The State Food and Drug Administration has refuted claims that Nigerian children are vaccinated with 40 percent mercury, which is mandated by a foreign organization.
The agency announced this in a press statement signed by its director general, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, and provided to The PUNCH on Sunday by the agency’s resident media adviser, Sayo Akintola.
Several media platforms (not The PUNCH) have reported that multiple doses of vaccines containing 40% mercury that were banned in Europe about 30 years ago and in the US more than 20 years ago are still being used in Nigerian children.
However, NAFDAC states that mercury is a metal and it is not used as an element or as a component of vaccines.
Part of the statement read: “Thimerosal, a mercury compound, a preservative used in multi-dose vaccines, contains a different form of mercury called ethylmercury.
“As a vaccine preservative, thimerosal is used in concentrations ranging from 0.003% to 0.01% (for example, thimerosal is permitted in vaccines at levels between 30 parts per million and a maximum of 100 parts per million of the vaccine formulation). Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative. , has been used in the United States for decades in multi-dose vials (vials containing more than one dose) of medicines and vaccines.
“Aside from minor reactions such as redness and swelling at the injection site, there is no evidence that low doses of thimerosal in the vaccine cause harm. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the vaccine manufacturers agreed that as a Preventive measures should reduce or eliminate thimerosal in vaccines.
“Nigeria is still receiving some multiple-dose vaccines that contain thimerosal at acceptable concentrations.
“However, the World Health Organization has not banned the use of thimerosal as an inactivator and preservative in vaccines because of the lack of evidence that thimerosal poses a risk to human health.”