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   Safety rules can't keep up with biotech industry
by Andrew Pollack and Duff Wilson - New York Times - Thursday May 27, 2010
"Whether handling deadly pathogens for biowarfare research, harnessing viruses to do humankind's bidding or genetically transforming cells to give them powers not found in nature, the estimated 232,000 employees in the nation's most sophisticated biotechnology labs work amid imponderable hazards. And some critics say the modern biolab often has fewer federal safety regulations than a typical blue-collar factory. Even the head of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration acknowledges that his agency's 20th-century rules have not yet caught up with the 21st-century biotech industry. 'Worker safety cannot be sacrificed on the altar of innovation,' said David Michaels, OSHA's new director. 'We have inadequate standards for workers exposed to infectious materials.' [...] three trends are stoking concern among safety advocates. In the wake of the 2001 anthrax attacks, the federal government stepped up research involving biowarfare threats, like anthrax, Ebola and many other of the world's deadliest pathogens. Another factor is that the new techniques of so-called synthetic biology allow scientists to make wholesale genetic changes in organisms [...] The third trend involves [...] Drug makers, responding to competition from cheap generic medications, are moving beyond the traditional business of making pills in chemical factories to focus instead on vaccines and biologic drugs that are made in vats of living cells."
   Military vaccines set for October
Gulf Breeze News - Thursday September 17, 2009
All military personnel will be vaccinated against the H1N1 flu virus, and the vaccine will be available to all military family members who want it, a Defense Department health affairs official says.

The H1N1 vaccination program will begin in early October, said Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Wayne Hachey, director of preventive medicine for Defense Department health affairs.

The vaccine, which has been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, will be mandatory for uniformed personnel, the colonel said.

"What we want to do is target those people who are at highest risk for transmission," he said.

Health-care workers, deploying troops, those serving on ships and submarines, and new accessions are at the top of the list.
   Thompson veterans bill prompts hearing
St. Helena (Calif.) Star - Thursday July 03, 2008
Legislation introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena to help veterans who were unknowingly tested with chemical and biological weapons in the 1960s and 70s, recently prompted a House of Representatives subcommittee meeting.

The House Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held a hearing on a bill introduced by Thompson and Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., that would give these veterans health benefits and compensation for illnesses resulting from Project 112 weapons tests. In a statement, Thompson said he hopes the hearing will ultimately push his bill toward consideration by the House.

Project 112, which included ship-based Project SHAD, was conducted between 1963 and 1973 by the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. The DoD now admits that during these projects, unknowing military personnel were involved a number of chemical weapon tests, such as VX nerve gas and Sarin nerve gas and were exposed to biological weapons such as E. coli, tularemia (rabbit fever), and Q fever.
   Float trip benefits vets
by John O'Connell - Idaho Statesman Journal - Sunday October 28, 2007
Over eggs and pancakes inside the diner, the veterans traded stories about brown trout, chemical weapons and life after war. The six men ignored the freezing rain falling intermittently outside of The Angus restaurant on that bitter and gray Saturday morning. For the sake of catching fish in blue ribbon trout waters and visiting with people who could empathize, they were eager to brave the elements during a six-hour float trip on the South Fork of the Snake River. 'You know they say, 'No pain, no gain.' My motto is, 'No pain, no pain.'' 'I was supposed to get my clothing allowance in 10 days and it still hasn't come yet. Vance didn't even know he could get a clothing allowance.' 'You know where all the fish are Mike?' -- Advertisement -- 'Were you in an area of Vietnam that was sprayed? If you were, it's automatic. You're automatically 100 percent (disabled) for Agent Orange.' The day's fishing trip was organized by Vance Wasden, a local disabled veteran who's convinced landing the big one can be therapeutic. Wasden found a willing partner to help organize float trips for disabled veterans from throughout the West in river guide and outfitter Larry Larsen, of Pocatello. Sponsors to support the trips have proven to be as plentiful as native trout in the South Fork. Several more trips are already in the works. 'The whole point of this is there is life after disability, and there's still something to look forward to,' Wasden said. The cast of characters assembled at the diner included a father-son team from Utah, a veteran who drove 18 hours from California for the trip, a commander with Disabled American Veterans in Pocatello, a former Utah National Guard medic who returned from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder and Wasden. There were also several event organizers on hand, all of whom the veterans thanked frequently for providing them the opportunity to go fishing on a cold and snowy morning. The man who spearheaded the outing, Wasden, served three tours in the Persian Gulf and finished his most recent tour of duty in 1998. He wasn't injured in combat. Rather, the health problems that have rendered him 100 percent disabled are the result of a dose of outdated anthrax vaccine given to him by the U.S. military. His festering ailments have resulted in near amputations of his limbs. He's easily tired, has trouble walking, and has coped with internal bleeding, seizures and other health problems. The southpaw now casts a fly rod with his right hand because his left arm has a limited range of motion. Wasden spent two years restricted to a wheelchair due to the bad vaccine and made a promise to himself during that time that if he could ever walk again, he'd show other disabled veterans that no medicine works quite like the combination of dry flies and rising fish. With help from Larsen, a guide with Black Dog Outfitters and owner of the Guide Shack in Swan Valley, Wasden and a half dozen other disabled veterans made the inaugural float trip in April of an organization that now calls itself Accessible Anglers. Though fly fishing is the bait to lure veterans to Accessible Anglers events, it's the camaraderie that participants typically agree makes the trips memorable. For example, Wasden got to meet Charles Robey of Barstow, Calif. Robey is a man who understands all too well the ordeal that Wasden endures on a daily basis. Robey, too, had his health ruined by a bad dose of anthrax vaccine. He heard about Wasden and the trip through his involvement with Protecting Our Guardians, an organization that's been working to put an end to anthrax vaccinations. Robert Dawson is a member of the American Legion Post 4 based in Pocatello, which donated $300 for the trip. Dawson is also commander of both the local Veterans of Foreign War and the DAV. 'It helps to heal the mind,' said Dawson, a Vietnam veteran. 'I'm glad to get out and do things and enjoy nature right now.' The father-son team, Mike and Matt Johnson, engaged in some good-natured trash talking at the breakfast table. The elder Johnson, Mike, lost both legs below his knees when a booby trap detonated in Vietnam in January of 1968. 'I hope it's one of those memorable things - to heck with the father and son team,' Mike said, before proclaiming a mock news headline: 'The dad just whipped his son's ass on the fishing!' Mike teaches high school health class and coaches girls' basketball at Riverton High School in Riverton, Utah. Mike's father-in-law heard about the trip and thought it would be a perfect fit. 'They started talking about fishing and hunting, and he mentioned he had a son-in-law who was in a wheelchair from Vietnam who liked to hunt and fish and didn't get out much,' Mike said. 'I haven't done much this year at all.' His son Matt, a Salt Lake Community College student studying computer science, returned from Iraq in August 2006. Matt served as a machine gunner with the renowned Marine Corps 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment, the most decorated Marine Corps infantry battalion. 'That's a different feeling, knowing sort of what they're going through, and yet it's different,' Mike said. 'My big deal was getting worried about him getting hurt real bad. We were glad to see him back pretty much whole.' Matt's first order of business upon returning from Iraq was to unwind in Alaska on a 10-day fishing trip financed by his deployment money. The Johnson family spent 10 years living in Alaska, and Mike is the first one to admit, 'In Alaska, if you want to catch a red salmon, you send Matt.' Mike had been anticipating the trip for weeks and figured snow and rain would surface when the date finally arrived. Then again, he'd already made up his mind to have fun despite the elements. 'It doesn't make any difference,' Mike said as he finished his breakfast. 'I don't think the fish care. We've seen some bad weather but caught some big fish.' At the hotel the previous night - the Shilo Inn in Idaho Falls offered the veterans free rooms - Matt was pleased to hear talk from organizers about the event growing in the future. 'This kind of stuff is therapeutic, even if it's just a short moment, it's a big deal,' Matt said. Laughing, Mike added to his son's comments while holding his hands about 3 feet apart: 'I hope to have a moment like that. I want it to be like that big.' Three guides with South Fork Outfitters in Swan Valley and one other guide with Black Dog also lent their services for the trip. Some of the boats for the outing were provided by Freestone Boat Works, which operates out of Larsen's fly shop, the Guide Shack. The partners who run Freestone, Bart and Shawn Stolworthy and Dave Page, are designing a prototype for a handicapped accessible drift boat. If it works as hoped, they'll build more. The float Standing on a muddy bank while the guides prepared their drift boats, Warren Price, of Saratoga Springs, Utah, was eager to launch and make his first casts with a fly rod. 'I've never fly fished in my life. I've lure fished and bait fished,' Price said. 'Everybody tells me about it and says, 'You'll never go back.'' Price, a financial planner by trade, spent a decade serving as a medic with the Army National Guard. He went to Iraq by choice, volunteering in 2003 to fill in for a pregnant medic with another unit. That unit, the 116th Engineering Company based in Spanish Fork, Utah, was charged with repairing roads. When Price returned from his deployment two years later, he had trouble holding a job for any length of time due to the mental toll of living in a war zone. He's since written a children's book explaining in simple terms why Daddy may seem somewhat changed when he comes home from Iraq. 'I went over there thinking of all the John Wayne movies and all of the Band of Brothers stuff. It was a little bit different,' Price said. 'I came back messed up. I'm disabled now from post traumatic stress - not that I regret going because I know what I did was right.' Price's wife, Marnee, a childhood friend of Wasden's, encouraged her husband to join the float trip, convinced he would benefit from the relaxing experience and the company of other veterans. He jumped at the chance for a wife-sanctioned fishing trip. 'It is therapeutic,' Price said about fishing. 'I've also started sculpting since I came back. You can really focus on getting some bad juju out when you're working with your hands.' Under the expert tutelage of guide Sue Talbot, of Idaho Falls, Price had favorable odds on his first attempt at a new sport. Talbot, of South Fork Outfitters, once led Vice President Dick Cheney on a Snake River float trip, back when he was still secretary of defense. In 2006, Talbot guided the boat of anglers that scored the highest point total in the history of the high-profile Jackson One Fly competition. Fishing ends for participants once they lose their first fly. By winter, Talbot and her husband, also a guide, head to Florida, where she's the sole female guide working the flats on the lower Florida Keys. In a drift boat with rods rigged with both wet and dry flies, Price and Talbot launched from a privately owned bank along a shallow inlet. A light snow fell as Talbot stroked the drift boat toward the South Fork's main channel. Many of the cottonwoods lining the banks on the gray afternoon were already bare. The remaining leaves were golden brown. The bundled-up veterans had the river to themselves. On a pleasant summer day, Talbot is accustomed to sharing any given stretch with as many as 15 boats of anglers - not that a crowd matters much on a river as productive as the South Fork to a guide who knows every bend and riffle. 'This river is such a good river to fish,' Talbot said as she paddled toward the far bank. 'It's good all year round. It's really a fun river to guide.' Upon reaching 'good' water, Talbot threw the anchor to give Price a quick lesson. She first showed him how to stand up and fish with his legs secured within a padded platform designed to offer anglers support. Next, she demonstrated the proper fly-fishing cast and instructed Price to 'mend' his line. Mending, Talbot explained, involves flipping the floating fly line upstream or downstream upon casting to give the fly a more natural looking float. Call it beginner's luck, but Price's line was bent with the weight of a good-sized mountain white fish after his very first cast. 'Oh! I've got one! Oh!' Price said triumphantly. 'Keep your rod tip up,' Talbot advised as he wrangled with the native fish. Before Price could real it in, the fish slipped off. But it took only a few more casts before his fly rod was bent again. This time, Price landed a 16-inch white fish. 'You can feel it,' Price said after releasing the white fish, amazed at the difference between catching a fish on a fly versus a spinner or bait. As the boat continued to drift, Talbot pointed out a riffle and a line of foam, which she explained was likely carrying food to eager trout. After casting as directed, Price landed a smaller white fish. During the few ensuing casts, he had something really big hooked. Though Price worked to force the lunker to the surface, it wouldn't budge. After a struggle that persisted for about a minute, the fish slipped off. By this time, the sky was dumping quarter-sized snowflakes. As the boat slowly drifted on, Talbot spotted a small mink perched atop a pile of rocks on the bank. A few minutes later, a large, brown object resembling a log motored across the river a few yards upstream. 'Look at that beaver! He's going to smack his tail,' Talbot predicted. On cue, the animal whacked the water in disgust and dove beneath the surface, a performance Talbot had witnessed countless times before. The setting resembled a scene from within a snowglobe when Talbot docked the drift boat on a small island overlooking the so-called 'bathtub.' It's a pool of deep water at the base of the trademark Falls Creek Falls, where several rivulets of water cascade down a sheer, rock terrace surrounded by golden cottonwoods. All around the island, the fish were attacking a hatch of blue-winged olive flies. Price made a few casts with the matching dry fly and pulled in a pan-sized trout, followed by a big white fish. When the fishing slowed down and the snow storm let up, Talbot's boat joined the rest of the group for a late lunch around a campfire, where the veterans and their guides watched a bald eagle circling in a thermal above them. Everyone at the campfire reported success. Even Robey, who'd fallen into the river while stepping out of his boat and was drying his wardrobe by the campfire, couldn't suppress a grin when he told the others about the large cutthroat he'd landed. Mike took home bragging rights over his son - the elder Johnson landed three good fish and hooked a few whoppers that got away. Wasden's list included the largest rainbow he'd ever caught on a dry fly, the largest white fish he'd ever caught in his life and a 20-inch cutthroat. Not to be outdone by his old man, Wasden's 12-year-old son, Cody, lost count of all the rainbows, browns and white fish he'd reeled in throughout the day. After lunch, the snow had subsided and the anglers floated for a final hour. Price hooked one last trout. It fought like a beast and eventually got away. It was twilight at the end of a cold and gray day, and Talbot was busy strapping her drift boat to a trailer. Price silently studied the water - medicine for a medic. There's no place for stress on the river, even on a dreary afternoon. 'I think I have a new favorite sport,' he said.
   *The Sunshine Project: Anthrax and Tularemia Bioweapons Bungling in Texas commentary follows
UN Observer - Saturday September 08, 2007
On April 13th of this year, workers at a Houston, Texas biodefense lab were exposed to aerosolized anthrax [spores]. Just down the road in San Antonio and only a day before (April 12th), workers entered a tularemia lab to inspect malfunctioning air filters without wearing gloves or any respiratory protection. The incidents come on the heels of major safety and security violations at Texas A&M University, a US Department of Homeland Security biodefense Center of Excellence. Are the recent lab accidents in Texas a streak of terribly bad luck, or is something else going on? [...A]ccidents are popping up everywhere. Reality is that lab workers and university professors screw up like the rest of us, says Sunshine Project Director Edward Hammond. The lack of public accident reports never indicated an absence of accidents, rather, it has reflected a pervasive cover-up culture, a problem that has been dangerously exacerbated by the mushrooming biodefense program. Hammond continues, What we are witnessing in Texas is not bad luck, it is the crumbling of the biodefense lobby's safety fa￧ade.


