What Exactly is in Flu Shots?

By: Margo Spann Email
By: Margo Spann Email

It’s not too late to get a flu shot, but you may be surprised to learn they contain mercury.

Julie Willems-Van Dijk of the Marathon County Health Department says nearly 36,000 people across the country die each year from influenza.

The small amount of mercury in flu vaccines is not the same chemical make up as mercury found in fish.

Marathon County Health officials say flu vaccines have always contained a mercury based preservative called Thimerosal.

The chemical is added to preserve the vaccine.

The preservative is not in vaccines given to children because children receive so many vaccines at once.

Marathon County Health Department Officials the amount of mercury is not harmful.

Those still concerned about exposing them selves to mercury, there is an alternative.

Healthcare providers in Northcentral Wisconsin offer a Thimerosal-free flu shot.

Officials say the risk of mercury exposure is small compared to the risk of getting influenza.

Interim Healthcare still has flu clinics on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

For more information, call (715) 842-7707.

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