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Politics

Senate Panel Considers Vaccine Legislation

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/senatepane_2324.mp3

Lawmakers on a senate committee consider a bill that would prevent children from receiving vaccines that contain a mercury-based preservative. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

A senate committee listened to several parents talk about how their healthy children developed autism after receiving vaccines containing thimerasal, a perservative containing mercury.

Keith Mueller described the condition of his 3 year old son.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would prevent children from receiving these vaccines...The bill would also require adults be notified if they're going to receive a vaccine containing thimerasal.

During the hearing on the bill, lawmakers heard from Dr. Michael Cooperstock, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Missouri.

The U.S. government has recommended pharmaceutical companies remove thimerasal from vaccines.

Supporters of the bill say drug manufacturers aren't acting fast enough.

Luann Clark and her husband who is a physician say thimerasal caused their 8 year old son's autism.

She told lawmakers that drug companies acknowledge that thimerasal is a harmful substance.

One physician warned lawmakers that all the negative comments about the preservative in vaccines will have a harmful effect.

Dr. Robert Harris has been a pediatrician for 40 years.

No one representing drug companies testified at the hearing.

The bill has already gained support from the House of Representatives.

It faces a committee vote before moving to the senate floor for consideration.