Commentary:
Emphasis added - editor.
   Mom of dead soldier seeks better screening
by Glenn Adams - Associated Press/Army TImes - Sunday May 20, 2007
AUGUSTA, Maine  Barbara Damon-Day, the mother of a Maine Army National Guard captain who died of unexplained causes while serving in Afghanistan, has been on a mission of her own.

Carrying a thick notebook filled with information about soldiers health issues  and pictures of her son, Capt. Patrick Damon  Damon-Day worked the halls of the state House to line up support for legislation inspired by her sons mysterious death last June.

The father of two collapsed after a recreational run in Bagram, his wife, Hildi Halley, said at the time. Damon-Day believes it was related to the extensive series of vaccinations soldiers undergo before deployment, and perhaps how the vaccinations interacted with each other.
   Day Honored for Commitment to Reduce Non-Combat Deaths commentary follows
by Judi Finn - Lincoln County (Maine) News - Wednesday May 09, 2007
Eleven months after her son Capt. Patrick Damon, 41, died in Afghanistan where he served in the Maine National Guard, Barbara Damon Day of Newcastle had a proud and bittersweet moment of triumph on Friday, when she stood side by side with the Governor to announce groundbreaking legislation meant to protect those who serve their country in the military.

At a press conference with veterans and state officials, LD1889, An Act to Protect the Lives and Health of Members of the Maine National Guard, was formally introduced as an emergency bill by Gov. John Baldacci at the State House in the Hall of Flags. Supporting LD1899 are 155 legislative sponsors, rarely seen on any bill.


Commentary:
Further quote: When he died in Afghanistan last June 15th, it was reported that he died of a heart attack, Day said. Addressing the media she said, I implore you to correct the record once and for all. One thing the autopsy did show is that Capt. Pat Damon did not die of a heart attack.

Wearing her sons dog tags and only losing her composure once, Day said the Vaccine Healthcare Center at Walter Reed is still looking at Damons death as possibly vaccine related. She said, While the military lists Pats death as sudden unexpected I call it prolonged and preventable and have photos to back it up.

On the day he was deployed to Afghanistan, Jan. 25, 2006, Damon said goodbye to his wife and two children with a swollen face. In a photo taken July 12, 1999, after receiving eight vaccinations against eight diseases and a TB test, his face also shows swelling. A photo of him with Colwell in 2003 as a healthy man is a remarkable cont Patrick Damon rast. Day believes her son died as a result of reactions to vaccines and medications.
   Navy vet at home after heart transplant
by Donna Wright - Bradenton Herald (Florida) - Friday April 27, 2007
Navy vet Andrew Spehr left Tampa General Hospital on Thursday with a new heart and two notebooks full of ideas of things he wants to do now that he has a new lease on life. Spehr arrived home at 2:30 p.m. after a stop at Applebee's restaurant to pick up a New York strip steak dinner with mashed potatoes and asparagus. &Spehr suffered from congestive heart failure he and his doctors believe may have been caused by an adverse reaction to a smallpox vaccine required by the Navy just shortly before his Sept. 5 discharged. Without a heart transplant, the Navy vet would have died, his doctors said. They discovered his heart was three times its normal size when they removed it to implant the new heart.
   Useful Links
Medical News Today - Friday April 20, 2007
Vical Incorporated (Nasdaq: VICL) announced today that the company has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC), a biomedical research organization within the U.S. Navy, to explore the use of Vical's novel Vaxfectin(TM) adjuvant with experimental DNA vaccines against malaria. Vaxfectin(TM) is a cationic lipid/co-lipid formulation designed to increase the immune response to vaccines.

The company holds patents in the United States and Europe covering a new class of adjuvants including Vaxfectin(TM) and their use with DNA vaccines, as well as patents in the United States covering the use of Vaxfectin(TM) with conventional vaccines based on proteins, polypeptides, and polysaccharides, including those containing all or part of a bacterial or viral pathogen. Vical has provided Vaxfectin(TM) to academic researchers for several years, and data have been published showing evidence of increased immunogenicity and/or protective efficacy of DNA vaccines against diseases including anthrax (Vical), tuberculosis (Pasteur Institute of Brussels), HIV (UC-San Francisco), Japanese Encephalitis Virus (Kobe U. School of Medicine), influenza (Vical), and malaria (NMRC) in animal models ranging from mice to non-human primates.

"We expect initial human testing of a Vaxfectin(TM)-formulated DNA vaccine to begin in the second half of 2007 in our pandemic influenza program," said Vijay B. Samant, Vical's President and Chief Executive Officer, "potentially paving the way for other applications to advance into clinical-stage development. We believe the potential of this new class of adjuvants is quite broad, including DNA vaccines and conventional vaccines against infectious diseases or cancer. We are especially pleased to expand our collaboration with the U.S. Navy on the malaria vaccine development program with the Vaxfectin(TM) adjuvant."
   Researchers tested pot, LSD on Army volunteers commentary follows
by Richard Willing - USA Today - Friday April 06, 2007
Army doctors gave soldier volunteers synthetic marijuana, LSD and two dozen other psychoactive drugs during experiments aimed at developing chemical weapons that could incapacitate enemy soldiers, a psychiatrist who performed the research says in a new memoir.

The program, which ran at the Army's Edgewood, Md., arsenal from 1955 until about 1972, concluded that counterculture staples such as acid and pot were either too unpredictable or too mellow to be useful as weapons, psychiatrist James Ketchum said in an interview.


Commentary:
It is important to note that in the many, many cases of deliberate medical experiments on members of the armed services, many of the volunteers were actually under orders, and were provided no rights of informed consent. Such is once again the case with the anthrax vaccine.
   Army bases among first to give new HPV vaccine
by Jennifer H. Svan, - Stars and Stripes - Friday March 23, 2007
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan  Dependents at U.S. Army bases in the Pacific are among the first in the region to have the option of getting a controversial vaccine touted for its effectiveness against cervical cancer.

The B.G. Crawford F. Sams U.S. Army Health Clinic at Camp Zama has administered about 23 doses of the human papillomavirus vaccine, or HPV, since receiving an initial shipment in February, according to Ed Roper, director of host nation relations and public affairs for U.S. Army Garrison Japan.
   Army surgeon general ousted amid Walter Reed scandal commentary follows
CNN.com - Monday March 12, 2007
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley has lost his job as Army surgeon general, another casualty of the care scandal at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Acting Army Secretary Pete Geren asked for Kiley's resignation, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates approved the action, a senior Pentagon official said.

In its official announcement, the Army said Kiley had requested retirement.
Kiley had been made temporary head of Walter Reed, the Army's top hospital, after Army Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman was ousted in the wake of a series in The Washington Post that found soldiers living in deplorable conditions.

However, he was quickly replaced by Gen. Eric Schoomaker amid criticism that Kiley, who was head of Walter Reed from 2000 to 2004, had been aware of the problems at the facility.

Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey, who had placed Kiley in temporary command of Walter Reed, resigned March 2 in wake of the scandal.

Kiley, who was also commanding general of Army Medical Command, submitted his request to retire on Sunday, the Army said in a news release.


Commentary:
Editor's Note: I realize there's not much on this web site concerning the scandals at Walter Reed, but the only thing that is news to those in the anti-anthrax vaccine movement is that the public is finally aware of this. We've known for years that vets have enormous trouble getting the military to admit that there are illnesses and conditions direclty connected to the anthrax vaccine and other military vaccines; we've seen vets lose their jobs, their homes, their cars - and we've seen marriages break under the strain. It's a reality we've sadly come to expect. Regardless, the fact that heads are rolling may be the harbinger of good changes - we can only pray. But if you read the press section opposite, you'll see our troops have been considered disposable since the beginning. Support our troops? Not likely - not as long as people think magnets on their cars or yellow ribbons on tress will do it.
   'It Is Just Not Walter Reed'
by Anne Hull and Dana Priest - Washington Post - Monday March 05, 2007
Ray Oliva went into the spare bedroom in his home in Kelseyville, Calif., to wrestle with his feelings. He didn't know a single soldier at Walter Reed, but he felt he knew them all. He worried about the wounded who were entering the world of military health care, which he knew all too well. His own VA hospital in Livermore was a mess. The gown he wore was torn. The wheelchairs were old and broken. "It is just not Walter Reed," Oliva slowly tapped out on his keyboard at 4:23 in the afternoon on Friday. "The VA hospitals are not good either except for the staff who work so hard. It brings tears to my eyes when I see my brothers and sisters having to deal with these conditions. I am 70 years old, some say older than dirt but when I am with my brothers and sisters we become one and are made whole again."

Oliva is but one quaking voice in a vast outpouring of accounts filled with emotion and anger about the mistreatment of wounded outpatients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Stories of neglect and substandard care have flooded in from soldiers, their family members, veterans, doctors and nurses working inside the system. They describe depressing living conditions for outpatients at other military bases around the country, from Fort Lewis in Washington state to Fort Dix in New Jersey. They tell stories -- their own versions, not verified -- of callous responses to combat stress and a system ill equipped to handle another generation of psychologically scarred vets.
   General Is Fired Over Conditions at Walter Reed
by David S. Cloud - New York Times - Thursday March 01, 2007
WASHINGTON, March 1  The two-star general in charge of Walter Reed Army Medical Center was relieved of command on Thursday, following disclosures that wounded soldiers being treated as outpatients were living in dilapidated quarters and enduring long waits for treatment.

Back Story With The Times's David S. Cloud (mp3)Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, a physician and a graduate of West Point, was fired because Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey had lost trust and confidence in his ability to make improvements in outpatient care at Walter Reed, the Army said in a brief statement.

The revelations about conditions at the hospital, one of the Armys best known and busiest centers for treating soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, have embarrassed the Army and prompted two investigations, several Congressional inquiries and a rush to clean up the accommodations for outpatients, where residents lived with mold on the walls, stained carpets and other problems.
   Critics: Army holding down disability ratings
by Kelly Kennedy - Army Times - Monday February 26, 2007
The Army is deliberately shortchanging troops on their disability retirement ratings to hold down costs, according to veterans advocates, lawyers and services members, and the Inspector General has identified 87 problems in the system that need fixing.

These people are being systematically underrated, said Ron Smith, deputy general counsel for Disabled American Veterans. Its a bureaucratic game to preserve the budget, and its having an adverse affect on service members.

The numbers of people approved for permanent or temporary disability retirement in the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force have stayed relatively stable since 2001.

But in the Army  in the midst of a war  the number of soldiers approved for permanent disability retirement has plunged by more than two-thirds, from 642 in 2001 to 209 in 2005, according to a Government Accountability Office report last year. That decline has come even as the war in Iraq has intensified and the total number of soldiers wounded or injured there has soared above 15,000.
   New agency to lead hunt for bioterrorism defenses
by Amy Ellis Nutt - Star-Ledger (New Jersey) - Wednesday December 13, 2006
It was a long wait and a breath less finish, but the U.S. House of Representatives finally pushed through a new bioterror bill nearly two years in the making.

Last Saturday, only hours be fore the 109th Congress adjourned for the year, the House passed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act. The most significant part of the bill was the establishment of a new federal agency, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA.
   New agency would bolster biodefense
by Amy Ellis Nutt - The Star-Ledger - Sunday November 26, 2006
After two years of delays, Congress is poised to pass biodefense legislation next month that would create a new federal agency to speed development of drugs for an array of infectious diseases that are bioterror threats... The bill that would establish the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, was passed unanimously by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in September...

[P]rogress in designing drugs to counter potential biological weapons has been slow. Vaccines in particular are enormously complex to design, take years and hundreds of millions of dollars to bring to the market and have limited use. Currently, there are only four major vaccine manufacturers left in the world... If passed by the Senate and signed by President Bush, BARDA will become an office under the Department of Health and Human Services, which already spends $4.2 billion a year to address bioterror threats...

A key feature of strategy for HHS is to move from fixed defenses, what's called 'one bug, one drug,' to flexible defenses, said Smith. This is a reflection of what a lot of people have been saying about how to develop new drugs and vaccines. The only way out of (the bioterror threat) is to make a broad defense against a wide array of infectious diseases both here and outside the U.S. -- that's our vision of victory.
   Burr bill may be taken up in lame-duck session
by Mary M. Shaffrey - Winston-Salem Journal - Thursday November 16, 2006
Though Republicans still control the congressional agenda, they can't do much without widespread Democratic support.

And one of the big items expected to get consideration this week during the lame-duck session is a bill sponsored by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., that would establish a new federal agency to combat bioterrorism - the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who will be the majority leader come January, has said he would like to see bioterrorism and pandemic flu-related legislation taken up before Congress adjourns for the year.

Burr's bill, commonly referred to as BARDA, would create a new position within the Department of Health and Human Services that would be solely responsible for the oversight of vaccine production.
This individual, who would require Senate confirmation, would administer a billion-dollar fund for the next two years that would aid the development of vaccines.

Bob Kadlec, a bio-defense and public-health consultant, used to work for Burr. He said that Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the need to have one person in charge, and though the bill has many components, this is perhaps the most critical.
   Rumsfeld stepping down
CNN.com - Wednesday November 08, 2006
President Bush announced today that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, is stepping down. Bush said he is nominating former CIA chief Robert Gates, who headed that agency from 1991 until 1993, to become the next secretary of defense.
   Anthrax vaccine opponents gear up to renew fight commentary follows
by gputrich@airforcetimes.com - Marine Corps Times - Sunday October 29, 2006
As the Pentagon prepares to resume mandatory anthrax shots, vaccines opponents including lawyers, medical experts and veterans gathered Saturday in Washington to discuss current cases and potential legal avenues for helping those who say they were harmed by the vaccine.

But Byron Holcomb, the lawyer who organized the seminar, said the day-long event was not prompted by the Pentagon's policy change. Holcomb, a retired Navy judge advocate general who has been involved with various anthrax-related court cases since 2002, said every victim's story pains him, and has spurred him to seek ways in which legal, medical and defense officials could cooperate to ensure those harmed by the vaccine get the legal and medical help they need.

Holcomb said many were invited but none came. He said those who had previously indicated they would attend canceled at the last minute, without giving a specific reason.


