No mercury in vaccines administered on children – NAFDAC

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has refuted claims that children in Nigeria were being administered a vaccine that contains 40 per cent mercury which was prescribed by foreign organisations.

The agency made this known in a press statement signed by its Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye and available to Journalist by the agency’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, on Sunday.

NAFDAC said mercury is a metal and it is not used as an element or as a component of vaccines.

It said the basic components of vaccines are Antigens, adjuvants to improve immune response, antibiotics to prevent contamination during manufacturing, preservatives and stabilizers.

The statement read in part, “Thimerosal a mercuric compound which is a preservative used in multi-dose vaccines contains a different form of mercury called ethyl mercury. As a vaccine preservative, thimerosal is used in concentrations of 0.003 per cent to 0.01 per cent, (for example, thimerosal content allowed in the vaccine is between 30 parts to a maximum of 10o parts out of million parts of the vaccine formula). Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that has been used for decades in the United States in multi-dose vials (vials containing more than one dose) of medicines and vaccines.

“There is no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Paediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.

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