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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Immunization Additives

Jennifer M describes additives in immunization formulas, such as antibiotics, formaldehyde, and mercury. She suggests you discuss these additives with your child's pediatrician. Originally published March 2003.

To vaccinate or not vaccinate, that is a very important question. And if you have decided to vaccinate, which vaccination from which pharmaceutical company to choose is the next question.

In addition to the substance one is immunizing against, immunizations also contain other additives, such as antibiotics, formaldehyde, and mercury (Thimerosal), which may cause unwanted and potentially lethal side effects.

Antibiotics and formaldehyde are used mostly in the production process of immunizations and are filtered out before being filled into their final packaging. Even though traces of these substances are still found in the final product, they are not considered harmful, even for people who have allergies against them.

Mercury (Thimerosal), on the other hand, has been proven to cause serious side effects, even leading to death. It is used as a preservative in immunizations, even though the vaccines themselves are produced under such sterile conditions that preservatives are not necessary. Scientists have discovered that some patients who are genetically disposed to mercury sensitivity react very strongly to immunizations containing Thimerosal. Mercury affects the brain and immune systems of the body, causing conditions such as attention deficit disorder, autism, asthma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few.

Unbelievably, these facts have been and are being disputed by drug companies and politicians alike. It is astounding to realize that while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recognized mercury is a danger in food products and over-the-counter medications, it has failed to react as strongly in the case of mercury in drugs and dental products (Lisa Regan, Mothering Magazine, Issue 105, March/April 2001).

Until pharmaceutical companies and politicians work toward removing hazardous substances from immunizations, the easiest way to avoid serious side effects is to avoid vaccines containing Thimerosal. Öko-Test "Kleinkinder", issue no. 1/2000 contains an excellent testing of vaccines, indicating which contain antibiotics, formaldehyde and, most importantly, mercury. You, or your pharmacist or pediatrician, can also check the ingredients listed on the packaging of a vaccine before administering it to be certain it does not contain any unwanted substances. In addition, you should have your pediatrician note the manufacturer and batch number of any immunizations which are administered to your child.

For more information, visit the websites listed below. Furthermore, consult your pediatrician or pharmacist for concrete information regarding immunizations and their safety.

*  Website Recommendations

For more detailed information regarding this topic, please visit the following websites:


  • www.mothering.com.

  • www.rki.de (Robert-Koch-Institut, Nordufer 20, 13353 Berlin, Tel. 018887540). Click on Gesundheit und Krankheiten, then on Impfen.

  • www.oeko-test.de. To get to the information on immunizations you have to go to the Suche page and type in Impfstoffe.

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