When it comes to the flu shot, choice is now here. Many doctors start ordering flu vaccine during the spring and summer months for the fall and winter to follow. Beginning in 2003, a preservative-free flu vaccine was made available — for those who ask for it.
A small amount of a form of mercury called thimerosal is still used as a preservative in some doses of flu vaccine given. I see no reason to choose these for young children any longer.
The flu tends to strike the elderly and young children (and those with other diseases) hardest. For healthy children who will be 6 to 23 months old during the flu season, the benefits of the flu vaccine can be significant.
It’s a good time now to ask your doctor about ordering preservative-free.