Bogus Flu PSA

An organisation called Safe Minds have paid for the production of a flu shot public service announcement to be played in movie theaters across the US. Unfortunately, the spot is … well, just plain wrong. The 30 second ad encourages people to demand “mercury free” flu shots, implying all kinds of dangers because of mercury.

When the say “mercury”, what they are actually referring to is thimerosal, a preservative that has been used to reduce any possible bacteria. Some have accused thimerosal as being the cause of autism, even though there has never been any evidence of a link. In fact, the dose is so small, there’s no evidence of any side effects from thimerosal. And, in addition:

Since 2001, no new vaccine licensed by FDA for use in children has contained thimerosal as a preservative,

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Flu shots are all packaged as single user doses now. So, no need for preservatives. Pretty simple.

The flu, on the other hand, does cause deaths every year.

Yet, the misinformation continues. Why do organizations like this spend their time and money producing ads that have no basis in reality? Who the hell knows.

I do find it funny that their logo contains the words “Get the Facts”, when they have spent who knows how much money on an ad that 2 minutes on the internet would tell you is factually wrong.

List of theaters playing the PSA (via Skepchic)

  • Empire 25 in New York City
  • Long Beach 26 in Long Beach, California
  • River East 21 in Chicago, IL
  • Boston Common 19 in Boston
  • Phipps Plaza 14 in Atlanta
  • Tyson’s Corner 16 in McLean, VA
  • Northpark Center 15 in Dallas, TX
  • Rosedale 14 in Saint Paul, MN
  • Pavillions 15 in Denver, CO


Explore posts in the same categories: "Alternative" Medicine, Superstition in the Modern World

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