Anthrax Shots' Effect Challenged

By Thomas E. Ricks

The controversial anthrax vaccine that the Pentagon is trying to inject into 2.4 million troops does not provide complete immunity to an anthrax attack, according to an outside expert who has examined Defense Department records of laboratory tests.

Soldiers who are exposed to anthrax may become quite sick and be incapacitated for up to two weeks, even if they have received the full set of six inoculations, said Dr. George A. Robertson, a molecular biologist specializing in pharmaceuticals… …[and] an expert in biological warfare [and a Retired Army Reserve Colonel].

…the monkeys sickened even though they had been given significantly larger doses of vaccine than humans receive, relative to their weight.

…If it turns out that even fully inoculated soldiers would be unable to fight after exposure to anthrax, the implications for U.S. military operations are enormous, said Chris Seiple, a former Marine officer who serves on a panel studying chemical and biological warfare issues at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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