03 January 2003 15:46 [Source: ICIS news]LONDON (CNI)--UK pharmaceuticals firm PowderJect said Friday the Fluvirin flu vaccine that it sells across Europe does not contain mercury-based preservatives, dismissing health concerns raised by a Daily Mail newspaper report.
A PowderJect spokesman told CNI that thiomersal, a mercury-containing agent that is allegedly linked to autism in children, is not used as a preservative in Fluvirin. However, Fluvirin does contain traces of thiomersal used in the production process.
The spokesman also noted that Fluvirin is given mostly to the elderly and not small children, where concerns about autism are most acute. He added that there is no conclusive scientific evidence that traces of thiomersal at such a low level can cause autism.In the UK, four out of seven flu vaccine brands approved for use by the National Health Service (NHS) contain thiomersal. Medical advisers to the government are so far satisfied that thiomersal poses no risk to adults and only a ‘hypothetical risk’ to children.
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