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Today, members of our Ethical, Social, and Cultural (ESC) Program for Global Health published an article in Pediatrics that we thought you might find of interest: Global Justice and the Proposed Ban on Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines. This article is part of a trio of commentaries on thimerosal-containing vaccines featured in this month’s journal.

Summary: A multi-lateral environmental treaty is set to be finalized in early 2013, which will establish a list of prohibited products and processes in an attempt to restrict human and environmental exposure to mercury. Thimerosal, an ethylmercury-containing compound that has been used safely for more than 60 years as a preservative in multi-dose vials of vaccines, could potentially be included in the ban.

There are recommendations to exempt or exclude thimerosal from the treaty to avoid disruption to the global vaccine supply, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Some critics have argued, however, that it would be unjust to allow such an exception, and continue using thimerosal in LMICs, when it has been all but phased out in wealthier nations. In this commentary, the authors make the case that the charge of injustice is misguided.

For full access to this article, please click HERE.

For further information, please contact Shane Green at:

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The Sandra Rotman Centre is based at the University Health Network and University of Toronto. We develop innovative global health solutions and help bring them to scale where they are most urgently needed. The Sandra Rotman Centre hosts Grand Challenges Canada, the Ethical, Social and Cultural (ESC) Program for Global Health and the Sandra Rotman Laboratories.

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