A federal judge said Wednesday that he will not prevent a swine flu vaccine containing the mercury-based preservative thimerosal from being given to pregnant women.

The ruling comes after an advocacy group called the Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs petitioned the court to ban a swine flu vaccine containing the controversial preservative from being given to pregnant women citing concerns about the preservative’s impact on the health of an unborn baby.

The judge granted the group two weeks to provide him with more information. Otherwise he will dismiss the case.

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Some have linked the presence of thimerosal in vaccines to occurrences of autism, though numerous scientific studies have disproved such a link. Most vaccines now given to children do not contain thimerosal.

The Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs says that exposure to thimerosal in utero can cause intellectual disability, fetal death, problems with fertility and other birth defects.

Pregnant women are set to be among the first to receive a vaccine for H1N1, also known as swine flu, this fall, reports Bloomberg. To read more click here.

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