Do vaccines cause autism? 12 myths and facts about vaccines

Photo by: Getty Images
Some vaccines contain mercury-
Fact

Thimerosal, a preservative containing about 50% mercury, prevents contamination by bacteria. It can be found in most flu shots, according to ... more 
Photo by: Getty Images
Some vaccines contain mercury-
Fact

Thimerosal, a preservative containing about 50% mercury, prevents contamination by bacteria. It can be found in most flu shots, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, since 2001, thimerosal has not been present in routine vaccines for children younger than 6. And, both the flu shot and some vaccines for adults and older children can be found in thimerosal-free versions, or with only trace amounts.

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Tue, Nov 8, 2011 5:34 PM EST
By Tammy Worth



When it comes to the history of vaccines, it's been a long, bumpy ride. Once hailed as lifesaving wonders of modern technology, vaccines are now more likely to be a source of suspicion and angry playground debate.



Will we ever agree on the risk and benefits of vaccines? Probably not.



But to sort out fact from fiction, Health.com took a look at the scientific research to date on vaccines.