Anthrax vaccine--manufacturer's precautions

((Warning–another FOAF story)
AFAIK, all the anthrax vaccines are manufactured in Michigan.

I have a friend (from MI) who said that he knew people who had worked for the manufacturer (Michigan Biologics Institute, IIRC), and that they told him that if there were ever any “accident” at the plant, that it would be immediately “shut off,” and that someone would then come along and weld all doors shut, and anyone left sealed inside the building would be left to starve.

I know that there have to be precautions in places that deal with “infectious agents,” but doesn’t that all sound a little extreme.

(I didn’t buy it, but, hey, I saw “The Andromeda Strain,” and that’s what they did.

I’m thinking that is a bit farfetched…

O p a l C a t

  1. Anthrax can not be transmitted person-to-person, so infected individuals would not be putting others at risk.

  2. Anthrax, if caught early, can be treated with antibiotics including penicillin, erythromycin, tetracycline, and chloramphenicol. So if an accident is reported, they affected individuals could be treated with common antibiotics.

The UL is correct about the company in Lansing, MI. They developed it and produce for use in animals. So even if you ignore the FOAF part, it still sould like bull-shinola to moi.

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

Somewhat OP related -

I’ve heard that the U.S. military branches are insisting that their personnel receive an anthrax vaccine shot. …and that they are none too happy when people refuse…

UL or not?


Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

Definitely not…

People are being involuntarily separated over this. So far as I know, no courts-martial or prison terms yet; service members refusing to submit are administratively separated for unsuitability (refusing to obey a lawful order; excessive vulnerability in the event of an attack).

OK, I stand corrected. From the official web site:

"Keane said there have been few courts-martial, and all have convened at the service members’ insistence on a trial. "

So there have courts-martial, but only after the service member has refused to sign paperwork for other ways of handling this…

Sue from El Paso


I’ve heard that some military doctors themselves are refusing vaccination. Despite assurances to the contrary, there are some people that feel the anthrax vaccine can be harmful.

Comments? …and (if it’s not too personal) can you tell us if you yourself have been vaccinated against anthrax?

Not vaccinated - yet. I would prefer to escape unvaccinated (no fears, just sore arms & hassles), but 2004 is probably too far off to make it.

If I came up on list to deploy to Korea or SWA (current acronym for SouthWest Asia = Saudi/Kuwait), I would start the series ASAP. I have no illusions about my fate (court-martial, hard time, loss of medical privileges - they would make an example of me) if I tried to weasel out of a deployment by refusing to take a mandatory vaccine, and I would deserve everything that I got.

One might think that medical types would be well-informed enough to preclude the ULish rumor-induced paranoia that affects non-medical types. Not so. From my perspective, docs, nurses, medics, etc. seem more likely to believe some of the hogwash out there than the infantry types. They are also less likely to follow orders just because, and consider themselves (OK, ourselves) as Hawkeye wannabe’s…

I am not brain-washed, either. There have been reactions, mostly mild, but a few have been serious. But I can’t take care of soldiers if I’m dead or if I’m seriously ill because I didn’t take the vaccine and weapons-grade anthrax spores are released. Other docs can’t take care of as many other soldiers if they are having to take care of me. I will get the shots when the time comes.

A low number of troops have completed the primary series. These troops were in high-risk areas (Korea/SWA), and have continued the series after returning to the states. In order to keep a large stockpile for contingincies, troops are only beginning the series if/when they they or teir uit comes down on orders for a high risk area. But once you’ve begun the series, the Army will track you down to make sure you complete it on schedule, even if you’re in the Reserves.

The Army, and DoD have learned some hard lessons from the Gulf War & its aftermath. A vaccine against Hantavirus was OPTIONAL for troops at low risk of Hantavirus exposure in Bosnia. The current policy on anthrax was decided upon after a good deal of consideration, and has not changed in the 2 or 3 years since the program was announced. I don’t have all the information to assess how serious the threat is, but have to have some faith in the people who do in order to work where I do.

None of the above should be mistaken for official DoD policy; it is my personal opinion.

Sue from El Paso

I don’t actually have anything to say about this topic; I just wanted to contribute to recycling. This was the very last topic on p.12, and now (for at least a brief moment!) it will be at the top of page 1.

(Either that, or I’m secretly Jesus: “And the last shall be first.”

…but when you get blue, and you’ve lost all your dreams, there’s nothing like a campfire and a can of beans!

The countries that are stockpiling anthrax for the purposes of bio-warfare acquired their supplies by simply mail-ordering it from scientific companies in the U.S. It was cheap, too. There is some evidence that in some cases the anthrax has been genetically engineered such that the vaccine wouldn’t work against it anyhow.