anthrax and military : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

It's really easy to deploy when your protective gear has holes in it.

Anthrax Vaccine Criticism Rebuked Mar 1, 2000 7:00 PM By ROBERT BURNS WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon on Wednesday submitted to Congress a detailed rebuttal of a House panel report that accused the Pentagon of basing its anthrax vaccination program on ``a paucity of science'' and urged that it be suspended. The 76-page document disputed the House panel's assertion that the inoculation program is an exaggerated response to the threat that American troops could face a biological warfare attack. ``Anthrax kills and kills quickly,'' the Pentagon response said. ``The enemy has it and it is easy to employ. If you breathe it, and are not vaccinated, you will die.'' The Feb. 17 report by the House Government Reform national security subcommittee said the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine was uncertain. ``At best, the vaccine provides some measure of protection to most who receive it,'' the House report said. ``Just how much protection is acquired, by whom, for how long ... are questions the Defense Department answers with an excess of faith but a paucity of science.'' In its rebuttal Wednesday, the Pentagon reiterated the arguments it has made many times before, including a denial that it has underreported the number and severity of adverse health reactions to the vaccine. The Pentagon also took issue with the House panel's assertion that because there is little research on the inhalation of anthrax spores by humans the vaccine should be regarded as an investigational drug, requiring the approval of troops to be administered. ``When a disease is fatal, the use of drug or vaccine animal data is the only way to demonstrate protection in humans,'' the Pentagon report said. ``Obviously, it would be unethical to conduct them on humans. In circumstances of this kind, reliance on animal data is necessary and appropriate.'' Anthrax is a naturally occurring bacteria found in domesticated animals; it can be produced as dry spores that, when inhaled, cause death within a few days. The Pentagon believes there is a chance that U.S. troops could face an anthrax attack by Iraq, Iran, North Korea and possibly other hostile nations. In 1998, Defense Secretary William Cohen ordered all active duty and reserve troops to get the shots, starting with soldiers most likely to encounter biological warfare overseas. The vaccine has come under increasing scrutiny from lawmakers as soldiers have expressed concerns about taking the six-shot regimen. Complaints included fevers, muscle pain and dizziness. Reserve and National Guard pilots testified that morale was plummeting and colleagues would resign rather than take the vaccine.

-- mike in houston (, March 01, 2000


Experim ental Vaccines / Adjuvants / Squalene presents a fairly technical, quite thorough rundown on the potential risks from the vaccine(s) being used. Not necessarily from the vaccine itself but from some of the things included in it supposed to make it more effective.
"Squalene, as an adjuvant, is capable of initiating antibody production to itself and initiating autoimmune disease, both neurological and rheumatological, by itself. The addition of the derivatives (MDD, MTPE, Etc) of mycobacterial cell walls enhances these effects.

"In oral ingestion/digestion route, the mucosal epithelium of the intestines modifies the squalene as it is absorbed from food materials into sterols and other molecular structures to which the body does not generate immune reactions.

"Injected squalene is not seen as normal by the immune system, hence, it does initiate immune reactivity to itself."

This is a commentary on Ant hrax vaccine safety and efficacy. It is a "response to Army Surgeon General Ronald Blanck's posting" by Meryl Nass, M.D., Parkview Hospital, Brunswick, Maine 04032 Fri., May 4, 1998.
"However, other information which has subsequently appeared suggests that the issue needs to be revisited. This information is early and incomplete, in some cases due to limited release of data by DoD:

a. It has been noted that French soldiers, who were not given anthrax or botulinum toxoid immunizations, have a low or no incidence of Gulf War illnesses, unlike other coalition forces (8,9).

b. It has also been noted that soldiers who were immunized but never deployed, and therefore had no additional environmental or medical exposures, have developed Gulf War illnesses (10).

-- Tom Carey (, March 01, 2000.

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