US Anthrax Vaccine Shortage Slows Military Use : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

US Anthrax Vaccine Shortage Slows Military Use Updated: Tue, Jun 12 1:19 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Low supplies of the anthrax vaccine are forcing the US military to tighten distribution further, using it only to inoculate special mission forces and for government research, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The available vaccine was released by the Food and Drug Administration from a lot made before the renovation of the Lansing, Michigan facilities of BioPort Corp., the sole source of the vaccine for the US military.

BioPort is awaitingaq or North Korea might use the deadly biological agent against the US military. Anthrax spores, which are odorless and invisible, are lethal if inhaled.

The latest slowdown has no geographic location attached to it and provides for a vaccine in the event of an emergency.

"Actions are being taken to ensure that personnel deployed to high-threat areas have sufficient antibiotics on hand for post exposure treatment in case of an attack," the Pentagon said in a statement.

"This move is necessary to conserve available vaccine supply while protecting those servicemembers at greatest risk," the Pentagon said.

The Defense Department has vaccinated more than 511,000 servicemembers with more than 2 million doses of anthrax vaccine since March 1998.

-- Martin Thompson (, June 13, 2001

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