in person to none other than Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Sanne Magnan herself, and received no response.  The fact that there are 6578 of Minnesota children in this group should be alarming to all of us.

Some preschool children qualify for school services under the category of developmental delay. In Minnesota, the developmental delay category can no longer be applied after age six.  As they enter grade school these children then need to be classified under a different classification, one of which is ASD.   This explains the jumps in autism numbers that each birth cohort has after age six.  It is important to note as well that there has been a huge effort to diagnose children earlier, which may explain the high numbers of three and four year olds in the 2004 and 2005 cohorts, but we cannot know for sure.  It is only reasonable to say right now that we will not know the rate of autism for children born during the period of “reduced” mercury use (but increased vaccine use) after 2003 until those age groups reach ages seven and beyond.  This means waiting for the data to be published for the 2010-2011 school years in 2012. 

It is legitimate to question the ability to determine the rates of autism in younger children, those born after the “reduction” of thimerosal in vaccines in 2003.  For instance, read what the Minnesota Department of Health has to say about it.  In their study Autism Spectrum Disorders Among Preschool Children Participating in the Minneapolis Public Schools Early Childhood Special Education Programs they report:

“Current statistics accurately characterizing baseline ASD prevalence in populations of preschool children were not available for Minnesota or the U.S. Therefore, the MDH determined that a reanalysis of the MPS dataset using epidemiological methods and definitions was a necessary first step toward better understanding the occurrence of ASD among children attending MPS preschool programs.”.

If the Minnesota Department of Health, with the assistance of the CDC, could not receive accurate statistics on the autism rates of preschool children, those born after the reduction of mercury in vaccines, how could anyone else?  How could a reporter be hoodwinked into even asking such a ridiculous question?  Because the CDC carefully parses their words so they are not incorrect, but too often results in the reader leading themselves to the wrong conclusion.

I hope you will sit back and fully absorb this information.  You have just read and listened to words of trusted government officials and agencies that directly contradict what most of America and the world have been led to believe about autism and vaccines.  Then next time anyone implies that they know the rate of autism has risen in children who got less mercury exposure, send them this article.  The fact is, we do not yet know what their rates will eventually be.

Tim Kasemodel lives in Wayzata, Minnesota with his wife Laura and their two boys affected by mercury from vaccines, and is a strong advocate for the autism community.

Comments

For Jessica

Jessica

Mercury is toxic to humans in whatever form - I don't see any reference to methyl mercury in this article. Your comment is a red herring.

Jessica

Can I just point out there's a difference?

http://www.decodedscience.com/ethyl-methyl-mercury-difference/25234/2

While mercury is not ideal, there's a difference.

Mo

Another added piece to the puzzle is the routine administration of zantac to newborns for colic ( how about probiotics instead) now a days. When my son was born in 1994 zantac was not around thank god.
zantac depletes the body of b12, folic acid and vitamin d. So for a kid that is a poor methylator already lets make sure he is deficient of these key nutrients. You wonder why they just don't take the kids out and shoot them. its a perfect biochemical nightmare. Then they recommend tylenol to completely shut down glutathione which they are deficient in so they can't excrete the heavy metals they inject them with and on and on it goes. Then the ear infections from the milk formula they are allergic to which sets up the overuse of antibiotics so by time they get the MMR their gut is such a mess the measle can set up home. Gosh have they missed any chance of making the kids autistic.

Mr. T

The FDA just can't find the time to safety test Thimerosol even though it is required by law to do so. They simply play a shell game with it. It is criminal that they still use this product.

Birgit Calhoun

Mercury is clearly a problem. Just recently I translated a scientific paper form 1966 from German into English. Reading this I was alerted to the fact that people with dental amalgams in their mouths have a much greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis. In this paper it was also stated that people who were vaccinated with rabies vaccines had a much greater risk of developing encephalitis disseminata which is very similar to MS in many ways. Guess what substance is still used as a preservative in Rabies Vaccine: Thimerosal. I searched in Google for a connection of rabies vaccination and autism. I found a connection: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-7348
I did not spend much time looking this up. There are probably a number of cases like that.

Kathy Custren

What many parents know (and legislators need to be made aware of) is just what kinds of supports the children with ASD are going to need going forward that are necessary parts of treating and living with Autism. From school aides, to transportation, to special dietary interventions (and goodness knows what other new innovations come along), we will have an on-goig battle to find, and fight, for funding for our children.

I am the single parent of three chldren with Aspergers, and each of them have their own unique needs. We refer to it as a tsunami, but we are also faced with how much the general public does not know. They think they "know" about autism. If we think taxes and budgets are strained now, we need to do all we can to make our children as productive as possible. And they will need a lot of support throughout their lives.

Tim Kasemodel

I am glad that my article has raised such a great discussion - which is exactly what I had hoped for.

One topic I am glad to see is the ratio of severely affected vs mid to high functioning children born after 2003. I too notice much less stimming of toddlers in the grocery store - less fidgety, emotional and non-compliant. But what do I know, I am just a dad. I strongly suspect that the huge efforts to diagnose early will result in a huge drop in later diagnosis.

As for the B.S about the availability of mercury free flu vaccines, My wonderful Minnesota Department of Health provided us a wonderful insight in 2008.

When we were fighting (yes, FIGHTING) the MDH to get a merc free vacs bill passed, they put toghether a sham fiscal note showing that it would cost the state of MN $3.2 million to provide mercury free flu and infant vaccines (one of the triple vacs with trace level vacs would need to be split up similar to the separted MMR) to MN citizens.

Never mind Kris Ehresmann of the MDH was including private payers, and her scenario had MN providing a flu shot to every women of childbearing age in the state at taxpayer expense, or that there was not even going to be that her ficticious amount of merc free shots were not even available. What interested me is that she showed that the prior year the State of MN Vaccines for Children Program could only obtain mercury free flu vaccines 35% of kids in the program, or around 15% of the kids in the state.

Thanks again for the comments, and I encourage all to printout the graphs above and give them to anyone who pulls out a LOADED QUESTION.

Tim Kasemodel

maggie

Thanks for all your hard work putting these charts together and advocating for families struggling with autism.

I also wanted to add my personal experience with younger kids being diagnosed with autism. In my son's school, the younger children are all verbal and working on grade level. All the children 8 years old and above are significantly impaired. This appears to be what a lot of other parents in different schools are reporting. I almost never see toddlers at playgrounds or shopping centers, spaced out and staring at lights or stimming on handrails anymore. I never see toddlers walking the playground perimeter or stimming on wood chips anymore. These were VERY common sights in the 1990s and early 2000's. It gives me hope for the future.

John Ordille

My two sons are born in 2002 and 2003. The vaccines they received were from the same lots made in 1997 through 1999. I checked, they were all filled with mercury. Our doctor was a stock piler. One son is autistic and the other is completely disabled (does not walk, talk or crawl) I heard the classic line "what he will get with the shots is far less than what he will get without" after I questioned my son being sick the week before.

hodan

Hi Tim and Laura,
Thank you so much for this important information. Somali parents are so grateful to you and Laura for appearing on Somali TV and informing the community about vaccines and the damage done to our kids.

thank you so much.
hodan

somali parent.


Heidi N

I actually have done some research myself, and it does look as though autism rates have gone down with the reduction in mercury. But, I don't think what has been done is enough of an effort, and I don't see autism disappearing.

CM

Fascinating. I had speculated that the higher level mercury vaccines were still in circulation until about 2003 based on the way the SV40 virus in the polio vaccine was mishandled, but it's something else to see an actual confession admitting it.

