Questions & Answers
Anthrax - The Anthrax Vaccine
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Anthrax Vaccine-Civilian Inquiries

  1. Can civilians get the anthrax vaccine?
    The vaccine's manufacturer, Emergent BioSolutions of Lansing, MI, offers anthrax vaccine for sale to licensed physicians in the United States. Emergent BioSolutions sells the vaccine, under the trade name BioThrax.

  2. How would one respond to a bioterrorist attack involving anthrax?
    The course of action for preventing anthrax after exposure in the civilian population would be with antibiotics, or a combination of anthrax vaccine and antibiotics.

  3. How will I know what to do, if there is a bioweapon attack near me?
    If there was an incident, people would be notified by the emergency public announcement system by federal, state, or local authorities about what to do or where to go to obtain treatment. The closest source of emergency assistance will come from your city, county, or state. Contact your state or local Health Department to find out procedures for handling possible bioterrorist incidents in your area.

  4. How can bioterrorist attacks be detected?
    The investigative skills, diagnostic techniques, and physical resources required to detect and diagnose a disease outbreak are the same ones required to identify and respond to a silent bioterrorist attack. A key component to success will continue to be the sharing of information among all components of the public health system so that early diagnosis and response can happen as quickly as possible.

  5. What other reliable information is available from health authorities?
    Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Use of anthrax vaccine in the United States. MMWR-Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report 2000;49(RR-15, Dec 15):1-20. l CDC BioTerrorism Preparedness and Response: l CDC Public Inquiry line: 1-800-311-3435 l CDC National Immunization HOTLINE 1-800-232-2522 Civilian Panel on Review of Bacterial Vaccines & Toxoids, advising the FDA from 1978 to 1985. Federal Register 1985;50:51002-117. Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB), civilian scientists advising the Surgeons General, from 1994 to present. Cochrane Collaboration, the international evidence-based medicine group from Oxford. Demicheli V, Rivetti D, Deeks JJ, Jefferson T, Pratt M. The effectiveness and safety of vaccines against human anthrax: A systematic review. Vaccine 1998;16:880-4. Anthrax Vaccine Expert Committee (AVEC), civilian physicians selected by the Department of Health & Human Services, who independently evaluate VAERS reports, 1998 to present: