Anthrax vaccine for kids?

Bioterrorism paranoia is back. Should kids be injected with it?

The Washington Post reports today in “Anthrax Quandry: Vaccine tests on kids“,

The Obama administration is wrestling with the thorny question of whether scientists should inject healthy children with the anthrax vaccine to see whether the shots would safely protect them against a bioterrorism attack.

We’re all for vaccinating children against real and significant infectious disease threats, but bioterrorism is too rare and any anthrax attack would be limited in scope — so it makes little sense to go to the expense and trauma of widespread vaccination of children. Moreover, Anthrax victims can be easily treated after exposure. Plus if a would-be-bioterrorist is smart enough to weaponize anthrax, how much harder would it be to defeat the vaccine?

Now that bioterrorism industry is back, click below for Steve Milloy’s six columns on bioterrorism from September-November 2001:

One thought on “Anthrax vaccine for kids?”

  1. Reminds me of one patient a friend of mine had. The woman refused all the standard vaccines for her infant, and then started demanding that her baby be vaccinated against smallpox and anthrax. As the smallpox vaccine isn’t publically available, and anthrax isn’t carried at any pediatricians office, I don’t know if she ever got her way, but the baby was not given those shots that day at least.

    As far as testing goes, I’m all for it. We might as well ensure it works, but a widespread vaccination would be a bad idea.

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