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Dr. Halsey's presentation at the National Vaccine Advisory Committee Workshop on Thimerosal and Vaccines held in Bethesda, Maryland on August 11-12, 1999.

Slide 11 of 26

Slide Notes:

Exposure to a fixed dose (e.g. 62.5 ug) of mercury at 2 months of age poses a greater potential risk than the same dose administered at 6 months of age because a child weighs more at 6 months and the target organ, the brain, is more vulnerable early in life.

Similarly, exposures at 9-12 months would carry much less theoretical risk than exposure to the same dose at 2 months of age.

The recent American Academy of Pediatrics/ Public Health Service recommendation to defer the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine for infants born to HBsAg negative mothers until 2-6 months of age has addressed the problem of exposure at birth, but the exposure to mercury at 2 months of age is much greater and we need to do more to reduce this potential exposure.