Story from the Joplin Globe:
State department grants exemption for flu vaccine
By Wally Kennedy
In a move that is sure to generate controversy, Missouri’s top public health official granted an exemption Thursday that allows pregnant women and parents of children younger than 3 to choose whether to receive H1N1 flu vaccine containing a mercury-based preservative.
Critics of the mercury-based vaccine lobbied the state Legislature a few years ago to prevent its use because of alleged connections to childhood autism.
Dr. Keith Grebe, medical director at McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital, praised the relaxation of the rule on Friday.
“We had a clinic scheduled for (Friday) at McCune-Brooks where up to 80 patients, including pregnant women, would have received the (H1N1) vaccine with the preservative in it because the supply of vaccine without the preservative is in very short supply,’’ he said.