Commentary:
**Excerpts from a briefing by Drs Mark and David Geier:
**" The anthrax vaccine is causing massive damage."
**Conclusions - Safety:
**"In evaluating anthrax vaccine it has a safety profile significant worse than almost any civilian vaccine."
**"Anthrax vaccine is associated with a series of serious adverse events that can significantly impact multiple organ systems within the body, and result in permanent disability."
**"Anthrax vaccine contains a significant toxin combined with an aluminum adjuvant that may work synergistically to produce temporally related adverse reactions in susceptible vaccine recipients"

**Conclusions - Efficacy: **"Efficacy of anthrax vaccine is based on several studies in animals, and has never been tested in a double-blind placebo controlled human vaccine trial."

**"The only study conducted in humans using anthrax vaccine was published in 1962 of an adjuvant controlled, single-blinded, clinical trial among mill workers using an alum-precipitated vaccine -- a vaccine with a formulation different from the present anthrax vaccine."

**"It must be noted that based upon this data the anthrax vaccine employed was not demonstrated to be statistically efficacious against inhalation anthrax."
   Senate to Consider Bioterror Countermeasure Bill
Global Security Newswire - Friday October 13, 2006
A bill intended to support the development of drugs and vaccines to combat bioterrorism has been passed by the U.S. House and could be considered by the Senate next month, Copley News reported today (see GSN, Mar. 31).

The measure would create the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to try to fill a funding gap in federal efforts to encourage private companies to develop bioterror countermeasures.

The biotechnology industry has been frustrated by the earlier government efforts, in particular the Project Bioshield initiative to purchase vaccines after they have been produced. However, that program does not support development efforts, industry officials said (see GSN, Sept. 29).
   Small victory for ailing G.I.s - Feres Doctrine ruling
New York Daily News - Wednesday October 04, 2006
A Manhattan federal judge has ruled that a group of New York Army veterans who fell ill after inhaling depleted uranium dust from exploded U.S. shells can sue the federal government - but only for medical malpractice after their discharge.

A 1950 Supreme Court decision - commonly known as the Feres Doctrine - has long prohibited suits against the federal government by soldiers, U.S. District Judge John Koeltl ruled last week.

"To the extent that the injuries asserted in the plaintiffs' complaint arise out of their military service ... the court is without jurisdiction to hear those claims," Koeltl stated in his 29-page opinion.

George Zelma, the plaintiffs' lead lawyer, had argued during a Sept. 6 hearing that despite the broad prohibition of the Feres Doctrine, Congress had never intended "our government to betray its own troops."
   Fort Detrick Poses a Threat to Frederick, Md.--and to Humanity commentary follows
by BARRY KISSIN and RICHARD OCHS - Baltimore Chronicle - Friday September 29, 2006
A huge expansion of bioweapons research at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, is being planned as part of President Bush's $8 billion annual budget for bioweapons research (www.usamriid.army.mil/eis). This expansion is ill advised for the following reasons:

1. NO LOCAL SECURITY: You could walk out with anything, researcher says, Scientist faults labs security; (Frederick Post, 1/21/02): Interviews with more than a dozen current and former Fort Detrick scientists provided a rare account of what they described as a lax security system, that could have done little to prevent an employee from smuggling the ingredients for biological terrorism out. Also, see Detrick lost pathogens: Army audit, (front page, Frederick Post, 1/21/02): Lab specimens of anthrax spores, Ebola virus and other pathogens disappeared during a turbulent period of labor complaints and recriminations among rival scientists... Also, see Beyond the breach, (front page, Frederick Post, 5/13/06): During a two-week period in April four years ago, officials at the Armys lead biodefense laboratory at Fort Detrick discovered anthrax spores had escaped carefully guarded suites into the buildings unprotected areas. Also, see Risky Business, (Frederick Post, front page, 5/14/06): Employees at USAMRIID, the Armys leading biodefense laboratory, filed 161 biological defense mishap reports between April 1, 2002 and Dec. 1, 2005. Dangerous pathogens, some with no cure, could escape in the event of accident, terror attack or an inside job like the October 9, 2001 anthrax attack on Democratic Senators. The latter intimidation helped stampede the Patriot Act passage and terrorized Congress into authorizing war (www.freefromterror.net)....

and much more - click to read this whole piece, it's important.


Commentary:
One of the key arguments put forth in this piece is one that active-duty and retired service members and veterans have been putting forth for a long time, i.e.,
3. NO CREDIBLE BIOTERROR THREAT: Milton Leitenberg, a veteran arms control advocate and senior scholar at the University of Marylands Center for International and Security Studies, shows in his recently published Assessing the Biological Weapons and Bioterrorism Threat that billions of federal expenditures have been appropriated in the absence of virtually any threat analysis, and that the risk and imminence of the use of biological agents by nonstate actors/terrorist organizations has been systematically and deliberately exaggerated. It is critical to recognize that the only bioattack in American history, namely the anthrax letters of October 2001, almost certainly was generated by our own bioweapons establishment. Dr. David Franz, former director of the Army's bioweapons facility at Detrick (USAMRIID): People dont understand how difficult it is to pull off a biological attack. Dr. C.J. Peters, formerly a senior virologist at USAMRIID: For a chemical or biological attack with mass casualties, You have to have a state or the equivalent.
   Military clinics short on vaccine for shots required of DODDS-Europe students
by Seth Robson - Stars and Stripes, European Edition - Thursday September 07, 2006
Students who have not gotten a required meningicoccal inoculation will be allowed to attend school as military health clinics deal with a shortage of the vaccine, Department of Defense school officials say.

Earlier this year, the Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe added the vaccine to required inoculations for students. Also added were tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (TDAPadolescent preparation) and the Hepatitis A vaccine, according to a DODDS-E news release.

Military medical clinics in Europe have indicated they are in short supply of one of the three required vaccines, listed as MCV4 Meningococcal (Menactra), the release stated.
   Bioterrorism no match for natural selection
by Wendy Orent - Montana Standard / Los Angeles Times - Tuesday September 05, 2006
In this age of terrorist plots, the Department of Homeland Securitys decision to build a super-secret institute to study possible bioterrorist agents seems natural.
But the proposed institute at Fort Detrick, Md., which was the site of a U.S. biowarfare program that was shut down in 1969, is worrisome. Fort Detrick has been the home of the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, an open biodefense facility, for decades.

But according to news accounts, the new $128-million facility, to be known as the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center, will be black: Nobody working outside the agency, including politicians, will have a clue about what goes on inside.
   Defense portal to add medical data-sharing commentary follows
by Roseanne Gerin, PostNewsweek Tech Media - GCN (Government Computer News) - Wednesday August 23, 2006
When a soldier injured on the battlefield receives emergency medical attention, that care is recorded in the soldiers health care file, which then stays with him during his treatment.

That might seem an ordinary bit of record-keeping, but the realities of war have made it difficult; during the first Gulf War in 1991, the management of military health care records was inconsistent.

When moving from deployment to deployment, soldiers carried two-inch-thick folders of paper medical records. Information on surgeries performed and vaccines or drugs given on the battlefield was often missing.

As a result, when soldiers were diagnosed with Gulf War syndrome, good-quality data wasnt available to link drugs with the symptoms, said Edward Clayson, an Army medical communications expert. Because of missing data, many soldiers underwent repetitive and unnecessary procedures, while others, with no documentation to back up their claims, were denied benefits for service-related injuries.

In response to these problems, a presidential advisory commission in 1997 called for the creation of lifelong electronic medical records for military-service members. Congress later passed legislation requiring the Defense Department to create and maintain electronic medical records.

The Army responded with the Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care program. Clayson is project manager of this information management system for Army tactical medical forces, which uses electronic records for all service members and provides medical data to operational commanders.

Were capturing all the health care thats being done on the battlefield, Clayson said. Nearly 250,000 medical encounters have been entered into the database and are available to physicians worldwide, he said.


Commentary:
While this is very hopeful news, it may help to remember that during Gulf War I, anthrax shots were deliberately not entered into medical records. So medical records were more than simply "inconsistent." They were mismanaged to the point of abuse, as detailed to members of Congress by the 1994 Rockerfeller Report - see the "History of Human Experimentation" portion of this web site.
   Support the troops with healthcare, jobs, Murray says
by MICHAELA MARX WHEATLEY - South Whidbey Record.com - Wednesday August 23, 2006
Note: Story original ran Aug. 19, 2006
Washingtons senior senator urged an audience of local business people and politicians in Oak Harbor to set aside their feelings about the politics of war and support the troops when they come home.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, encouraged business owners to hire veterans. And she vowed to continue the fight to preserve healthcare benefits for those in the military.
I went to Iraq 15 months ago, she recalled. I was always asked: Will my community be there for us when we come back? Murray said.
Many business owners are concerned that veterans may be redeployed or suffer from post traumatic-stress disorder.
Thats no excuse, she said. Weve got to be there for our men and women who serve our country, Murray said.
   Lawmakers Say FDA Better Clean Up Its Act
by Evelyn Pringle - Scoop Independent News - Tuesday August 22, 2006
For six years, the Bush administration has placed pharmaceutical industry interests ahead of public interest by appointing persons with strong ties to drug companies to high level positions at the FDA, and as a result, Congressional investigations and a recent survey indicate that the health and safety of all Americans is being compromised.

On July 20, 2006, the Union of Concerned Scientists published the results of a survey that showed an insidious political influence of science within the FDA. According to the UCS press release, the survey was co-sponsored by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), and was sent to 5,918 FDA scientists.

The survey found that 61% of the responding scientists knew of cases where the "Department of Health and Human Services or FDA political appointees have inappropriately injected themselves into FDA determinations or actions."
   Senate wants Army to keep paying for vaccine centers commentary follows
by Rick Maze - Air Force Times - Monday August 07, 2006
The Senate wants the Army to keep paying for vaccine health care centers, which provide care for people who have adverse reactions, even though the other services are benefiting.

The Army has been paying about $6 million for the congressionally mandated vaccine centers, which treated 708 people last year. To make certain this continues, the Senate has earmarked $2 million in the 2007 defense appropriations bill specifically so the Army keeps running the centers.

While not enough to fully cover the costs, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee chairman, said including the money is an important step because costs have been covered so far only through emergency supplemental funds. Stevens stressed that the $2 million is not meant to be a cap on what can and should be spent but simply to reflect continued congressional support.

There are four vaccine health centers that provide care for service members suffering adverse reactions to military-ordered vaccinations. Two are Army centers, one at Fort Bragg, N.C., and the other at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington. There is also one center at Lackland Air Force Base, Tex., and one at Portsmouth, Va.


Commentary:
These four vaccine health care centers - listed under the "If you are sick" portion of this web site - are a rather direct rebuttal to the Pentagon's long denials that the mandatory vaccines givens to the troops are causing problems. It can sometimes take months or years before a service member realizes his or her immune-system illnesses and symptoms dated back to the time of the inoculations. Three cheers for Congress for trying to do what is right for the troops.
   US begins building treaty-breaching germ war defence centre commentary follows
by Julian Borger in Washington - The Guardian (UK) - Monday July 31, 2006
Construction work has begun near Washington on a vast germ warfare laboratory intended to help protect the US against an attack with biological weapon, but critics say the laboratory's work will violate international law and its extreme secrecy will exacerbate a biological arms race.

The National Biodefence Analysis and Countermeasures Centre (NBACC), due to be completed in 2008, will house heavily guarded and hermetically sealed chambers in which scientists simulate potential terrorist attacks.

, the centre will have to produce and stockpile the world's most lethal bacteria and viruses, which is forbidden by the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention./b> Three years before that treaty was agreed, President Richard Nixon halted the production of US biological weapons at Fort Detrick in Maryland. The same military base is the site for the new $128m (ᆪ70m), 160,000 sq ft laboratory.


Commentary:
Emphasis added by web site manager.
   A spy among us?
by Douglas Birch - Baltimore Sun.com - Sunday July 30, 2006
It could be the plot of a Cold War thriller: A Soviet mole burrows into America's top biodefense lab and steals strains of the deadly viruses that cause Rift Valley and Lassa fevers.

He ships the killer microbes back to Moscow in the bags of Aeroflot pilots, who turn them over to a super-secret arm of the KGB that plots bioterror attacks.

A chilling tale of fictional intrigue? Some biowarfare experts think it actually happened at Fort Detrick in the 1980s, and they say there is evidence to support their suspicions.
   Keeping tabs on research labs commentary follows
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Thursday July 27, 2006
U.S. investment in bioterrorism research has exploded in the wake of 9/11 and the anthrax scare that shortly followed the attacks. But a new federal report shows that these efforts to make Americans safer could backfire because of lapses in lab security. Independent analyses have found that funding for civilian research on biodefense has increased by more than $14 billion since 2001 - growth that has led dozens of scientists to enter the field. The expansion has strained the oversight capacity of many universities, as evidenced in a recent compliance review. The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services found problems at 11 of 15 universities that use select agents - biological agents or toxins that pose a serious health risk. Eight institutions demonstrated poor inventory or access tracking; six had problems controlling access to the dangerous materials. The findings - collected from November 2003 to November 2004 - echo some of the results of an earlier analysis released two years ago.


Commentary:
Please click on "Vaccines in Development" at left for more information on vaccines in the pipeline.
   Post-Vaccine Treatment Funding Uncertain Again
by David Ruppe - Global Security Newswire - Wednesday July 26, 2006
WASHINGTON  Funding for U.S. military clinics that investigate and treat illnesses following vaccinations for anthrax, smallpox and other diseases is in doubt for next fiscal year, once again placing their continued operation in jeopardy (see GSN, Jan. 10).

The Bush administration for fiscal 2007 did not request any funding for the Vaccine Healthcare Centers, which are estimated to cost $6 million annually to operate.

The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved $2 million for the centers, which would be provided in addition to anything the military services might contribute from their health budgets, according to the committees report for its fiscal 2007 defense appropriations bill. No such funding was included in the House version of the bill approved June 20.

The centers are headquartered at the Armys Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and also located at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., the Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C., and the Air Forces Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Congress created the first center at Walter Reed in 2000, as a site for specialized assessment, treatment and study of military and civilian personnel reportedly sickened by then-mandatory anthrax vaccinations. The other three sites opened in 2004.

