Health knowledge and news provided by doctors.

Are flu vaccines dangerous and do they contain Mercury?

Thomas Secrest's picture
Flu shot

Why do people say vaccines are dangerous?

There is a growing concern in the United States that vaccines, in general, are unsafe. As a result, more and more people are opting out of vaccinations for themselves and their children.

I recently heard a radio talk show host, of some notoriety, state that his children had never had a needle pass through their skin. I, and perhaps the millions of other listeners, assumed that this meant his children had never been vaccinated against measles, mumps or rubella (MMR) or tetanus, whooping cough or diptheria (DPT) or hepatitis or chicken pox. Since the polio vaccine does not involve needles, I can’t say for sure his children had not received the polio vaccine, although assuming this to be the case would not be an outlandish assumption.

{For now I will reserve my opinion of this action. However, I think you will find this video informative, and entertaining, regarding the statistical benefits of vaccines. While you watch the video, don’t lose track of the fact, that when something happens to you, it’s no longer a statistical probability, it has become a certainty. Please be advised that the video contains adult language that some may find offensive.}


The main concern is centered on the use of Thimerosal in vaccines. Thimerosal is a preservative used in some, and I emphasize ‘some,’ vaccines. Thimerosal contains the element mercury (Hg) and the talk show host, rightly, stated that mercury is dangerous and should be avoided.

Is there Thimerosal in the flu vaccine?

The answer is "Yes" and "No!"

Follow eMaxHealth on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Please, click to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to be notified about upcoming health and food tips.

Yes; Thimerosal is present in multi-dose vials of flu vaccine; that is, a vial from which many doses will be withdrawn. Using a vial for multiple doses carries the risk of bacterial contamination of the vaccine and Thimerosal is present to reduce the risk of bacterial growth within the vial.

No; Thimerosal is not present in single dose injections. Therefore, if you are concerned about Thimerosal, ask for a flu vaccine in individually wrapped syringes or in nasal spray form.

FYI: Thimerosal is not used in ANY vaccines intended for children younger than 6 years of age and as noted above, it not used in single injection products.

Should I get a flu vaccine? Every year more and more people are opting out of vaccines of all types. How dangerous are vaccines, in particular, the flu vaccine.

Now that you know that you can get a flu vaccine that is free of Thimerosal and mercury, you are left to decide if a flu vaccine is right for you. Regrettably, this remains a difficult task with many factors that must be evaluated, plus one factor that is almost impossible to know. That factor is, How dangerous will the flu strains be this year? The CDC tries to guess (and to be fair, guess understates their predictive power) what will happen each new flu season. Most of the time they are right, sometimes, they are wrong.

The influenza virus can be (and has in the past been) a very lethal viral infection and every year many people in the US die from complications associated with a case of the flu.

To make matter worse, that are multiple strains of flu moving around the globe each year and you have no real control over which strain or strains you might be exposed to. On top of that, air travel can spread a dangerous flu strain much faster than the CDC can track or prevent.

How long do I have to decide?

For now, the flu season has yet to start in America; however, it is approaching fast. To be fully protected against the strains in the vaccine, you should be vaccinated 3-4 weeks before you expect to be exposed. Therefore, for most Americans, they need to get a flu shot no later than the 2nd or 3rd week in October. If you are vaccinated by that date, you will be ready for the flu arrival which will likely start on the busiest travel day of the year – Thanksgiving.

If you have preexisting health problems, consult your physician about whether the flu vaccine is right for you.