Del. allows flu vaccine containing mercury

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Public health officials say health care providers can use an influenza vaccine containing mercury as a preservative because there are shortages of the mercury-free vaccine during the flu epidemic.

The Division of Public Health said Tuesday that the use of mercury-containing vaccine for pregnant women and children younger than 8 years is normally banned. However, the DPH director can allow use of such vaccines.

DPH director Dr. Karyl Rattay says the flu season has reached epidemic levels, with 713 confirmed cases and two deaths. And the state is experiencing a shortage of mercury-free vaccine.

Residents who have not been vaccinated against the flu are urged to get the shot.

The declaration is in effect for one year.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.