Since their creation, the Army has reluctantly paid for the Navy and Air Force centers, with the Army Medical Command shifting money from its budget to keep all the sites going. Congress authorized $3 million for the centers for this fiscal year.
   Federal Rule Waives Informed Consent During Crisis commentary follows
Global Security Newswire - Tuesday June 13, 2006
Story originally ran June 6, 2006:
A U.S. federal rule published yesterday allows health workers to run experimental tests on victims of a WMD attack or other crisis without their permission, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, Jan. 20).
The rule issued by the Food and Drug Administration allows for tests on blood and other samples from people sickened during a bioterrorist attack, radiological "dirty bomb" explosion or other potentially lethal public health emergencies.
The agency developed the rule to allow for quick detection of any chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agent involved in a potential attack or disease outbreak, the agency said.
"To be candid, I hope it is a hypothetical problem. I hope we spent a lot of time creating a rule we never have to invoke," said Steve Gutman, director of the agency's in-vitro diagnostics office.
However, because the laboratories doing the testing would decide when to invoke the rule, conflicts of interest and other abuses could arise, critics said.
"This sounds like they're taking for themselves the right to test individuals every time they declare a public health emergency," said Deborah Peel, chairwoman of the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation. "There is no way getting consent would delay testing."


Commentary:
They're just using the military's play-book, that's all. First, the testing is mandatory, without consent; next, bioterrorism vaccines will be mandatory, without consent; then, as people become ill and the first few deaths are announced, public health officials will say it's all in their minds, that people are just traumatized from whatever emergency has been declared, and no, of course there won't be funds to take care of the ill, it's not the fault of the government in the first place. And no, of course the shots won't be mandatory for officials running the program, for Congress, or for anyone else in a policy-making position. It's worked so far for the Pentagon.
   I ride to help vets in need
by Steve Arel - Norwich Bulletin.com - Monday June 12, 2006
Editor's note: Plainfield veteran and motorcyclist Steve Arel explains in his own words why he participates in the annual A Reason to Ride, which benefits needy veterans.

I'm a retired U.S. Navy veteran (1975--95) and have been involved with veterans' issues and causes since I joined the Navy.

It was since '92, when I joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, William L. Mercier VFW Post 5446 in Plainfield, that really got me involved with dealing with the issues that America's veterans face.

I was promised that after 20 years and an honorable retirement discharge, all family medical, dental and other items would be covered.

Well, politicians change things. I, and so many other veterans, have seen our promised benefits and privileges slowly dwindle over the years by politicians who have never worn a military uniform.
   Source: Theft of vets' data kept secret for 19 days
CNN.com - Tuesday May 23, 2006
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Authorities waited almost three weeks to alert the public that personal data on more than 26 million U.S. veterans had fallen into the hands of thieves, a government source said Tuesday.

The data were on a laptop and external drive stolen May 3 in an apparent random burglary from the Montgomery County, Maryland, home of a Department of Veterans Affairs computer analyst, said the government source, who has been briefed on the issue.
   Bioterrorism played down
by Emileigh Barnes - The Daily Iowan - Friday May 12, 2006
Terrorism is an unquestionable threat in the 21st century, but biological warfare is not the ultimate terrorist weapon, according to an official from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Mark Poli, of the integrated toxicology division, told the audience at a Thursday lecture to focus on the dangers of HIV, cigarette smoking, and influenza, rather than bioterrorism, as major threats. It takes an expert to weaponize the agents, and few are qualified to carry out such assaults, he said.
   Bioterrorism played down
The Daily Iowan - Monday May 01, 2006
Terrorism is an unquestionable threat in the 21st century, but biological warfare is not the ultimate terrorist weapon, according to an official from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Mark Poli, of the integrated toxicology division, told the audience at a Thursday lecture to focus on the dangers of HIV, cigarette smoking, and influenza, rather than bioterrorism, as major threats. It takes an expert to weaponize the agents, and few are qualified to carry out such assaults, he said.
   Ex-Head of F.D.A. Faces Criminal Inquiry
by Gardiner Harris - New York Times - Saturday April 29, 2006
Dr. Lester M. Crawford, the former commissioner of food and drugs, is under criminal investigation by a federal grand jury over accusations of financial improprieties and false statements to Congress, his lawyer said Friday. The lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder, would not discuss the accusations further. In a court hearing held by telephone on Thursday, she told a federal magistrate that she would instruct Dr. Crawford to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination if ordered to answer questions this week about his actions as head of the Food and Drug Administration, according to a transcript of the hearing. Dr. Crawford did not reply to messages seeking comment, and Kathleen Quinn, an F.D.A. spokeswoman, declined to comment.
   Bucks boost BioShield: Feds focus on biodefense
by Stephen Pounds - Palm Beach Post - Sunday April 09, 2006
Uncle Sam has been biotechnology's biggest sugar daddy for the past 30 years.
These days, though, he's got other priorities.
Areas of research such as Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer, diabetes, obesity, the human genome, women's health and AIDS all have been squeezed by flat or diminishing budgets.

But there is one area that's built a fatter piggy bank over the past three fiscal years: biodefense.

As executives at this week's convention in Chicago of the Biotechnology Industry Organization court investors at the world's largest annual gathering of biotech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, they need look no further for money than the Bush administration's program to defend the country from biological attack.
   DARPA seeking fast drug manufacturers
UPI International - Wednesday April 05, 2006
WASHINGTON, April 5 (UPI) -- The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to radically accelerate the manufacturing of protein vaccines and protein-based therapeutics.
The program is not about developing specific drugs, but about a capability to produce many therapeutics.
DARPA envisions a manufacturing system capable of producing three million doses of vaccine or monoclonal antibodies within 12 weeks.
The manufacturing system would have to allow for the production of vaccines to protect against a range of viral, protozoan, fungal, bacterial and toxin antigens.
The rapid production of vaccines and other drugs is a particular concern to the military, given the threat engineered viruses pose as a biological weapon.
   DOD starts new vaccine development commentary follows
UPI International - Thursday March 30, 2006
WASHINGTON, March 30 (UPI) -- The Pentagon is working on a single vaccine to counter all kinds of hemorrhagic fever like Ebola or Barburg.
It is also working on a single vaccine for all "intracellular" pathogens like the plague, said Peter C. W. Flory, the assistant secretary of defense for international security policy at a Senate Armed Services Hearing Wednesday.
The vaccine research is part of a $1.5 billion investment over the next five years to develop broad spectrum countermeasures to advanced biological weapons threats.


Commentary:
So now the military doesn't have to worry about the consequences of giving multiple vaccines in one day? The type of procedure that killed Rachel Lacey? Stay tuned for results on this one.
   State Senate resolutions on Veterans Right to Know
Molokai Times (Hawaii) - Wednesday March 29, 2006
[Congressman] Abercrombie [of Hawaii] supports State Senate resolutions on Veterans Right to Know:
Congressman Abercrombie expressed his support today for two Hawaii State Senate resolutions expressing support for a Congressional bill authorizing investigations of Cold War-era chemical and biological warfare tests which often involved military personnel who were unaware of the nature of the tests they participated in. S.R. 114 and SCR 170 requests the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Veterans' Right to Know Act (H.R. 4259).

The measure establishes the Veterans' Right to Know Commission to: (1) investigate chemical or biological warfare tests or projects, especially those carried out between 1954 and 1973, placing particular emphasis on actions or conditions that could have contributed to health risks to any civilian or military personnel who participated in such a test or project or were otherwise potentially exposed to a biological or chemical agent as a result; and (2) report to Congress on its findings and recommendations.
   Rep. Lane Evans, Democratic veterans advocate, to retire
by Rick Maze - Air Force Times - Sunday March 26, 2006
Democratic Rep. Lane Evans of Illinois, a Vietnam-era veteran who pushed Congress to provide better health care and disability benefits to combat veterans, said Tuesday he will retire from Congress after 24 years.

Evans, 54, who announced eight years ago that he had Parkinsons disease, has had increasing problems speaking in public, although aides have said his mind is still sharp.

In a statement announcing he will not run for re-election to a 13th term, Evans said: I fully expected that I would continue my work for the foreseeable future & but I have come to recognize that the time needed to address my health makes it difficult to wage a campaign and carry out my work as representative.

The senior Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee since 1997, Evans made an early name for himself by demanding that Congress provide benefits to Vietnam veterans who had been exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange even if there was no clear proof that their health problems were caused by their service in Vietnam.
   Vaccines Show Sinister Side
by Pieta Woolley - Straight.com - Thursday March 23, 2006
If two dozen once-jittery mice at UBC are telling the truth postmortem, the worlds governments may soon be facing one hell of a lawsuit. New, so-far-unpublished research led by Vancouver neuroscientist Chris Shaw shows a link between the aluminum hydroxide used in vaccines, and symptoms associated with Parkinsons, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrigs disease), and Alzheimers.
Shaw is most surprised that the research for his paper hadnt been done before. For 80 years, doctors have injected patients with aluminum hydroxide, he said, an adjuvant that stimulates immune response.

. . . To test the link theory, Shaw and his four-scientist team from UBC and Louisiana State University injected mice with the anthrax vaccine developed for the first Gulf War. Because Gulf War Syndrome looks a lot like ALS, Shaw explained, the neuroscientists had a chance to isolate a possible cause. All deployed troops were vaccinated with an aluminum hydroxide compound. Vaccinated troops who were not deployed to the Gulf developed similar symptoms at a similar rate, according to Shaw.
After 20 weeks studying the mice, the team found statistically significant increases in anxiety (38 percent); memory deficits (41 times the errors as in the sample group); and an allergic skin reaction (20 percent). Tissue samples after the mice were sacrificed showed neurological cells were dying. Inside the mices brains, in a part that controls movement, 35 percent of the cells were destroying themselves.
No one in my lab wants to get vaccinated, he said. This totally creeped us out. We werent out there to poke holes in vaccines. But all of a sudden, oh my Godweve got neuron death!

Emphasis added
   DODDS may raise vaccination requirements for students
by Kevin Dougherty - Stars and Stripes European Edition - Tuesday March 21, 2006
Student vaccination requirements could change next school year to include meningococcal disease and a booster shot for whooping cough, according to military health officials and the Department of Defense Education Activity.

The adjustments would reflect updated guidelines by an immunization advisory committee from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those recommendations were forged several months ago and are just now filtering down to military treatment facilities as word spreads of new vaccines for meningococcal disease and whooping cough, clinically known as Bordetella pertussis.
   Drug trials: Beyond the dark side
by Daniel Altman - International Herald Tribune (UK) - Wednesday March 08, 2006
For drug companies, globalization has brought a double boon: new markets and new testing grounds for clinical trials. Better information technology and transport infrastructure have made monitoring the ethics of those trials somewhat easier, but experts say problems are still proliferating...

. . .More recently, the American military's Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and GlaxoSmithKline of Britain came under fire for testing a hepatitis E drug on thousands of Nepalese soldiers. The researchers first tried to test the drug on civilians in Lalitpur, but rumors of bribes led to protests. Later, experts started asking whether the soldiers - many of whom may have been illiterate - could have understood the consent agreements they had signed and whether the effective but expensive drug would ever be available to Nepalese.
   Human medical experimentation in the United States: The shocking true history of modern medicine and psychiatry (1965-2005) commentary follows
Newstarget.com - Monday March 06, 2006
(1969)
President Nixon ends the United States' offensive biowarfare program, including human experimentation done at Fort Detrick. By this time, tens of thousands of civilians and members of the U.S. armed forces have wittingly and unwittingly acted as participants in experiments involving exposure to dangerous biological agents (Goliszek).

The U.S. military conducts DTC Test 69-12, which is an open-air test of VX and sarin nerve agents at the Army's Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, likely exposing military personnel (Goliszek, Martin).

Experimental drugs are tested on mentally disabled children in Milledgeville, Ga., without any institutional approval whatsoever (Sharav).

Dr. Donald MacArthur, the U.S. Department of Defense's Deputy Director for Research and Technology, requests $10 million from Congress to develop a synthetic biological agent that would be resistant "to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease" (Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).

Judge Sam Steinfield's dissent in Strunk v. Strunk, 445 S.W.2d 145 marks the first time a judge has ever suggested that the Nuremberg Code be applied in American court cases (Sharav).


Commentary:
This is Part 2 of a 2-part series. We'll eventually move this story to the "Human Experiments" section of this web site, but thought it worth bringing to the attention of our audience on the front page first.
   FDA to speed new flu vaccines to market
CNN - Friday March 03, 2006
Friday, March 3, 2006; Posted: 11:20 a.m. EST (16:20 GMT) WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators published draft guidelines Thursday on ways to speed new flu vaccines to market for common winter influenza as well as an even deadlier strain of the virus, such as bird flu that has health officials worldwide worried about a pandemic.

The guidelines, prepared by the Food and Drug Administration, spell out data the agency is requiring of manufacturers to demonstrate that new flu vaccines are safe and effective.

The public has 90 days to comment before they are finalized.
   Unfair to those in service
by James K. Kilpatrick - Yahoo News - Wednesday January 18, 2006
If I were a betting man, which I'm not, I would offer a nice proposition. This is it: I would bet you 1,000-1 -- make it 10,000-1 -- that the Supreme Court refuses to hear the pending appeals in Purcell v. U.S. and Kemp v. U.S. .

All right, sucker, send your check in care of this column. Thank you very much. You were betting that the Supreme Court would abandon 55 years of bad precedent in cases involving men and women in military service. Forget it! The unfairness imposed upon them by what is known as the Feres doctrine will not be relieved.

. . . in a companion case, Christine Lemp asks the high court to consider the death of her husband, Army Capt. James Lemp. He died three years ago at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., of what his widow regards as malpractice on the part of Army medical personnel. The story dates from March 2003, when he developed an acute headache, accompanied by vomiting, dizziness and numbness in his arms. At the Army hospital a CT scan appeared to be negative. As the hours passed, more symptoms of a seizure became evident. According to the Lemp petition, he fell into "hypoxia, aspiration of vomitus, respiratory arrest and profound bradycardia." He was placed on a ventilator and transferred to a hospital. There he died of brain edema. His widow sued, but the Army invoked the Feres doctrine and her complaint was dismissed. Her appeal to the Supreme Court almost certainly will be denied.

Was there actionable malpractice? This layman ventures no opinion. It is the kind of question that juries routinely decide. Certainly Mrs. Lemp and her counsel believe that different treatment would have saved his life. Now he is dead. The doctrine survives.
   Group challenges FDA's anthrax vaccine statement commentary follows
Health Sentinel - Friday January 06, 2006
On December 15, 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement that the anthrax vaccine being given to members of the United States Military is safe and effective. Published in the Federal Register on Thursday, the FDA review on the Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed, or AVA, stated that they determined, "AVA to be safe and effective." According to Fox News, FDA spokeswoman Julie Zawisza said the agency found no evidence to alter its previous determination that the vaccine was safe. Zawisza stated that, "we believe the vaccine is safe and effective for intended use, which would include the prevention of inhalation anthrax."