Here's what I had written about this:
According to an interview with David Kirby, the vaccine manufacturers stopped producing the shots that contained the full amount of thimerosal in 2001. But, they never recalled the existing thimerosal-containing vaccines because the decision to make vaccines with no or lower levels of thimerosal was just "precautionary". A similar problem happened when the polio vaccine was found to contain the SV40 virus. Accoring to the CDC's website, "In 1961, the virus was found to cause tumors in rodents (Eddy et al., 1961). That same year, the federal government required that new stocks of polio vaccine be free of SV40. However, existing polio vaccine stocks were not recalled and were used until 1963."[6] So based on that example, it's very possible that many vaccines still contained the higher levels of thimerosal until at least 2003.

But now that there's an actual confession, this timeline may also be beneficial for refuting that loaded question:

1. In 1999, congress decided future stocks of childhood vaccines should be made with no thimerosal

2. BUT they still continued to recommend the flu shot (which contains thimerosal) to pregnant women!?!?

3. They didn't actually stop making the vaccines with higher thimerosal levels until 2001.

4. The old vaccines didn't expire until 2003.

5. Then in 2004, 3 doses of the flu shot (complete with thimerosal) were added to the childhood schedule.

So there's never been an entire year since the vaccine program started where thimerosal was not in childhood (or prenatal) vaccines.

Now here we are in 2009 (10 years after congress realized it was a problem), and thimerosal is still in vaccines...

Zeph

After 7 years in the trenches, this is absolutely one of the best informative articles that expressed my inklings and emotions. Three cheers!

~ Zeph, livin' on the west coast for my boys treatments

Mary K

I am hoping that statistics - such as these cold, hard, factual figures - get the attention they deserve. Become the impetus of change. Make the "autism epidemic" a thing of the past found in history books.

Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

Kim

Thanks for the great information.
The government itself will acknowledge that thimerosal is in there.
Government website updated late in 2008 (i think it was again updated in april 09) notes the following:

These are the vaccines that still contain or may contain thimerosal dtap, flu, hep b, je, mpsv, td/dt

This was the note in the government information packet in reference to the above listed vacs. this was a 2008 publication. The note was for reference for the doc..... if you know your patient has had a reaction to thimerosal do not vaccinate.

Note 3: Some brands or formulations still contain thimerosal as a preservative, or may contain trace amounts of thimerosal that are a remnant of the manufacturing process. Check the appropriate manufacturer’s package insert for more information.

The booklet "contraindications-guide-508[1].pdf" is called Guide to Vaccine Contraindications and Precautions. It is a guide on the CDC's recommendations, i believe it is part of the Department of Health and Human Services for the USA.
Down loadable at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/vac-admin/downloads/contraindications-guide-508.pdf

Pierre Morin

Dear Tim

I had the opportunity to review your graph that you present in article , I was stunned and surprise

What is interesting is that I have a graph of the PDD autistic children in montreal from 1985 to 2004 , the similarity are stunning and the conclusion are very similar .

I am not sure , if your data base is capable of segregating the severe cases of autism , but if you can , you will note that the drop in numbers that you are seing are directly related to a significant drop in the more severe cases .

When you have a chance , please drop me a line , you can also reach me through David Kirby .

This is trully stunning that two geographic areas , 1000 miles apart and we are seeing results that is signficantly similar .

Bravo

Pierre morin
montreal , Quebec , canada

Wilbur Anson

My great-grandson has autism. So I've been doing research on the internet.
--A MAJOR SOURCE OF MERCURY IS EMISSIONS FROM COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS.
--many vaccines DO use Thimerosal as a preservative and Thimerosal does contain mercury.
--vaccine used on the mother while pregnant
--40% of high fructose corn syrup contains mercury.
--dental fillings with amalgam containing mercury.
--some farmed fish contains mercury because of the bone meal fed them.
--Autism is on the rise in an absolute sense -- not just to being diagnosed earlier.

Some medical articles compare symptoms of autism with symptoms of mercury poisoning, and they are so similar that it is hard to say whether a child has autism induced by mercury or mercury poisoning per se. Unfortunately, the state of the art in testing for mercury poisoning is not very accurate. Considering everything, it seems to me (as a lay-person) that it is wise to start a mercury detoxification regimen if one's child is classified as autistic.

nhokkanen

Thanks, Tim & Laura, for sharing these important graphs and information. I appreciate all the time and effort you took on your own dime. Yes, where are all the 18-year-olds compared to younger cohorts? This graphic sends the "hidden horde" hypothesis swirling down the loo.

