In 2005, the Delaware General Assembly passed legislation intended to phase out mercury from all vaccines administered to children younger than 8 years old and to pregnant women within the state of Delaware by January 2008.
However, a more recent amendment to the law required that no vaccine containing any level of mercury be administered to children less than eight (8) years of age or pregnant women as of June 20, 2007.
The law allows that “the prohibition against the use of vaccines containing mercury shall not apply” when the DPH declares a shortage of mercury-free vaccine which could threaten the health of groups of individuals within the State including children less than eight (8) years of age or pregnant women and that additional mercury-free vaccine cannot be made available from other means.
Please be advised that DPH has determined that a shortage of the following vaccines currently exists and has issued an order permitting them to be used in children less than 8 years and pregnant women. This order is in effect for 12 months.
DPH encourages providers to maximize the use of mercury-free influenza vaccine for children less than 8 years and pregnant women by prioritizing their stock of mercury-free vaccine for this population. Mercury containing flu vaccine should be used in this population as permitted by the DPH order only when a provider has none available and it cannot be obtained.
In developing flu vaccine strategies, providers are reminded that Flumist does not contain mercury and can be used to immunize children 2-8 years provided there is no contraindication.
Providers who have questions may contact the Immunization program at 1-800-282-8672 or 302-741-2950.