Commentary:
Further quote: A group of former and current military members and concerned citizens are appalled by the FDA's statement. The group at this time remains anonymous. According to a spokesperson for the group, "the FDA's decision is without scientific merit and stands in contrast to the anthrax vaccine's product labels' own warnings regarding adverse events. This is Agent Orange all over again."
   Given FDA Order Bush Lawyers Ask Court To Reverse Anthrax Ruling
Inside the Pentagon - Thursday January 05, 2006
With a new order in hand from the Food and Drug Administration that supports the use of anthrax vaccine to prevent an inhaled form of the disease, Justice Department attorneys late last month asked a federal appeals court in Washington to reverse on the merits a lower court decision banning mandatory shots for military personnel. Defense Department leaders argue the vaccine is necessary to protect personnel in high-risk areas from becoming infected if an adversary releases anthrax spores into the air.
   38 Senators With Up to $13.4 Million in Pharmaceutical Stock Approve Drug Industry's Sweetheart Deal
U.S. Newswire/Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights - Friday December 23, 2005
Story originally ran Dec. 22:: SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 22 /U.S. Newswire/ -- 38 U.S. Senators with up to $13.4 million in pharmaceutical holdings increased the value of their stock portfolios last night when they approved an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that immunizes drug makers from accountability to the public when they sell dangerous drugs and other products, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).

"When Senators can vote to harm the health and safety of the American public and line their own pockets while they're at it, the motive behind every vote is in question. No Senator should be able to vote in his own financial interests at the expense of the public," said Carmen Balber, consumer advocate with the nonprofit, nonpartisan Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

FTCR released an analysis of Senate personal financial disclosures last week, revealing that 42 senators -- 27 Republicans and 15 Democrats -- held pharmaceutical stock worth between $8.1 and $16 million in 2004. Senators earned an additional $2.5 to $7.2 million in capital gains and dividends, and two senators' spouses also earned salaries from pharmaceuticals. View the analysis: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/SenPharma.pdf.
   Congress Poised to Shield Makers of Bird Flu Vaccine
by Bruce Taylor Seeman - Newhouse News Service - Thursday December 22, 2005
WASHINGTON -- A law shielding bird flu vaccine manufacturers from consumer lawsuits could cause many Americans to refuse vaccination for fear they'd have no recourse if it harmed them, some health experts say.

Such a provision, which has been passed by the House and could be voted on in the Senate as early as Wednesday, could significantly undermine efforts to ensure widespread protection against a potential avian flu pandemic, they warn.

Erin McKeon, associate director of governmental affairs for the American Nurses Association, said liability exemptions were partly to blame when other vaccination programs stumbled.
   Letter from veterans group protests drug legislation
by Bob Evans - Daily Press; Newport News, VA - Thursday December 22, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C.: VACCINE PROPOSAL -- Three groups representing veterans and their families are protesting a plan that protects vaccine manufacturers from lawsuits brought by civilians and members of the armed forces.

In an open letter to President Bush and Congress, the groups said, "subjecting service members to dangerous vaccines while giving protection to vaccine manufacturers is not only a threat to the health of our troops, it is a threat to the ability of our armed services to recruit and keep soldiers."

The groups noted that the legislation strips veterans and civilians of their ability to sue for damages if the vaccines, now experimental, are used and cause someone harm. Under the terms of the bill, the government would compensate victims but the specifics of how that would work and the amount of money was not determined.
   Congressional Leaders Agree to $42 Billion in Budget Cuts commentary follows
by CARL HULSE - New York TImes - Monday December 19, 2005
WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 - Meeting in a marathon weekend session, Congressional leaders reached agreement Sunday on a nearly $42 billion budget-cutting plan that Republicans hoped to force through before adjourning, along with a military spending measure that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

. . .One of the last items added to the military spending bill was a provision sought by Mr. Frist that would shield drug makers from lawsuits related to vaccines that protect against biological agents or viruses like the one that causes the avian flu. The language would allow lawsuits against vaccine makers only if they engaged in "willful misconduct." The government would pay medical expenses and benefits to those injured or killed by vaccines. (Emphasis added)


Commentary:
Please see the Call to Action, upper right portion of this home page.
For a one-page summary of the Conference Report, see http://www.adscripts.com/mvec/dodcon~1.doc
For editorial summaries from around the nation on this issue, see http://www.adscripts.com/mvec/vaccin~4.doc
For the Top 5 Reasons the drug companies can celebrate, see http://www.adscripts.com/mvec/top5r~1.doc
   Veterans Oppose Bush on Vaccines commentary follows
Yahoo, press release - Saturday December 17, 2005
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 PRNewswire -- Three Veterans groups, deeply concerned about efforts to provide vaccine makers with sweeping liability immunity, today sent a letter to the White House and ran an ad in Congress Daily asking President Bush to halt these efforts and meet with us as he did with the vaccine makers earlier this year.

Already twenty-one service members have died from unlicensed, unsafe anthrax vaccines, and there have been more than 20,000 hospitalizations, yet if service members refuse a direct order to take a mandatory vaccine they face the possibility of court martial and punishment. We cannot leave our service members and veterans without recourse and compensation if they are injured by vaccines.

The President's words express his commitment to our soldiers who protect our nation, now we are asking him to back them up by protecting us from this plan.


Commentary:
The open letter to President Bush can be found by going to the web site of the Military Vaccine Action Committee, L.L.C., at http://www.mvacpac.org.
   Will Congress Give Vaccine Makers a Shot in the Arm?
by Marcia Coyle - National Law Journal - Friday December 16, 2005
Fear of lawsuits, hostility toward trial lawyers, short-sightedness and pandering to special interests are behind a Republican-led effort to enact quickly unprecedented vaccine liability protection for drug manufacturers and sellers with little or no compensation for injured victims in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak, say a host of health, consumer, union and other groups.

Many of those groups have joined together in an effort to force into the open what have been closed-door negotiations by Senate and House Republicans over a plan to attach the liability waiver to a pending Department of Defense appropriations bill expected to pass both chambers before the year's end.
   Drug companies seek protection from suits
by Theresa Agovino - Associated Press - Sunday December 11, 2005
NEW YORK Large pharmaceutical companies are approaching development of vaccines and drugs for potential pandemics with trepidation, even as fears abound of a bird flu outbreak and doctors lament a shortage of treatment options. Drug makers are especially afraid of lawsuits stemming from vaccines, which unlike drugs, are given to healthy people, making any harm they cause an even bigger legal risk.
   Lawmakers weigh preventing drugmaker suits commentary follows
by Kevin Freking - Associated Press/Modbee.com - Wednesday November 16, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) - People injured by a vaccine against bird flu or anthrax would have to prove willful misconduct to bring a claim for damages against drug manufacturers or distributors, according to legislation being drafted behind the scenes by Republicans.

A 10-page draft of the legislation obtained by The Associated Press says it would be up to the Health and Human Services secretary to declare that such misconduct occurred. If that declaration is made, the case must be heard in federal court.

The measure, which would be included in a spending bill, would bar any punitive damages and limit awards for physical and emotional pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages to a maximum of $250,000.


Commentary:
A statement in a letter from the National Vaccine Information Center (see press release section at right) echoes our thoughts precisely:

"....Unfortunately, the once mandatory DoD anthrax vaccine program -- exemplified by a DoD-FDA cover-up of deaths and illnesses24 associated with the BioPort anthrax vaccine -- appears to be the template for Project BioShield. Before legislation removing more liability from drug companies making vaccines is passed, Senator Burr and other members of the HELP Committee should include in the bill a bipartisan mandate to Attorney General Gonzales for an independent criminal investigation of the cover-up of deaths and illnesses caused by the BioPort anthrax vaccine...."
   Retired general: Bush shortchanging vets
AP/CNN online - Saturday November 12, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal government should strengthen the health care system for veterans, retired Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar said Saturday in the Democratic Party's weekly radio address.

Speaking on the Veterans Day weekend, the former U.S. military commander in the Middle East said "President Bush has consistently refused to provide enough" money for veterans' health care.
   Govt Flu Plans Assailed as Inadequate, Pro-corporate commentary follows
by Michelle Chen - The NewStandard - Friday November 11, 2005
With a possible bird-flu pandemic on the horizon, critics warn that responses pushed by the federal government are more about protecting and favoring big business than actually addressing critical public health needs. Fear of a looming flu pandemic has goaded Congress and the White House to ramp up the countrys capacity to deal with the threat. But watchdog groups and healthcare advocates warn that instead of preparing and protecting the public, recent federal initiatives would fail to resolve shortages of medical resources, encourage corporate profiteering and flout drug-safety regulations


Commentary:
Vera Sharav, president of the drug industry watchdog group Alliance for Human Research Protection, noted that the bill expands on emergency powers granted under the 2004 Project Bioshield laws, which permit the government to override the standard testing process for drugs. For example, the Department of Defense recently invoked Project Bioshield to relaunch a controversial anthrax immunization program without official formal approval of the vaccine  even though a Government Accountability Office investigation found that among military personnel, anthrax-vaccine-related illnesses were far more prevalent than Pentagon officials had reported. "If a vaccine is used without it first having been tested in controlled trials and shown to be safe and efficacious, then the public thats being inoculated will be the guinea pigs," said Sharav. From Rich Rovet
   Liability Concerns Are Not Affecting Vaccine Production
atla.org - Thursday November 03, 2005
Research shows the industry is investing in vaccine production, even without laws to limit victim's rights. As he did last year with the flu vaccine shortage, President Bush is again trying to blame the civil justice system for potential problems in the delivery of vaccines for the bird flu. But as a number of experts noted during last year's shortage, liability concerns have not affected vaccine production. In fact, a number of companies have recently increased their investment in vaccine production even without additional liability protections. As the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported, the vaccine sector is "drawing increased interest from big pharmaceutical firms." And Reuters reported that industry experts are projecting that vaccines will show "accelerated growth in coming years":
   EXCLUSIVE: MoD KNEW GULF WAR JABS DANGER commentary follows
by Grant Hodgson - Grant.Hodgson@Mgn.Co.Uk - Sunday Mirror (Great Britain) - Sunday October 30, 2005
Story originally ran Oct. 23, 2005:
THE Government KNEW it could be poisoning thousands of British troops with controversial vaccinations in the first Gulf War.

Bombshell Ministry of Defence documents show once and for all that military bosses were aware of the dangers of giving servicemen and women multiple jabs for diseases like anthrax.

This cocktail of vaccinations has been blamed for thousands of cases of Gulf War Syndrome.

The documents - obtained by the Sunday Mirror under the Freedom of Information Act - also reveal that the MoD experimented on troops to find out how to make the anthrax vaccine work faster.


Commentary:
Let us repeat that last quote: "... also reveal that the MoD experimented on troops to find out how to make the anthrax vaccine work faster."

Are Great Britain and the U.S. allies in this as well as everything else?
   Military gets ready for battle commentary follows
by JAMES W. CRAWLEY - Manassas Journal Messenger (Virginia) - Saturday October 29, 2005
WASHINGTON - Military officers are fine-tuning battle plans. Surveillance units around the world search for the enemy. Supplies are being stockpiled.

The Pentagon is girding for war against bird flu.

The last time the U.S. military fought an influenza pandemic - the 1918 Spanish flu - it lost.

Casualties: 47,000 dead, nearly as many as killed on the battlefields of World War I.

This time, the Pentagon's top doctor said the military will be "very aggressive" in fighting the epidemic


Commentary:
Further quote: Pentagon precautions include buying mass quantities of flu drugs for troops.
Tamiflu, an anti-viral drug that can blunt flu symptoms, is on order. The Pentagon has purchased almost 25 million pills - enough to treat 2.5 million people. Deliveries start in December.

The military also has ordered 2.7 million doses of a new vaccine against the bird flu, but that vaccine will not be ready before February.
   Measure Eases Vaccine Rules commentary follows
by Thomas "Dennie" Williams - Hartford Courant, Connecticut - Thursday October 27, 2005
Congress is considering a bill that would allow the government to order that vaccines be given to every U.S. citizen in a national emergency, even if a vaccine has previously harmed some people.

The bill would also make it almost impossible for anyone harmed by these substances to sue the manufacturer or drug researchers.


Commentary:
We edge closer and closer to treating our entire civilian population the way we have - by silent complicity - treated our service members and veterans since the 1950's: forced compliance with experimental drugs, and no legal or medical recourse for resulting illnesses and conditions. Is this what it will take for people to finally understand?
   DoD Striving for Affordable, "World-Class" Health Care; cost of health care has doubled commentary follows
by Samantha L. Quigley - InfoZine (Kansas City) - Saturday October 22, 2005
Washington, D.C. - infoZine - In 2001 military-health-system spending was about $18 billion; today it is more than $36 billion. And in the next four to five years, it is likely that the total budget will exceed $50 billion, Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, told the military personnel subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee during a hearing here Oct. 19.

"The increase in health care cost is not unique to the military," he said. "What is unique for us is the goal to provide world-class medical care for all those who have served and continue to serve our country."


Commentary:
Might we humbly suggest that if the military had not used illegal, experimental drugs on service members, such as the anthrax vaccine, it would have nowhere near the health care problems it has today. Might we also humbly suggest that for those who are sick from the military's mandatory vaccines, "world-class medical care" is an illusive dream.
   Congress Set to Pass Law Eliminating Liability For Vaccine Injuries commentary follows
PR Newswire - Wednesday October 19, 2005
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is calling the "Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005"(S. 1873), which passed out of the U.S. Senate HELP Committee one day after it was introduced "a drug company stockholder's dream and a consumer's worst nightmare." The proposed legislation will strip Americans of the right to a trial by jury if harmed by an experimental or licensed drug or vaccine that they are forced by government to take whenever federal health officials declare a public health emergency.


Commentary:
This is the position our service men and women have been in since the early 1950's, when the Feres Doctrine was passed into law. If they are injured by the military's mandatory vaccines - including those vaccines which are experimental - they have no recourse. They cannot sue, they cannot recover for their injuries, they cannot recover for the loss of homes and jobs. Now the American public will know what happens. Will we be outraged on behalf of our servicemembers - or only on behalf of civilians?
   Military taking steps to guard against avian flu
by Sandra Jontz - Stars and Stripes European Edition - Thursday October 13, 2005
Military health officials are stockpiling a vaccine and developing emergency plans to protect troops and their families from the deadly bird flu virus in the event of a human outbreak.

