The current form of the MMR vaccine contains absolutely no thimerosal (a mercury-containing preservative). Parents can be assured that not even trace amounts of this substance are used in the vaccine.
Further Information on Autism and MMR
The Internet can be useful for finding all kinds of information about autism and vaccines. Unfortunately, much of the information is misleading, alarming, and often just plain wrong. Typically, reputable medical and health Web sites fall in line with most of the medical community, stating the evidence against the link between vaccines and autism.
However, there is no shortage of information available describing the "evils" of the MMR vaccine. It can be difficult for the average reader to distinguish between real science, with valid interpretations of it, and "pseudoscience" (scientific-sounding information that does not hold up to the rigors of real science). Misinterpretations and misrepresentations of real science abound.
While the Internet is certainly a good place to help you understand both sides of the argument, it is important to discuss your questions and concerns with your child's pediatrician. While you don't necessarily have to follow the pediatrician's advice, it is often helpful to hear a "real-world" take on the issue.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine (December 23, 2008). CDC Web site. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/updates/mmr_vaccine.htm. Accessed October 12, 2009.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). MMR and autism fact sheet. CDC Web site. Available at: http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/MMR_VaccineAutismFacts.pdf. Accessed October 12, 2009.
Institute of Medicine (IOM). Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism. Washington, DC: National Academies Press;2004.
Dr. Bob Sears. Vaccines and autism: what can parents do during this controversy? (September 7, 2009). Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-bob-sears/vaccines-and-autism-what_b_279745.html. Accessed October 12, 2009.
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