How selective is mercury when it enters the brain? Just which parts and functions does the toxic heavy metal damage? And just because some brain and nerve damage is more evident -- e.g. loss of speech or motor control -- how can one tell whether so-called "neurotypical" children actually have been hit with subtle or hidden deficits?

How many future Einsteins have we lost due to subclinical brain damage from medical toxins such as mercury, which causes so much damage at extremely low levels?

Sunny

Thank you, Tim, for an enlightening piece. And thank you and Laura for continuing to speak the truth for the sake of all of our kids!

Robin N, I think you're dead-on---I think the timing of routinely giving flu shots to pregnant women AND adding them as multiple shots on the childhood schedule coincide horribly with the "reduction" of mercury in vaccines. How can they ever measure a difference when they added it in (via the flu shot) at the same time they reduced it in some other shots? More smoke and mirrors...(not to mention the increase in aluminum and other JUNK at the same time the reduced the mercury)...

I'm particularly sensitive to the flu shot issue as my OB/GYN insisted I get the flu shot when I was 7 mos. pregnant with my twins in early 2005. I had heard about thimerosal (but had also heard repeatedly that it had "been removed from vaccines"), so I told my doc I would only take her flu shot if it was, indeed, thimerosal-free. She quoted the same news shows I'd seen by telling me that she understood that the thimerosal had been removed from all vaccines---but said she would double-check. The nurse came in and I asked her if the shot was thimerosal-free and she said it was. AFTER I got the shot, my doc came back in and admitted that the shot did have thimerosal in it, but, patting me on the back, told me not to worry---that everything would be fine...

I still believed back then the other big lie the media was telling---that you had to have a history of autism in your family to be predisposed, so I still figured we were "safe"...

And here we are...with both of my sweet boys diagnosed with ASD's before the age of 3.

I have posted on my FB notes and in personal e-mails to friends many times the clear wording on Sanofi Pastuer's flu-shot package insert:
"SAFETY AND EFFECTIVENESS HAVE NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR PREGNANT OR LACTATING WOMEN OR FOR PEDIATRIC OR GERIATRIC POPULATIONS"
Seriously. That's what it says...yet it's a routine shot now for pregnant women, pediatric and geriatric populations.

What a TRAIN WRECK! =(

Jacqueline

The flu vaccine being pumped into the elderly is the reason so many of them have Alzheimer's. If the elderly Alzheimer's population had been dosed with the vaccines kids get today they would have been damaged as children. Alzheimer's is autism in the elderly. Vaccines are the cause, just as they are the cause of this disorder in kids.

The only good that came out of my vaccine induced polio was that when I had my two daughters, now 19 and 21 years old, I knew vaccines were poison and I never vaccinated them. They are healthy and intelligent young adults now.

Their father was diagnosed some years ago with Asperger's. With a tendency towards ASDs in the family, combined with vaccines, my daughters would not be in the excellent universities they are in today, they would be in sheltered workshops.

Their father grew up in a family who all have bad teeth. His mother and he and his brothers all grew up with mouths full of mercury amalgams.

One would have to be a fool not to see the connection.

michael framson

Robin, There's only two ways you "might" get the real answers to your questions and the agencies/people to stand behind their answers. One is a congressional inquiry or two, court action.

In 1998-2000, there was a congressional inquiry into fluoridation to get answers to specific questions. One of the findings: there are no toxicological studies of the primary fluoridation chemicals.

As a citizen, you would not have ever gotten that piece of information. It took 2 years for a congressional inquiry to get it.

And we know how the vaccine court, IOM etc operate. It's all designed so that no one is held accountable for the harm created.

It's infuriating.

