Intended for healthcare professionals


Chile votes to ban thiomersal in vaccines despite opposition from doctors and scientists

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 05 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1355
  1. Sophie Arie
  1. 1London

Chile’s congress has voted to ban the use of vaccines that contain the preservative thiomersal, after a strong campaign by people who believe that the small amount of mercury in thiomersal can cause autism.

Legislators across the political spectrum voted almost unanimously for the ban on 15 January (85 votes in favour and five abstentions) despite consensus among international scientists and doctors that this kind of vaccine is safe.

If it is signed into law by the president, the bill would make Chile the only country to ban vaccines containing thiomersal, which are used worldwide in …

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