November 2004 | Flu Shots

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By Dr. Matsen

I wish to issue a public warning about the flu shots recommended for children under the age of two as stated in the Vancouver Sun, Saturday, September 18. This article mentions that the preservative thimerosal is included in the flu vaccine and some children might have an allergy to it. This is a gross understatement of thimerosal’s potential harm. I and many other practitioners world-wide believe that thimerosal is the main factor behind the dramatic and obvious increase in attention deficit disorder, autism, asthma, eczema, allergies, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.

In the late 1990s, Congressman Dan Burton’s two grandchildren suffered brain damage after receiving vaccines; one with epilepsy and the other autism. He led a Congressional investigation into what was in the vaccines that could damage children’s brains. Burton learned that mercury, in a form called thimerosal, had been added to some vaccines to extend their shelf-life starting with the Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine in 1930. thimerosal was added to the Hib shot in the late 1980s and the Hepatitis B and flu shots in the 1990s. In 2000, over 40 vaccines had been reported as containing mercury in the form of thimerosal.

While a safety limit on the use of mercury in vaccines was set in 1930, and the FDA had supposedly been reviewing the use of mercury in medications since 1977 under Congressional order, it was Congressman Dan Burton’s persistent investigation that forced the FDA to calculate how much mercury was actually in his grandchildren’s vaccines. In November 1999, The Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of a study that showed that if an infant was given the recommended number of vaccines, by six months of age, he or she would have received mercury that is 125 times above the safety limit set in 1930. Shouldn’t this shocking news have led to the immediate withdrawal of thimerosal and/or the reduction in the number of vaccines? It didn’t.

In early 2000, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a study by Dr. Verstraeten that proved that thimerosal in vaccines caused neurodevelopmental delays, including tics, speech and language delays and possibly ADD. These symptoms include autism. This CDC study was not released but was found much later by lawyers searching for the cause of autism. However, it turns out that this study had not gone unnoticed; the CDC chaired a meeting with 51 researchers and doctors, including representatives of five vaccine manufacturers, on June 7 and 8, 2000, in Norcross, Georgia’s Simpsonwood Retreat Center. A copy of the minutes of this meeting has recently been reviewed by Russel Blaylock, M.D., on

If you want more detail on this meeting go to the Mercola website. Suffice it say, the meeting of “experts” was not a meeting that was held to find the truth but to come up with a spin to prevent the general populace from losing faith in the vaccine industry and its products. For example, it was generally agreed that mercury should eventually be removed from vaccines because of its potential toxicity, but that it shouldn’t include vaccines going to the third world countries. Ironically, this statement went unchallenged by a member of the World Health Organization who was attending the meeting.

In 2001, the Health Minister of B.C. stated that no mercury would be included in vaccines for people under the age of 19. So it looked as though mercury would slowly, begrudgingly, be removed from vaccines, at least for children.

The Verstraeten article was finally published in Pediatrics (November 2003) under different authors’ names, and it concluded that thimerosal didn’t cause autism after all. This was the complete opposite of the conclusion originally realized by Verstraeten and was obtained by diluting down his data with data from a bankrupt hospital whose records were totally unreliable. This and other faulty studies have led to the belief that thimerosal is safe after all. No doubt this explains why the B.C. government and its health ministry sees no shame in offering free flu shots to two-year-old children, even though those shots contain enough mercury to begin the process of brain deterioration called Alzheimer’s Disease (see the University of Kentucky studies in the Monthly Comments for February 2003 and March 2003).

While it may be true that thimerosal mercury may produce immediate toxic reactions in only a small percentage of people, it accumulates on the sulfur-containing detoxification enzymes of virtually everyone exposed to it, resulting in a decreased ability to detoxify chemicals. This decreased ability to detoxify can eventually cause or contribute to any disease. Exposure to other metals such as aluminum hydroxide and aluminum phosphate, also used in vaccines, can greatly exacerbate the toxicity of mercury.

Congressman Dan Burton has reported to Congress that the CDC and FDA, which in theory are government agencies, are heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry. He has proposed Bill HR 1680 to ban all mercury in 2008. In the meantime, I strongly recommend that you avoid any substance that contains mercury; it is not safe at any dose, as the Swedish government has so aptly concluded.

My clinical experience is that I have treated thousands of patients who have reversed dozens of “mystery” diseases by removing mercury from their bodies. My book Eating Alive II has two chapters dedicated to identifying and removing mercury. The Monthly Comments for February 2003, March 2003, and March 2004 provide more information on the behind-the-scene politics of thimerosal. Another website is which was started by Lynn Redwood and her MD husband when their child developed autism after receiving thimerosal-containing vaccines and immunoglobulin. Dr Mercola has an excellent free site at that gives frequent updates on a range of health topics.

Update: Shortly after writing this warning on the potential hazards of the thimerosal mercury preservative in vaccines, I had three patients with multiple sclerosis (M.S.) come in to my office. Two were dramatically better after following my program for a few months, but the third was markedly worse even though she had been a patient for the longest period of time. She complained of how hot her spine had been for the last week. By running my hand down her spine I could easily feel the difference in temperature. This indicated that there was increased immune activity going on in her spinal area. The one difference between her program and the other two was that she had received a flu shot just over a week prior to her appointment with me. It seems certain that it was the flu shot, probably the thimerosal in the vaccine, that overactivated her immune system. This is not such an unlikely scenario as a recent Harvard study has shown that the Hepatitis B shot (another thimerosal carrier) has also caused an increase in the incidence of M.S.