Anne Dachel

Thank you Tim for showing us the truth about the supposed removal of mercury from vaccines. The press fails us every day by never investigating the claims routinely given out by the CDC.
It all boils down to spinning the lies to make mercury safe to inject into children.
No one is ever alarmed that it's there in the first place.
Anne Dachel
Media

Benedetta Stilwell

Just goes to prove that the media has the way of getting to the bottom of this, but not the WILL. Why the media decides to trust The reporter had the full weight of CNN behind her. A mother, a common citizen has nothing. I still have the extension # of (Sandy)and the # of the health department at the state level. I still after 20 years have a lot of anger toward Sandy.

Dan, tx

A solution to the flu vaccine would be to file a complaint to your state medical board who is responsible for regulating who is allowed to prescribe drugs (flu vaccine is considered a drug). Drug stores can not write a prescription and therefore they should not be giving the flu vaccines without a prescription.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/17445678/detail.html

Julie

Mercury is only part of the problem. The problem is vaccines themselves destroying an undeveloped immune system.

Teresa Conrick

Hi Tim and Laura,

This is a lot of data and information - thanks so much for getting it together!

Your comment here:


"I did this to make it clear that the vast majority of autism diagnosis since 2003 have been in the age groups that received preservative level infant vaccines. It is also a great visual of the tsunami of children soon to become adults."

It is a great visual and also shows a connection to thimerosal and autism - again.

The timing on the recommendation of the flu vaccine for pregnant women and babies/toddlers is of course another phenomenon. Do you know if anyone is tracking information on autism diagnoses and a connection to pre or post birth flu vaccination?

CDC, I would think, would be the agency responsible for this type of data gathering yet interestingly they are silent.

Robin Nemeth

There is something else that I would like to point out and it is this—when I was pregnant and when my own children were toddlers, in the nineties, Doctors weren’t advising pregnant women to get flu vaccines. It is my understanding that they do, now. They weren’t routinely recommending it for toddlers, either, as they now do. If I wanted my children to have flu shots, I had to ask for them. And so I believe that the amount of mercury that children are being exposed to via their flu shots, both pre-natally and as infants and toddlers, has probably gone up in recent years.

Robin Nemeth

I'm sorry, I posted the wrong URL for the CNN story on the percentage of thimerosal free flu shots in 2007. It is here.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/10/31/flu.hm.flu.shot/index.html

Should have had the second cup of tea before posting...

Robin Nemeth

A couple of years ago I spent some time on the telephone trying to find out the answer to a very simple question—‘How many of the flu shots being administered in the US contain more than a trace amount (less than one microgram) of thimerosal?’

Nobody could possibly make up the ridiculousness—the obfuscation, hubris, and sheer incompetence—of most of the answers I received. You will find, if you ask people where they get this information, that they either have no source for the information, or they will refuse to give out their names. It’s pretty frightening the number of people who’ll spout the ‘fact’ that thimerosal has been removed, who’ll even profit from this ‘fact’, but who aren’t willing to come out from behind the mask of anonymity they hide behind while doing so. I became rather insistent on getting the names of the people I was speaking with on the telephone in the fall of 2007 for two reasons—one, because of the history of censorship I’ve experienced regarding this issue and also because, early on, it became evident that people were happily giving me answers that were meant to be reassuring but that were either false or that seemed deliberately misleading. I figured I was more likely to get good information from people who were willing to stand behind it by giving me their name.

I kept a log of each phone call I made over those few days and posted it here

http://wideopenwest.com/~r_nemeth/clinic_timeline.htm

I also recounted some experiences I had handing out information about thimerosal at various flu shot clinics in my neighborhood over those same days. My writing was getting pretty snarky by the time I gave it up. I’m sorry but I feel that it really couldn’t be helped given what I’d been dealing with.

I did eventually discover an article posted on CNN’s website which answered my question.

http://wideopenwest.com/~r_nemeth/clinic_timeline.htm

I have no idea how the reporter was able to get this information, but she wrote in 2007 that eight out of a hundred and thirty two million doses were considered thimerosal free. That comes out to six percent.

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