published in Times this weekend (no link)
YOUR articles, Autism linked to mercury vaccine (May 27) and Inquiry
launched into vaccine 'link' with autism (June 17) implied there has
increasing use of thiomersal-containing vaccines in the UK since 1988.
fact, the thiomersal content of vaccines given in the routine
programme has not increased over the past decade.
The only vaccines for children used in the routine programme that
thiomersal are DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) and DT.
Because of theoretical concerns that the small amounts of mercury in
thiomersal could be harmful, both European and United Kingdom
have recommended that manufacturers phase out its use wherever possible
As a further precautionary measure the Public Health Laboratory
behalf of the World Health Organisation, will be undertaking research
any negative effects of thiomersal-containing vaccines in the near
Several studies and research papers have found no evidence that the MMR
vaccine, which contains no thiomersal, is a factor in the cause of
Dr Elizabeth Miller
Head of Immunisation Division, Public Health Laboratory Service
CLARIFICATION: The views expressed in my letter of June 10, about
thiomersal and a possible or probable link to autistic spectrum
were personal and should not be considered the official position of the
Food and Drug Administration.
Dr Eric Colman