SENATE, No. 618

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

212th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2006 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator ANDREW R. CIESLA

District 10 (Monmouth and Ocean)

Senator ANTHONY R. BUCCO

District 25 (Morris)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Karcher, Singer, Buono, Madden and McNamara

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Eliminates use of vaccines containing mercury over three years.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning vaccines that contain mercury and supplementing Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  a.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, beginning January 1, 2007, a health care provider shall not administer to any person in this State an influenza vaccine that contains more than 0.5 micrograms of mercury per 0.25 milliliter dose to a child under three years of age or 1.0 microgram of mercury per 0.5 milliliter dose to a person over three years of age, and any other vaccine that contains more than a trace amount of mercury.

     b.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, beginning January 1, 2008, a health care provider shall not administer to any person in this State a vaccine that contains more than a trace amount of mercury.

     c.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, beginning January 1, 2009, a health care provider shall not administer to any person in this State a vaccine that contains any amount of mercury. 

     d.  The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services may authorize the use of vaccines containing a higher level of mercury than that specified in subsections a., b. and c. of this section if he determines it is necessary to prevent or respond to an outbreak of disease and there are insufficient amounts of such vaccines to adequately protect the public health.  Persons who receive a vaccine containing more than a trace amount of mercury shall be informed in advance that the vaccine contains mercury.

     e.  For purposes of this section, "trace amount" means a concentration of less than .0002%.

 

     2.  The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services shall adopt rules and regulations, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.

 

     3.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would phase out the use of vaccines that contain mercury over a three-year period.  Beginning January 1, 2007, health care providers would be prohibited from administering an influenza vaccine that contains more than 0.5 micrograms of mercury per 0.25 milliliter dose for children under three years of age, and 1.0 microgram of mercury per 0.5 milliliter dose for persons over three years of age, and any other vaccine that contains more than a trace amount of mercury.  "Trace amount" means a concentration of less than .0002%.  Beginning January 1, 2008, health care providers would be prohibited from administering vaccines that contain more than a trace amount of mercury, and beginning January 1, 2009, health care providers would be prohibited from administering vaccines containing any mercury.

     The bill provides an exception under which the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services may authorize the use of vaccines containing a higher level of mercury if he determines it is necessary to prevent or respond to an outbreak of disease and there are insufficient amounts of such vaccines to adequately protect the public health.  Persons who receive a vaccine containing more than a trace amount of mercury shall be informed in advance that the vaccine contains mercury.

     Since the 1930s, thimerosal, which is approximately 50% ethyl mercury by weight, has been used as a preservative in vaccines.  The federal Food and Drug Administration has encouraged drug manufacturers to reduce or eliminate thimerosal from vaccines in order to reduce the cumulative levels of mercury to which children may be exposed after receiving recommended childhood immunizations.  According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with the exception of influenza vaccines, the last lots of vaccines manufactured with thimerosal that are used in the childhood immunization schedule expired in 2003.  In 2004, the CDC added influenza vaccines to the recommended childhood immunization schedule.   It is expected that the manufacturing capacity of influenza vaccines with no thimerosal or trace amounts of thimerosal will increase in the next few years.