Photo of Richard Gage and his 3 associates
Top Vaccine Injury Attorney
in the entire United States
Serving Clients Nation-Wide
1815 Pebrican Ave
Cheyenne, Wyoming  82001
Phone:  (307) 433−8864,

What About
Vaccines, Mercury, and Autism?

Major controversies have been boiling for years around the question of whether mercury in vaccines causes autism in children. Extensive research has also been performed to determine the validity of such a link.

Based on results of various studies, autism is no longer covered under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP or VICP). More information about mercury and autism is presented farther down on this page.

But What If My Child Has Autism?
Can I get compensation?

Maybe. It depends.

Autism is an outwardly visible symptom of a brain injury or malfunction, not the actual injury itself. Many different kinds of brain injuries can result in autism. Vaccine reactions are not the only cause — even in children.

So what kind of claim can be made if a vaccination leads to autism?

Here's an example:  Suppose an adverse reaction to a pertussis antigen (whooping cough) in a DTP vaccination causes invisible, internal, neurological brain damage.

That invisible brain damage then might produce observed external behavior patterns, which are then diagnosed as autism.

In order to qualify for NVICP compensation, you must show that a reaction to the vaccination is medically connected to the real brain injury itself, which then appears to the ordinary observer as autism.

Practicing vaccine lawyers no longer handle autism cases directly.

But that doesn't mean you can't ever be compensated. It only means you have to show the autism resulted from a vaccine-related brain injury.

There can be a basis for a defensible claim of vaccine injury if there is a reasonably provable connection between a vaccination and the neurological damage in the brain that resulted in autism.

Thus the claim is based on the brain damage itself, not the autism.

Does Mercury Cause Autism?

The short answer to the mercury-autism question is:  Studies indicate mercury does not cause autism.

But that does not mean that mercury in vaccines isn't cause for concern. The following two paragraphs from the National Centers for Disease Control address the question:

"Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930's. There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.
"Since 2001, with the exception of some influenza (flu) vaccines, thimerosal is not used as a preservative in routinely recommended childhood vaccines."

To say this issue is hotly discussed and debated is an understatement.

The California Department of Public Health (DPH) conducted a study of autism rates after Thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines. The results were not as helpful as some had hoped.

In a January 2008 quote by, California DPH Medical Officer Robert Schechter, MD said, regarding the study: "We are reassured that we found no link between routine childhood vaccination and increases in childhood autism in the data. But the finding that there are increasing numbers of kids who need services is not reassuring. We support efforts to find preventable causes of autism."

The Schechter study appears in the January, 2008 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

The problem is:  Autism rates are sill going up. The question is:  Why?

How Concerned Should I Be?

The amount of mercury actually contained in a dose of vaccine is quite small. And Thimerosal is no longer used in vaccines for children.

However, mercury is a highly toxic metal. Every individual has his or her own unique metabolism. Some people are large in stature, others much smaller. That means the amount of mercury per pound of body weight, if any is present, also varies greatly among individuals.

Some may rid themselves of any mercury in their system with relative efficiency, while others may tend to accumulate mercury until it degrades their overall health.

Bottom line:  Better safe than sorry. Avoid unnecessary vaccinations when the vaccine contains mercury-based preservative. That most commonly means flu vaccines.

But that's not saying don't get your flu shot. Just don't get shots indiscriminately without considering the benefits of avoiding the disease versus the potential risks of injury.

Give Us A Call, Or Email Us

If you think you or a loved one is the victim of a vaccine injury, give us a call right away at (307) 433−8864, or email us at

Don't Miss An Important Deadline

Do not delay.

The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has very strict filing deadlines that must be met. If you miss a deadline, you also lose your right to seek compensation for your injury.