(1) Beginning July 1, 2007, a person who is known to be pregnant or who is under three years of age shall not be vaccinated with a mercury-containing vaccine or injected with a mercury-containing product that contains more than 0.5 micrograms of mercury per 0.5 milliliter dose.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, an influenza vaccine may contain up to 1.0 micrograms of mercury per 0.5 milliliter dose.
(3) The secretary of the department of health may, upon the secretary's or local public health officer's declaration of an outbreak of vaccine-preventable disease or of a shortage of vaccine that complies with subsection (1) or (2) of this section, suspend the requirements of this section for the duration of the outbreak or shortage. A person who is known to be pregnant or lactating or a parent or legal guardian of a child under eighteen years of age shall be informed if the person or child is to be vaccinated or injected with any mercury-containing product that contains more than the mercury limits per dose in subsections (1) and (2) of this section.
(4) All vaccines and products referenced under this section must meet food and drug administration licensing requirements.
Findings—2006 c 231: "The legislature finds that vaccinations and immunizations are among the most important public health innovations of the last one hundred years. The centers for disease control and prevention placed vaccinations at the top of its list of the ten greatest public health achievements of the twentieth century. In its efforts to improve public health in the world's poorest countries, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has identified childhood immunization as a cost-effective method of improving public health and saving the lives of millions of children around the world.
Fortunately, in Washington, safe and cost-effective vaccinations against childhood diseases are widely available through both public and private resources. The vaccines that the Washington state department of health provides to meet the requirements for the recommended childhood vaccination schedule through its universal childhood vaccine program are screened for thimerosal and preference is given toward the purchase of thimerosal-free products. The department of health currently provides thimerosal-free products for all routinely recommended childhood vaccines. Regardless of the absence of thimerosal in childhood vaccines in Washington, scientifically reputable organizations such as the centers for disease control and prevention, the national institute of medicine, the American academy of pediatrics, the food and drug administration, and the world health organization have all determined that there is no credible evidence that the use of thimerosal in vaccines poses a threat to the health and safety of children.
Notwithstanding these assurances of the safety of the vaccine supply, the legislature finds that where there is public concern over the safety of vaccines, vaccination rates may be reduced to the point that deadly, vaccine-
preventable, childhood diseases return. This measure is being enacted to maintain public confidence in vaccine programs, so that the public will continue to seek vaccinations and their health benefits may continue to protect the people of Washington." [ 2006 c 231 § 1.