• Influenza
  • For Children

Can a clinic vaccinate children younger than age 3 years with influenza vaccine taken from a multi-dose vial of influenza vaccine? The multi-dose vials contain thimerosal as a preservative.

Yes. Multi-dose vials of inactivated influenza vaccine contain a small amount of thimerosal to prevent bacterial and fungal growth in the vial. Thimerosal-containing vaccines are safe to use in children. No scientific evidence indicates that thimerosal in vaccines causes adverse events unless the patient has a severe allergy to thimerosal. Despite this, a few states have enacted legislation that restricts the use of thimerosal-containing vaccines in children. To find out if your state has such restrictions, check with your state immunization program (see www.immunize.org/coordinators for contact information).

Last reviewed: September 10, 2023

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