The U.S. European Command is developing a plan in response to a Pentagon directive, Army Maj. Steve Wollman, a EUCOM spokesman, said Wednesday. The command received the order last month, and emergency plan details have yet to be finalized, he said.

Troops and civilians deploying to war zones will be the first to be vaccinated with the normal flu vaccine, which health officials say can provide a layer of protection against other ailments.
   Is refusing a shot a crime? commentary follows
Daily Press; Newport News, VA - Saturday October 08, 2005
Marine Cpl. Ocean Rose refused an anthrax vaccination in 2001, after military doctors told him that EKGs after his first two shots indicated he was having heart attacks at age 20 for no apparent reason.
Lt. Erick Enz, a Marine helicopter pilot and combat veteran of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, says he refused his shot in 2002, after hours of prayer, soul-searching and study about the vaccine convinced him that as a Christian, God didn't want him vaccinated with that drug.
The same year, Sgt. James Muhammad - a Muslim and a Marine at Camp Lejune, N.C. - says he prayed and studied the Quran and medical reports, finally deciding that taking the anthrax vaccine would violate Allah's command to keep harmful substances out of his body.
Their refusal to obey orders to take the vaccine was the only blot on their military records. Otherwise, they were gung-ho, exemplary Marines with careers on the rise, records show.
Are these the people you'd want to keep tabs on as suspects for a violent or serious crime - or force to give up their right to privacy over their DNA? The government says yes and has ordered Enz, Rose, Muhammad and others who refused anthrax shots to submit blood samples for inclusion in the FBI's DNA database of criminal offenders. Refusal could mean further punishment - up to five years in prison, letters sent by military courts last month told them.


Commentary:
Further quote: Taking DNA from someone isn't a minor matter, he says. Under the law, it's an invasion of privacy and can't be required without a clear government or public interest.
   Bush Considers Military Role in Flu Fight commentary follows
by Jennifer Loven - Associated Press/Breitbard.com - Tuesday October 04, 2005
President Bush, increasingly concerned about a possible avian flu pandemic, revealed Tuesday that any part of the country where the virus breaks out could likely be quarantined and that he is considering using the military to enforce it.

"The best way to deal with a pandemic is to isolate it and keep it isolated in the region in which it begins," he said during a wide- ranging Rose Garden news conference.

The president was asked if his recent talk of giving the military the lead in responding to large natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and other catastrophes was in part the result of his concerns that state and local personnel aren't up to the task of a flu outbreak.

"Yes," he replied.


Commentary:
Mr. Bush's answer: Medical Martial Law.

For those of you with whom I have used the term Bio-Fascism in desribing the merging of the (1) military medical establishment, (2) public health bureaucracies, to include the ostensible federal regulator FDA, and (3) the Pharmas, Mr. Bush's remarks on Oct 4th are the latest indication of the nations' insidious slide toward Orwellian State-sponsored mandatory vaccinations.

What will American citizens do when nurses, accompanied by armed police and soldiers, come to the door and order them to be vaccinated? Since 9/11, Federal and State laws have been changed to now allow for this. The American people do not understand that the bioterrorism authorities passed by Congress since 9/11 make the USA Patriot Act look tame by comparison.

Mandatory vaccination under an emergency declaration can be based simply on a "potential" threat from bioterrorism using the same type of politically-motivated "intelligence" as that used to justify the Iraq War. This emergency authority, under the BioShield Act, was exercised on Dec 10, 2004 by former Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz, who used a baseless assertion of an anthrax "threat" to resume anthrax vaccinations in the military. Former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson complied with Wolfowitz' request for an emergency declaration on Jan 14, 2005 -- the week before he left government to head a biodefense company.

Already, the Pentagon is demanding that anthrax vaccine refusers who are awaiting appeal of the illegal order to take the vaccine submit DNA samples that are to be placed in the FBI's national database of criminals. This is the de facto criminalization of vaccine refusal, and because of emergency authorities enacted in the 2004 Project BioShield Act, ALL American civilians can also be subjected to the same erosion in civil rights.

Further, if the Pentagon is allowed to take over in a flu pandemic, the "mission" will override any considerations of Constitutional rights. The illegal DoD anthrax vaccine program -- which for six years was enforced with courts-martial and jailings of refusers until it was stopped by a federal judge -- will become the template for accomplishing this "mission". And Science that does not support the "mission" of saving America will be suppressed, just as it has with the illegal DoD anthrax vaccine program.

Such a Pentagon-run program will be administered by the ethically corrupt military medical establishment, which is not subjected to the same ethical standards as the soldiers punished for the crimes at Abu Ghraib.

There is no accountability, because soldiers cannot sue the Pentagon for medical malpractice. So, military medical personnel -- including physicians -- are almost never punished under the UCMJ for acts of willful negligence and for covering up gross malpractice. And, as in the illegal DoD anthrax vaccine program, there will be an orchestrated cover-up of "bad news" -- including deaths and serious adverse reactions to vaccines and drugs used to "save" America from an avian flu epidemic. The bad news will be hidden by the Pentagon involving the HIPPA Act and Privacy Act -- just as theey have in order to hide anthrax vaccine deaths and illnesses.

Please see relevant George Orwell quotes below.

John Richardson
JRDCA@aol.com

ORWELL (1984):
"In Oceania at the present day, Science, in the old sense, has almost ceased to exist. In Newspeak there is no word for 'Science.' The empirical method of thought, on which all the scientific achievements of the past were founded, is opposed to the most fundamental principles of Ingsoc."
and
"And in the general hardening of outlook that set in ... practices which had been long abandoned ... -- imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of hostages and the deportation of whole populations -- not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive."
   Docs in Training Miss Bioterror Diagnoses
by CARLA K. JOHNSON - The Associated Press - Tuesday September 27, 2005
CHICAGO (AP) -- Doctors in training misdiagnosed diseases caused by bioterrorism more than half the time on a multiple choice test, but a Web-based training program improved their skills, a study has found. If there were an actual attack, doctors' failure to isolate contagious patients with smallpox or plague could increase the number of victims. "The risk of spread goes up logarithmically," said study co-author Dr. Stephen Sisson of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The lesson of the 2001 anthrax attacks, when at least four patients first were sent home without a diagnosis, has not yet been learned, Sisson said. States and medical residency programs should require bioterrorism training for doctors, he said.
  

In Memoriam: Lt. Col. Russell E. Dingle

commentary follows
Dingle family friends - Sunday September 04, 2005
Sept. 4, 2005 -- Lt. Col. Russell E. Dingle, ret., Connecticut Air National Guard and a pilot for American Airlines, passed away from cancer this morning. His loss is incalculable. Our tears, sympathy, prayers, friendship, and support go out to Russ' wife, Jane, his two daughters, and their extended families and friends.

This web site was started as a way to bring the work of Russ and his Air National Guard team member, Major Thomas "Buzz" Rempfer, to the public. Together, they formed Tiger Team Alpha, tasked by their commanders to investigate the problems with the anthrax vaccine. When they came back to their commanders with a report and with questions which could not be answered, they were actually grounded from flying as their punishment. But they fought on.

Russ' impeccable research is one of the primary reasons that so much transparency was shed on the travesty we know as the anthrax vaccine. Had he and Buzz not laid the groundwork they did, arguably the vaccine would not be voluntary today. For example, it was Russ who first discovered that BioPort, the vaccine's manufacturer, had changed the filtering and fermenting equipment used to manufacture the vaccine in 1990 without notifying the FDA, as they were legally required to do. These changes resulted in a 100-fold increase in the potency of the vaccine - yet no one was told, until Russ discovered it and reported it to the FDA.


Commentary:
We are working to honor Lt. Col. Dingle in a permanent way through this web site and its ongoing work. Plans may take a while, but at this time, we're thinking of some kind of stipend or scholarship to help those service members or veterans who are helping themselves and their colleagues. Of specific interest is research that continues to shed transparency on the workings of the Dept. of Defense and its obscene tendency to force experimental drugs on our troops without their informed consent
   Soldier Falls Ill After Taking Vaccine Shots
Associated Press - Thursday September 01, 2005
ALVA, Okla. -- An Oklahoma National Guard soldier says he faces mounting medical costs and is too sick to work because of a severe reaction he suffered to a battery of vaccines he was given in preparation for deployment to Iraq. Spc. Kent Stewart, 37, of Alva, received the anthrax vaccine along with other members of his unit, the 45th Field Artillery Brigade, in February 2003 as they prepared for deployment to Iraq. He said he began experiencing severe headaches. On March 15 he received the second series of shots. The third series followed April 4. He suffered dizziness and tingling on the left side of his face and in his hands and legs. On May 27, the unit received notice their orders had been canceled.
   Anthrax Test, Developed By Army And CDC, Receives FDA Approval
US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases - Wednesday August 31, 2005
A method for identifying Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has been cleared for diagnostic use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The test, known as the Gamma Phage Assay, was modified by scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) to improve its performance and reliability when used with clinical specimens. The original form of the Gamma Phage Assay was first developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the mid-1950s.
   Eagle Group Awarded Contract for Management
Info-Prod Research (Middle East) - Thursday August 25, 2005
Eagle Group International, Atlanta, Ga., was awarded on Aug. 19, 2005, a $6,093,344 firm-fixed-price contract for Management of the Military Vaccine/Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program
   Widow Says A.F. Not Telling All About Husband's Death commentary follows
Deseret News (Salt Lake City) - Tuesday August 23, 2005
On the day President Bush talked about health care for veterans as a top priority, the issue of the quality of health care for both veterans and active duty soldiers was brought up in both the courthouse and the street corner in Salt Lake City. Standing by friends and family members holding pictures of her late husband outside the Federal Building on State Street, Alexis Witt said she is frustrated with the U.S. Air Force's apparent refusal to give her answers about her husband's death. Shortly after being transferred from Hill Air Force Base to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., Staff Sgt. Dean Patrick Witt went to the base hospital twice, complaining of pain in his abdomen. Witt's family claims both times he was sent away with antibiotics and misdiagnosed.


Commentary:
Further quote: On Oct. 10, 2003, Witt went a third time to the base hospital believing something was seriously wrong with him and was allegedly told by hospital staff that they could not treat him until his transfer papers went through. Later that day he dialed 911 and collapsed. Witt went in for surgery on his appendix but came out essentially brain dead, family members say.
   U.S. paid Unit 731 members for data commentary follows
Japan Times - Monday August 15, 2005
WASHINGTON (Kyodo) The United States paid money and gave other benefits to former members of a Japanese germ warfare unit two years after the end of World War II to obtain data on human experiments conducted in China, according to two declassified U.S. government documents. It has been known that the Allies offered to waive war crime charges at the tribunal for officers of the Imperial Japanese Army's Unit 731 in exchange for experiment data.

But the latest findings reveal Washington's eagerness to obtain such data even by providing monetary rewards, despite the horrific nature of the unit's activities, in an attempt to beat the Soviet Union in the arms development race.

Historians believe that some 3,000 people died in the experiments conducted in China by the unit led by military doctor Shiro Ishii before and during the war.


Commentary:
If any readers still doubt the U.S. interest in human experimentation, this article is for you.
For more information on Unit 731, click here: http://www.ww2pacific.com/unit731.html
There are more excellent links at the end of this home page.
   FDA Extends Authorization for Anthrax Vaccinations
Global Security Newswire - Tuesday July 26, 2005
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will allow voluntary vaccinations of military personnel to continue at least until early 2006, FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford stated Friday (see GSN, July 7).
The agency's emergency use authorization for Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed is to be maintained for the duration of the Defense Department's emergency declaration, Crawford wrote in a letter to Assistant Defense Secretary William Winkenwerder Jr. The declaration is scheduled to expire on Jan. 14, 2006.
Winkenwerder requested the extension on July 11 "for such time as necessary pending the upcoming FDA re-determination of the licenses use of AVA for protection against inhalational anthrax."
The agency to date has certified the vaccine as effective only for use against anthrax infection contracted through skin contact. The voluntary program began after a federal judge ruled last year that the Pentagon could not require military and civilian personnel to be vaccinated (U.S. Food and Drug Commissioner Lester Crawford letter, July 22).
   Vietnam-era commander Westmoreland dead
CNN/AP - Tuesday July 19, 2005
CHARLESTON, South Carolina (AP) -- Retired Gen. William Westmoreland, who commanded American troops in Vietnam -- the nation's longest conflict and the only war America lost -- died Monday night. He was 91.

Westmoreland died of natural causes at Bishop Gadsden retirement home, where he had lived with his wife for several years, said his son, James Ripley Westmoreland.
   The Legislated Drugging of the American People commentary follows
by Nancy Levant - Sierra Times - Thursday July 14, 2005
First, the facts: according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the "Project BioShield II Act of 2005" (S. 975) on April 29, 2005. The bill builds upon the first BioShield bill, which was signed into law on July 21, 2004. . .

. . . According to a report from the Heritage Institute, Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, upon the declaration of a public health emergency, governors and public health officials would be empowered to:
1. Force individuals suspected of harboring an "infectious disease" to undergo medical examinations.
2. Track and share an individual's personal health information, including genetic information.
3. Force persons to be vaccinated, treated, or quarantined for infectious diseases.
4. Mandate that all health care providers report all cases of persons who harbor any illness or health condition that may be caused by an epidemic or an infectious agent and might pose a "substantial risk" to a "significant number of people or cause a long-term disability." (Note: Neither "substantial risk" nor "significant number" are defined in the draft.)
5. Force pharmacists to report any unusual or any increased prescription rates that may be caused by epidemic diseases.
6. Preempt existing state laws, rules and regulations, including those relating to privacy, medical licensure, and--this is key--property rights.
7. Control public and private property during a public health emergency, including pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, nursing homes, other health care facilities, and communications devices.
8. Mobilize all or any part of the "organized militia into service to the state to help enforce the state's orders."
9. Ration firearms, explosives, food, fuel and alcoholic beverages, among other commodities.
10. Impose fines and penalties to enforce their orders.


