A boy in Lima, Peru, receives a hepatitis B vaccine during an immunization drive in 2008. The United Nations is considering a ban on the preservative thimerosal, which is often used in hepatitis B and other vaccines in developing countries.
An old complaint about the safety of childhood vaccines is finding new life at the United Nations.
The U.N. Environment Program is considering a ban on thimerosal, a vaccine preservative that is widely used in developing countries. The program expects to make a decision sometime after a final meeting on the issue in January.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:39 pm
By David Schultz
Two boys study together at a Chicago yeshiva in 2009. Public health officials say this type of close physical contact caused a mumps outbreak to spread throughout several orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City.
Credit M. Spencer Green / AP
On June 17, 2009, an 11-year-old boy returned home from the U.K., which was experiencing a large number of mumps cases at the time. He then went to a summer camp for Orthodox Jews in upstate New York.
This turned out to be the spark that led to an outbreak of mumps among Orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City. Ultimately, more than 3,500 people got sick.