Anthrax & the Fear of Bio-Warfare
Dr. Meryl Nass, MD is a leading expert on anthrax and anthrax vaccine. She has offered her research and expert testimony at several Congressional hearings in the U.S.
Dr. Nass’s website anthraxvaccine.org offers in depth insight into anthrax, anthrax vaccine, biological warfare and related topics. This page also includes information about three Congressional testimonies, and a variety of other materials that will be useful when making a decison about taking the vaccine, dealing with bioterrorism, or those doing scholarly research
Anthrax Vaccine Information from the Anthrax Vaccine Network
Oct. 7, 2001 The Anthrax Vaccine Network, Inc., was originally formed as a grass-roots networking and political organization to halt the military’s mandatory Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program. Although America is now at war against terrorist groups, and although, as of this writing, two people in Florida have come down with anthrax, our position has not changed. Here’s why:
- The vaccine’s manufacturer, Bioport of Lansing, Michigan, has never passed an FDA inspection. Numerous problems include lack of sterility, contamination problems, quality control problems, lack of consistency in manufacturing, falsification of the expiration dates on some lots of the vaccine (labels were switched), and the presence of squalene, an adjuvant which is illegal in the United States.
- Adverse reactions to this vaccine range from 40% in men to 70% in women, according to an Army study. Yet when the program began the FDA-approved product label admitted to only a 0.2% adverse reaction rate; now it says 5-35%. Adverse reactions range from severe bone and joint pain, to loss of vision, severe skin problems, blackouts and loss of consciousness (crashing from a standing position leads to other injuries, of course), grand mal seizures, internal organ problems, ALS, multiple sclerosis — and death. If this was a civilian vaccine, it would long ago have been taken off the market.
- The current vaccine, licensed in 1970, failed to meet federal requirements to prove efficacy in humans prior to licensure; the required trials to prove safety were conducted, but were of limited scientific validity. The only trial of an anthrax vaccine in humans, in the late 1950’s, was for a different vaccine and showed efficacy only for cutaneous, or skin contact. The Dept. of Defence wanted a vaccine against aerosolized anthrax – that which would be “weaponized” – and for mass inoculation, and in 1996 submitted to the FDA an Investigational New Drug (IND) application requesting permission to use it for this purpose. By law (10 USC 1107), an IND requires informed consent, or a Presidential waiver of that consent, neither of which currently exist. Absent either, a military order to take the vaccine is illegal. Yet, if troops refuse the vaccine, they are most often fined, court-martialed, jailed, and separated from the service under less than honourable conditions.
- The General Accounting Office last year (October, 2000) came out with a report that in the the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units that were required to be vaccinated, 25% of its pilots resign rather than take it.
- Even if this vaccine were not so dangerous, it may be of limited value in the short-term. The FDA-approved protocol for taking it calls for three shots each spaced 2 weeks apart; then three more shots at 6, 12, and 18 months, then annual boosters for life. The stance of the Anthrax Vaccine Network is that the current program must be halted and that any further vaccine development must start from scratch. The current program constitutes medical experimentation upon our troops – all the more devastating when we now need them so badly. The bottom line is that after several years and many millions of dollars, our government has not come up with a vaccine that will protect either our troops or civilians. Instead, a program rife with corruption and greed has been allowed to continue. In these terribly tragic times, we would like our government to answer this simple question Why?