Commentary:
The American people need to understand that what first happens to our troops.... will happen to them.
   Soldier from Washington state dies at Fort McCoy
La Crosse Tribune - Wednesday July 13, 2005
FORT McCOY, Wis.  A Washington state soldier training at Fort McCoy was pronounced dead Monday morning after being found unconscious in a barracks. The soldier was at Fort McCoy for annual training with the 396th Combat Support Hospital of Vancouver, Wash., Public Affairs Officer Linda Fournier said. The soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Fournier said the soldier's records were in Vancouver, and Fort McCoy officers were working with officials there to notify family. The incident is under investigation, but Fournier said the death does not appear to be related to training activities. This is the third soldier training at Fort McCoy to die in the past three years. In 2003, a female Army Reservist from Milwaukee died as a result of an undiagnosed medical condition that caused a deadly reaction to an anthrax vaccine. In August 2004, a member of the Minnesota National Guard unit died from a heart attack. More than 130,000 soldiers train at the base each year. Fournier said the base's average daily population is 7,000.
   Military Expands Homeland Efforts commentary follows
by Bradley Graham - Washington Post - Thursday July 07, 2005
Article ran July 6, 2005: A new Pentagon strategy for securing the U.S. homeland calls for expanded U.S. military activity not only in the air and sea -- where the armed forces have historically guarded approaches to the country -- but also on the ground and in other less traditional, potentially more problematic areas such as intelligence sharing with civilian law enforcement.

The strategy is outlined in a 40-page document, approved last month, that marks the Pentagon's first attempt since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to present a comprehensive plan for defending the U.S. homeland.


Commentary:
This article explains, among other things, that the groundwork is being laid for increased military involvement in our civilian life here in the U.S., and, as is provided for under Section 4 of the BioShield Act , prepares the way for the military to force mandatory bioterrorism vaccines, such as the anthrax vaccine, on the civilian population.

In light of today's horrific bombings in London, we might expect this process of military involvement and mandatory vaccines to be accelerated.
   Biodefense stocks climb after London attack
by Val Brickates Kennedy - Marketwatch.com - Thursday July 07, 2005
BOSTON (MarketWatch) - Shares of several biodefense companies climbed noticeably Thursday morning in the wake of a deadly terrorist attack on London's mass transit system, allegedly by al-Qaida operatives.

. . .companies listed in this article include:
Acambis (West Nile, typhoid and smallpox vaccines)
Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals (radiation poisoning)
Cepheid (detection systems)
Human Genome Scienses (anthrax vaccine)
Avant Immunotherapueics (anthrax and bubonic plague vaccines)
   Leading Pathology Organization Opposes Closing AFIP at BRAC Hearing
by contact Anthony Phipps via e-mail at tphipps@cap.o - Press Release, College of American Pathologists - Thursday July 07, 2005
WASHINGTON, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- In testimony before the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) today, Daniel L. Seckinger, MD, FCAP, past-president of the College of American Pathologists told commission members that closing the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) would have serious, wide-ranging ramifications affecting medical research, veterans, homeland security and both military and civilian patients.

. . .According to Dr. Seckinger, military care would be compromised under the proposed plan to close the AFIP. For example, the AFIP provides expert pathology services to military medical centers around the globe through the Army Telepathology Program that utilizes remote controlled microscopes and offers medical treatment and consultation that would be otherwise unavailable in the field. Also, the AFIP maintains 40,000 specimens in registries for POWs, Agent Orange, and Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom among others, benefiting thousands of veterans and today's deployed forces. Last year alone, the AFIP reviewed more than 13,200 cases for VA and hospitals and clinics.
   Costs of care for veterans: high and rising
by Brad Knickerbocker - USA Today/ Christian Science Monitor - Friday July 01, 2005
Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be much on the minds of their countrymen this Independence Day weekend. Marching in town parades. Lauded in speeches.

But the pride and the bunting are also a reminder that the price  and cost  of war go on many years after the fighting stops, that "to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan," as Abraham Lincoln put it, is as much an issue of national security today as are armored Humvees and trustworthy translators of Arabic.

The Senate got into a bipartisan snit over funding for veterans this week, Republicans and Democrats both raising alarms over a $1 billion shortfall for the Department of Veterans Affairs this fiscal year. On Wednesday, the Senate approved $1.5 billion in emergency funding for the VA. But the funding issue raises questions about the VA's ability to handle an increased workload as a result of the war.
   Official Cites Progress in WMD Countermeasure Development commentary follows
Dept. of Defense, Health Affairs - Friday July 01, 2005
The Defense Department has made progress in several areas of chemical and biological defense, is coordinating regularly with other federal agencies, and has developed a long-term science and technology investment strategy to protect U.S. forces well into the future, a DoD official said June 14 at a congressional hearing.

Dale Klein, assistant secretary for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, testified before the House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations...

Klein cited several examples of progress, beginning with the Food and Drug Administration's approval in 2003 of using pyridostigmine bromide to increase survival exposure to soman nerve poisoning. Four months ago, Klein said, the FDA approved the DoD vaccinia immunoglobulin used to treat adverse events following smallpox immunization. In March, he added, a contract award was made for developing a chemical agent, bioscavenger, for a pre- or post- exposure treatment of nerve- agent exposure, and this year clinical trials will begin for a multivalent botulinum vaccine for stereotypes A and B, a plague vaccine, as well as a vaccine for Venezuelan equine encephalitis.
"It's important to note that some of the medical countermeasures currently being developed through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the national stockpile had their technology basis in programs which initially began in the Department of Defense," he said. "Examples of this are the next-generation anthrax vaccine and cell culture-derived smallpox vaccine."


Commentary:
It is of note that pyridostigmine bromide (the infamous PB pills) was an experimental drug during the first Gulf War that our troops were mandated to take, even as they were mandated to take the experimental anthrax vaccine. Touting this and other "developments" ignores the fact that actual field testing was done on members of the armed services without informed consent or a presidential waiver.
   US Senate approves emergency vets health care funds
Reuters - Thursday June 30, 2005
WASHINGTON, June 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved $1.5 billion in emergency funds for veterans health care to pay for the rising cost of Iraq war injuries and illnesses of aging veterans from past wars.

The money, approved by a 96-0 vote, was attached to an unrelated spending bill for domestic environmental programs.

Republicans, who shot down Democrats' attempts to add money for veterans health care earlier this year, embraced the measure after Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson on Tuesday acknowledged a severe shortage of funds.
   VA Faces $2.6 Billion Shortfall in Medical Care commentary follows
by Thomas B. Edsall - Washington Post - Wednesday June 29, 2005
The Bush administration disclosed yesterday that it had vastly underestimated the number of service personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan seeking medical treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and warned that the health care programs will be short at least $2.6 billion next year unless Congress approves additional funds.

Veterans Affairs budget documents projected that 23,553 veterans would return this year from Iraq and Afghanistan and seek medical treatment. However, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson told a Senate committee that the number has been revised upward to 103,000 for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. He said the original estimates were based on outdated assumptions from 2002.


Commentary:
This article does not specifically mention those needing health care due to adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccine and other military vaccines. However, it should be noted that the 4 Walter Reed Vaccine Healthcare Centers around the country are full to capacity; that the Walter Reed Hospital itself in Washington D.C. is slated for closure; and the requests to build four more Vaccine Healthcare Centers are not likely to be met because the current centers are constantly in jeopardy of having their funding pulled. Those who do not believe these vaccines are causing severe medical problems have only to wonder why the military then built specialized Vaccine Healthcare Centers to handle the problems.
   Million Veteran March June 8 in Washington D.C. commentary follows
PRWeb - Thursday June 02, 2005
PRWEB) June 2, 2005 -- The purpose of this march is to bring to light the deep concern the veterans' community has regarding the consistent under funding of the Veterans Affairs Health Care system.

. . . The march will address the specific legislation requirements the veterans of this great country are planning to voice to the government. This will be conveyed by an organized march on the nation's capital, Washington DC on June 8, 2005.

More information at: http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/mvm.htm


Commentary:
Too many of those ill from the military's mandatory vaccines, particularly the anthrax and smallpox vaccines, have had to fight for at least two years to receive health care benefits. In the meantime, they have had to pay their own medical bills - while unable to work. This results, too often, in the loss of homes, cars, and other possession, and marriages often crack under the strain. VA Health Care is a cricial issue for anyone ill from these military vaccines
   Congress Plans to Cut VA health care benefits
National Gulf War Resource Center Press Release - Monday May 30, 2005
During the May 19, 2005 hearing on the serious problems facing returning war veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported more than 85,000 Iraq War and Afghanistan War veterans have already sought medical care from VA.

Out of the 360,000 discharged veterans from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), nearly one in four had already visited VA for physical injuries or mental health counseling by February 2005. This number far exceeds the 12,000 wounded reported by the Department of Defense (DoD).

All the same, Congress is moving forward with plans to freeze or cut VA health care for those returning veterans. Please take action today to prevent that from happening.

Click below to send your message to your representatives:
http://www.ngwrc.org/?Page=Campaign&CampaignID=1

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Julie Mock
President
National Gulf War Resource Center, Inc.
e-mail: JulieMock@ngwrc.org
web: http://www.ngwrc.org/
   DoD tests revolutionary bio detection device commentary follows
by Elaine Wilson - Army News Service - Friday May 27, 2005
The Department of Defense is testing a cutting-edge technology scientists say is so revolutionary that it will change the face of biological warfare.

The Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnostic System, a 40-pound device small enough to slip into a rucksack, is designed to vastly increase the speed and accuracy of biological warfare agent detection.

. . .The new technology can do it in 40 minutes -- on the spot.

. . .The device can simultaneously identify up to 10 different biological warfare agents in a given sample, including smallpox, anthrax, plague and encephalitis.

. . .If approved, the system will enter full-rate production in September and the DoD will distribute 450 units throughout the services over the next three years.


Commentary:
Excellent. And since it's been proven that early detection and antibiotics are much more effective, much more efficient, and much less costly than the anthrax vaccine (see the news archives for the anthrax vaccine on this site, Dec., 2004), we assume the DoD will certainly - and finally - work to get rid of the anthrax vaccine, and will investigate whether the vaccines for smallpox and the plague are really needed for our troops.
   Experts Call for Oversight of BioShield Procurements
BioPort Press Release - Sunday May 15, 2005
WASHINGTON, July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The President and Chief Executive Officer of the nation's sole manufacturer of licensed anthrax vaccine called on Congress to mandate an independent, multi-disciplinary panel to oversee procurements under BioShield.

"Biopharmaceutical companies are managed and operated by multiple disciplines," BioPort President and CEO Bob Kramer said. "We count on experienced professionals from the fields of science, medicine, operations, regulatory and compliance to participate in key decisions related to product development. The procurement process for vaccines and other medical countermeasures should follow suit.
   PETITION TO RECOGNIZE THE GULF WAR RESEARCH OF TULANE UNIVERSITY commentary follows
United Veterans Coalition - Saturday May 14, 2005
This petition calls for the recognition of the legitimacy of the patented Squalene Antibody Assay developed by the researchers at Tulane University to be used by the Veterans Administration, the Department Of Defense, the Social Security Administration and all other government agencies as an official diagnostic test in determining the root cause or etiology of a specific type of Gulf War Illness in regards to vaccine injury.


Commentary:
Further quote:
In addition to the above, we demand that the Feres Doctrine which allowed for this investigational new drug testing to occur in the first place, be struck down and repealed immediately.
   NIAID awards first $27 million using new bioshield authorities commentary follows
Medical News Today - Wednesday May 11, 2005
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded 10 grants and 2 contracts totaling approximately $27 million to fund development of new therapeutics and vaccines against some of the most deadly agents of bioterrorism including anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola virus, pneumonic plague, smallpox and tularemia.


Commentary:
This article with the list of those receiving the grants can also be found in our "Vaccines in Development" section.
   In Memoriam: Col. David H. Hackworth passes away commentary follows
www.hackworth.com - Tuesday May 10, 2005
Memorial Service
A Memorial Service for Colonel David H. Hackworth, Infantry, United States Army (Retired), will commence on Tuesday, 31 May, at 11:00am EDT at the Main (new) Chapel, Ft. Myer, Arlington, Virginia.

This service will last somewhat less than one hour, since services for another individual are scheduled to start at 12:00 noon in this same chapel.

Following Hack's Memorial Service, those who wish to may follow in trace the caisson with Hack's cremains to the burial site. (Services at the grave site will be on the order of 20-30 minutes.)


Commentary:
A full biography of Hack is also at this link. Another story out of Whitefish, Montana, where Hack lived for a period of time in the 1990's, is at this link: http://www.dailyinterlake.com/articles/2005/05/06/news/news01.txt
   National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Kicks off Eighth Annual Conference on Vaccine Research
PR Newswire/Yahoo Finances - Monday May 09, 2005
BALTIMORE, May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's largest scientific meeting devoted exclusively to research on vaccines and associated technologies for disease prevention and treatment through immunization was kicked off with a keynote address by the World Health Organization's David Heymann, MD. The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases' Annual Conference on Vaccine Research (ACVR) will run from May 9 to 11 in Baltimore, Maryland.
   Military Vaccines Trigger Special Treatment for 1,200 commentary follows
by David Ruppe - Global Security Newswire - Friday May 06, 2005
WASHINGTON  Approximately 1,200 U.S. military personnel who received vaccinations against biological agents during the past two years developed complex, in some cases debilitating, illnesses that were assessed or treated by a specialized network of clinics, according to figures released to Global Security Newswire by the U.S. Army and a review of some cases (see GSN, April 25).

The cases, corresponding with a massive Defense Department effort to vaccinate U.S. forces against anthrax and smallpox before and after the invasion of Iraq, included muscle and joint weakness and pain, chronic fatigue, intense migraines, cognitive problems, and severe diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Some of these have ended military careers.

More common and less serious side effects from the vaccines are said to include temporary headaches, fatigue, fever, nausea and dizziness.

In light of the large number people who received the vaccines, the number of serious cases treated by the Vaccine Health Care Centers, a network of four clinics at domestic U.S. military bases, is rare. Overall, the military says more than 1.3 million military and civilian personnel have received the anthrax vaccine, called Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed, since 1998, when it resumed the vaccinations after a hiatus over quality control problems. The military has also vaccinated hundreds of thousands of personnel, many who also received the anthrax treatment, for smallpox beginning in December 2002.

...Nevertheless, some cases have been quite severe, such as that of retired Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Michael Gylock, who within nine days after receiving anthrax and smallpox vaccinations in March 2003 started showing symptoms and was eventually diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and some vision loss.

Ive been retired because of it. Im not fit for military duty, he said. Gylock and other cases were referred to Global Security Newswire by an advocate of soldiers who believe they were harmed by the vaccine.

Questions have surfaced in recent years about the safety of the anthrax vaccine, and when massive numbers of personnel are vaccinated, even a small percentage of rare disorders can add up.


Commentary:
Further Quote:
While the data on Vaccine Healthcare Center treatments give some indication of the numbers and types of rare illnesses that may result from anthrax or smallpox vaccinations, there is no definitive data on how many and which illnesses were caused by the military inoculations.

