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Great Victory for Pro-Choice Vaccine Movement

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted a Preliminary Injunction prohibiting the Department of Defense from administering the anthrax vaccine to military service members or civilian contractors. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has an extensive discussion of the adverse effects of anthrax vaccine on their site. They were in favor of this decision for the following reasons:

  • First, it is likely that a military adversary would use a strain (possibly genetically engineered) against which the vaccine is not effective.
  • Second, there were extremely limited clinical trials before this vaccine was licensed.
  • And third, the adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccine are high--one-third higher than the government's own threshold of risk.

The anthrax vaccine is not the only vaccine that might be designated as experimental because of lack of data--for example, hepatitis B for newborns and children. The judge has protected more than 2 million military personnel and contractors from an investigational drug and a drug being used for an unapproved purpose, and said that without an informed consent or presidential waiver, the United States cannot demand that they serve as guinea pigs for experimental drugs.

Yahoo! News December 23, 2003

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