Adverse reactions to GSK’s MMR vaccine probed; U.Kentucky Prof. Boyd Haley on potential risks of thimerosol in vaccines

This Mother's Day posting is dedicated to the growing number of parents who have added "vaccine safety" to the list of 100 top things they worry about.  Many may be exaggerating and some (unfortunately) may not be vaccinating their children as a result.  But is their worry completely baseless, or not? Every day we read a new article on the rise of autism and "autistic spectrum" diseases (is it because they're new, or because we now have definitions for them?). We also see increased coverage of potential links between vaccines that contain thimerosol and cases of autism. CDC studies have cleared the use of thimerosol in vaccine manufacturing. The preservative ensures that vaccines are as free of contamination as possible. (Recall the  issues that brought Chiron to its knees in the Winter of 2004/2005). Yet, there's evidence that a more thorough "risk-benefit" analysis should be done to determine potential risks from thimerosol. Two days ago, a newspaper in Ho Chih Minh City reported that 6 children out of over 100 in that city who had recently received GSK's MMR vaccine, Priorix, had experienced adverse reactions and that one child died. The report didn't indicate whether the response might have been due to the presence of endotoxins in the vaccine, or to any other treatments the children might have been receiving, although its author did push the "hot button", and mentioned the controversy surround mercury preservatives, indirectly suggesting a possible link between the two. Use of the vaccine has been halted, pending testing. While trawling for more info on the risks and benefits of thimerosol, came across some interviews with Dr. Boyd Haley, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky, who believes the use of thimerosol preservative in vaccines warrants much closer study. He has hypothesized that it played some role in "Gulf War Syndrome." Among the major issues:  the preservatives' interactions with antibiotics and aluminum: what, for example, happens when a child who's been treated with antibiotic, receives a dose of vaccine that contains thimerosol? So far, risk vs. benefit analysis supports continued use of thimerosol.  It's been used for a long time, and entrenched practices are hard to shake, particularly in a risk-filled, low profit area such as vaccine manufacturing. But more detailed, ongoing studies are clearly in the interest of science and public safety.  Here are the interviews with Boyd Haley, each roughly 5 minutes long. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 -AMS