Iatrogenic exposure to mercury after hepatitis B vaccination in preterm infants.
Chin Med. 2008 Mar 29;3:4. PMID: 10802503
Mercer University, Southern School of Pharmacy, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.
Thimerosal, a derivative of mercury, is used as a preservative in hepatitis B vaccines. We measured total mercury levels before and after the administration of this vaccine in 15 preterm and 5 term infants. Comparison of pre- and post-vaccination mercury levels showed a significant increase in both preterm and term infants after vaccination. Additionally, post-vaccination mercury levels were significantly higher in preterm infants as compared with term infants. Because mercury is known to be a potential neurotoxin to infants, further study of its pharmacodynamics is warranted.