State health department issues exemption for flu vaccine

Oct 23, 2009

For Immediate Release:
Oct. 22, 2009

Kit Wagar
Office of Public Information

State health department issues exemption for flu vaccine
Action gives pregnant women and families of young children access to H1N1 vaccine

Missouri’s top public health official granted an exemption Thursday to allow pregnant women and parents of children less than three years old to choose whether to receive flu vaccine containing a mercury-based preservative.

Margaret Donnelly, director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, determined that a shortage of preservative-free vaccine was preventing pregnant women and young children from obtaining the new H1N1 vaccine.

Donnelly’s action temporarily sets aside a statute that prohibited pregnant women and children under three from receiving vaccine with this preservative.

The statute also allows the health director to set aside the ban in certain circumstances, including a pandemic or a shortage of vaccine. The waiver will remain in effect until the shortage no longer exists.

“The H1N1 flu is now widespread throughout Missouri,” Donnelly said. “We know that pregnant women and young children are the most susceptible to this illness. But delays in vaccine production have created a situation where the most vulnerable people were left without vaccine protection.”

Donnelly urged women and the parents of young children to consult their health care provider to determine whether any vaccine is appropriate for them.

Under the exemption, pregnant women and families of children younger than three years old will be able to decide whether to receive vaccines that contain small traces of mercury-based preservative.

  1. pam moyers

    Apparently there must be a dangerous side effect to the mercury based vaccine. But I haven’t heard or read what it is, so I’m having a hard time deciding if it is safe for me to have the shot or not. It being new and not knowing the bad long term side effects is worrisom as well. I have rhuematoid arthritis , which means I have no immune system from the medication. where can I get the right information to help me decide what is safe. My doctor can only tell me either i take it or don’t, it’s up to me. Right now I’m just trying to stay home and hope for the best. Hopefully nobody will come to my home that has had contact with h1n1 and can infect me. Why isn’t there better information available? It’s not like this is a new virus that has never been incountered!!!