One reason is that the numbers of cases treated by the centers, and otherwise identified through its Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, do not necessarily account for all serious illnesses caused by a vaccine because military reporting on side effects is passive. In other words, the onus is on the soldiers to seek help from the centers and many are said to be unaware the clinics exist, are unwilling to inform superiors they may have a career-jeopardizing disorder, or have had trouble convincing authorities of the illness.
As little is understood about how vaccines cause serious illness, some doctors have appeared reluctant to conclude a vaccination may have caused a specific illness, experts have said.
   Pentagon to participate in international plague vaccine effort
by David McGlinchey - GovExec.com - Friday April 22, 2005
Story first ran 4/18/2005: See "Vaccines in Development" section on this web site as well
The Defense Department has unveiled an international effort to develop a vaccine that would protect against the plague.

Defense officials announced the project Friday and said Pentagon scientists will collaborate with military biologists from Canada, Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
   Testimony by Secretary Michael Chertoff Before the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee commentary follows
Dept. of Homeland Security - Thursday April 21, 2005
April 20, 2005
SENATOR GREGG: We'll call the hearing to order.

. . . We appreciate Secretary Chertoff coming here today. He's just assumed one of the priority responsibilities in our government relative to the safety of Americans. He's given up an extremely important position to take this position on, and it reflects well on him and I think on this administration that somebody with his caliber is willing to do this type of a job. And we appreciate it.


Commentary:
Further quote:
And it's very obvious that in the area of vaccine BioShield has not produced the results that it should have produced, and we have not created a robust vaccine capability in this country against very significant disease issues, and specifically anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox. Small pox is probably -- we've made progress on.
   Sense of the Senate on Vaccine Healthcare Centers funding
by Senators Biden, Bingaman and Carper - Senator Jeff Bingaman's office - Wednesday April 20, 2005
On page 169, between lines 8 and 9, insert the fol- 1 lowing: 2 SENSE OF SENATE ON FUNDING FOR VACCINE HEALTH 3 CARE CENTERS 4
SEC. 1122. It is the sense of the Senate that, of the 5 amount appropriated or otherwise made available by this 6 chapter under the heading DEFENSE HEALTH PRO- 7 O:ARMARM05729.LC >br? April 20, 2005
2 S.L.C. GRAM, not less than $6,000,000 should be available for 1 the Vaccine Health Care Centers. 2 O:ARMARM05729.LC
April 20, 2005
   U.S. Defense Department: Frequent Deployments Require More Emphasis on Vaccinations
American Forces Press Service - Sunday April 17, 2005
WASHINGTON - Frequent, short-notice deployments around the world demand that the military step up its emphasis on keeping the force vaccinated for contingencies it may face, according to the Defense Departments deputy director for the Military Vaccine Agency.

The expeditionary nature of the force requires that DoD plan ahead to provide its members the best possible protection against disease and illness when they deploy, Army Col. John Grabenstein said during an April 14 interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel.
   U.S. Lawmakers Press for Greater Incentives for Development of Biological Weapons Treatments
Global Security Newswire - Friday April 15, 2005
Story first ran April 11, 2005:
U.S. lawmakers are preparing legislation that would extend patents on brand-name drugs and reduce the potential liability of drug companies working to produce treatments for biological weapons attacks and natural outbreaks of infectious diseases, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday (see GSN, Oct. 12, 2004).

There is no question that if terrorists are able to get their hands on a weaponized biological agent & they will use it in a place where Americans gather in their daily lives, said Senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.). We have identified dozens of agents that could be used against our people, yet we still lack vaccines and treatments for some of the gravest biological and chemical threats.

Funding and tax breaks under the 2004 Bioshield legislation are not adequate incentives to invest a drug that might never be needed, some pharmaceutical companies say. Bioshield also does not offer protections from lawsuits, according to the Inquirer.
   Al Queda poisons seen sewing more panic than death commentary follows
New Zealand Herald - Friday April 15, 2005
BERLIN - The cracking of an al Qaeda poison plot in Britain lends credence to longstanding warnings from police and security services that militants would attempt an attack using toxins.

But experts say that, while deadly agents such as ricin are relatively easy to produce even in the home, they are more suited to sowing panic than inflicting mass casualties.


Commentary:
Further quote: Some analysts use the term "weapons of mass disruption" to describe the kind of arms -- from dirty bombs to biological agents -- that could create havoc without necessarily claiming large numbers of casualties.
   CDC Releases Report on Oakland Anthrax Exposures commentary follows
Global Security Newswire - Monday April 04, 2005
The facility that mistakenly provided live anthrax to a California hospital laboratory last year might have done more to ensure the spores were deactivated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday (see GSN, June


Commentary:
Eight of those people took antibiotics, and none became infected.
   Okinawa-based Marines push to meet smallpox vaccination goal commentary follows
Marines.com - Friday March 25, 2005
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan (March. 25, 2005) -- Units islandwide are pushing to meet the May 1 goal for smallpox vaccinations for the more than 20,000 servicemembers currently assigned to the III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Medical personnel must screen and vaccinate all medically qualified servicemembers in order to meet the goal outlined in a letter of instruction issued by the III MEF commanding general, Lt. Gen. Robert R. Blackman, this past February.
The LOI was in response to a message sent by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to hospitals militarywide Sept. 2, directing the expansion of the smallpox vaccination program to deploying servicemembers.


Commentary:
This is the same vaccine currently deemed too dangerous for the American public. See our section on the smallpox vaccine for side effects.
   The Return of the Draft commentary follows
by Tim Dickinson - Rolling Stone Magazine - Friday March 04, 2005
Story ran Jan. 27, 2005:
Uncle Sam wants you. He needs you. He'll bribe you to sign up. He'll strong-arm you to re-enlist. And if that's not enough, he's got a plan to draft you.


Commentary:
We didn't see this article when it first came out, but it's excellent. We don't want to see a draft, either; but among other things, a draft will finally bring home the point that the Department of Defense willingly, deliberately uses its troops to conduct unauthorized, illegal and immoral medical experiments with Investigational New Drugs - and has done so since WW II, acknowledged by Congress in its 1994 Rockerfeller Report.
   Use of Investigational New Drugs in the Combatant Theater for Force Health Protection
by Salvatore M. Cirone, DVM, MPVM - Dept. of Defense, Health Affairs - Thursday March 03, 2005
This 2002 Power Point presentation admits that Investigational New Drugs have not been given correctly in the past; and makes the point that even if there is a Presidential waiver, service members still must be informed as to the risks and possible side effects of the drug involved.
   British Scientist to Receive $3.5 Million U.S. Grant for Botulism Vaccine
Global Security Newswire - Monday February 28, 2005
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is today expected to announce a $3.5 million federal grant to fund research on the first stable vaccine against airborne botulism poisoning, the London Daily
   Ecstasy trials for combat stress commentary follows
by David Adam - The Guardian - Friday February 25, 2005
American soldiers traumatised by fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be offered the drug ecstasy to help free them of flashbacks and recurring nightmares. The US food and drug administration has given the go-ahead for the soldiers to be included in an experiment to see if MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, can treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Scientists behind the trial in South Carolina think the feelings of emotional closeness


Commentary:
This is off-topic in terms of biological vaccinations, but, is on-topic as it relates to medical experimentation on our troops. It is unclear if the veterans being medically experimented on with Ecstasy will follow the same fate as those veterans that were experimented on with LSD. This is apparently nothing new, as it was approved by the FDA in 2001 (see link below for initial story), but appeared to slide under the radar. It is now resurfacing. Special thanks to DSBR's Marcie and Kirt for bringing this information to light. FDA Approves Study of Ecstasy as Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 11/09/2001 http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/210/ecstasystudy.shtml
   Honor Betrayed: Chemical Veterans commentary follows
by 10 Investigates Roger McCoy - WBNS-TV, Ohio - Monday February 21, 2005
(2/18/2005 - orignal story date) UPDATE- The Veterans' Administration is now giving specifics about what it will do for World War II veterans used in secret chemical warfare tests. 10 Investigates reported this week that thousands of WWII vets suffered injuries, physical and psychological, from the chemical warfare tests. Most have never been provided medical benefits.


Commentary:
Today, it generally takes at least one generation, or 20 years, before the government admits to medical experimentation on the troops. As can be seen, it took much longer for WWII vets. The delays are often deliberate: it costs less and fewer reputations are destoryed if the generation that was experimented upon dies off before full accountability is known. People forget; or it's too far in the past; or it happened to "someone else," out there, far away.

Thanks to the Internet, we are seeing results that have come much more quickly. From chemical experiments in WW II, to radiation experiments, to LSD experiments, Agent Orange, and the anthrax vaccine, those who are victims of unauthorized, illegal medical experimentation on our troops are catching up - and will one day be able to prevent the use of troops as medical guinea pigs.

   Bush nominates interim chief to fill FDA vacancy
AP - Monday February 14, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush said Monday he will nominate Lester M. Crawford to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, filling a position that has been vacant for nearly a year amid rising concerns about the safety of drugs on the market.

Crawford has been acting commissioner since March 2004, when the Senate confirmed then-director Mark McClellan to oversee the agency that runs the Medicaid and Medicare programs.

One of his main tasks will be to protect the nation's food supply from terrorism, according to his boss, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. He said recently that the FDA will expand to take on that role.
   Better insurance becomes vet's mission
AP - Monday February 14, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ever since Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Kelly lost his right leg to a roadside bomb near Baghdad more than a year ago, he has been on a mission.

It was more than just learning how to walk again on a prosthetic limb or figuring out what to do with his life after 13 months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.

Kelly, 24, of Prescott, Arizona, saw a need to help other wounded soldiers and their families cope with the financial struggles that come with months of rehabilitation.
   National Vaccine Information Center Calls 'Anti-Terror' Bill 'Unconstitutional', USA commentary follows
Medical News Today - Monday February 07, 2005
The USA's largest and oldest consumer-led vaccine safety organization, the National Vaccine Information Center, is calling a bill introduced into Congress by Senators Gregg and Frist entitled "Protecting America in the War on Terror Act of 2005" (S.3) an "assault on the Constitution" and a serious threat to protecting the health and informed consent rights of those who use federally regulated vaccines and drugs. "This bill is labeled as an 'anti-terror' bill," said NVIC president and co-founder, Barbara Loe Fisher, "but it is power grab by the federal government and an assault on self-governance and the informed consent ethic.


Commentary:
The full text of this bill can be found at http://www.mvacpac.org - Click on "In Congress Now."
   Unfair to those in service
by James K. Kilpatrick - Yahoo News - Tuesday January 18, 2005
If I were a betting man, which I'm not, I would offer a nice proposition. This is it: I would bet you 1,000-1 -- make it 10,000-1 -- that the Supreme Court refuses to hear the pending appeals in Purcell v. U.S. and Kemp v. U.S. .

All right, sucker, send your check in care of this column. Thank you very much. You were betting that the Supreme Court would abandon 55 years of bad precedent in cases involving men and women in military service. Forget it! The unfairness imposed upon them by what is known as the Feres doctrine will not be relieved.

. . . in a companion case, Christine Lemp asks the high court to consider the death of her husband, Army Capt. James Lemp. He died three years ago at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., of what his widow regards as malpractice on the part of Army medical personnel. The story dates from March 2003, when he developed an acute headache, accompanied by vomiting, dizziness and numbness in his arms. At the Army hospital a CT scan appeared to be negative. As the hours passed, more symptoms of a seizure became evident. According to the Lemp petition, he fell into "hypoxia, aspiration of vomitus, respiratory arrest and profound bradycardia." He was placed on a ventilator and transferred to a hospital. There he died of brain edema. His widow sued, but the Army invoked the Feres doctrine and her complaint was dismissed. Her appeal to the Supreme Court almost certainly will be denied.

Was there actionable malpractice? This layman ventures no opinion. It is the kind of question that juries routinely decide. Certainly Mrs. Lemp and her counsel believe that different treatment would have saved his life. Now he is dead. The doctrine survives.
   Unfair to those in service
by James K. Kilpatrick - Yahoo News - Tuesday January 18, 2005
If I were a betting man, which I'm not, I would offer a nice proposition. This is it: I would bet you 1,000-1 -- make it 10,000-1 -- that the Supreme Court refuses to hear the pending appeals in Purcell v. U.S. and Kemp v. U.S. .

All right, sucker, send your check in care of this column. Thank you very much. You were betting that the Supreme Court would abandon 55 years of bad precedent in cases involving men and women in military service. Forget it! The unfairness imposed upon them by what is known as the Feres doctrine will not be relieved.

. . . in a companion case, Christine Lemp asks the high court to consider the death of her husband, Army Capt. James Lemp. He died three years ago at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., of what his widow regards as malpractice on the part of Army medical personnel. The story dates from March 2003, when he developed an acute headache, accompanied by vomiting, dizziness and numbness in his arms. At the Army hospital a CT scan appeared to be negative. As the hours passed, more symptoms of a seizure became evident. According to the Lemp petition, he fell into "hypoxia, aspiration of vomitus, respiratory arrest and profound bradycardia." He was placed on a ventilator and transferred to a hospital. There he died of brain edema. His widow sued, but the Army invoked the Feres doctrine and her complaint was dismissed. Her appeal to the Supreme Court almost certainly will be denied.

Was there actionable malpractice? This layman ventures no opinion. It is the kind of question that juries routinely decide. Certainly Mrs. Lemp and her counsel believe that different treatment would have saved his life. Now he is dead. The doctrine survives.
   Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone
Military Vaccine Education Center, Inc. - Friday December 24, 2004
In light of the war in Iraq, and ongoing problems our troops face all around the world, it seems to fly in the face of common sense to say "Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays" to all of you.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Now is the time to say, "Thank you. We believe in you; we support you; we know these hours are difficult. We hold out hope and faith on your behalf; we send our prayers, our love, our deep wishes for a better world. And we send our gratitude for all you are doing."

May this holiday season bring you remembrances of joys past and a sure knowledge of joys to come.
   Congress seeks to stimulate market for bioagent vaccines commentary follows
by Chris Strohm - Government Executive - Friday December 17, 2004
Legislation will be introduced early next year as part of an ongoing effort to stimulate private sector development of medical vaccines and countermeasures to protect against biological pathogens, officials said Wednesday. Congressional officials plan to introduce legislation for Project Bioshield II in February, said Chuck Ludlam, counsel to Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., ranking member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. "It will be the most ambitious, aggressive set of legislation on the development of drugs for infectious diseases ever introduced, or even contemplated," Ludlaw


Commentary:
(Later in article) "Bioshield I was a good start; there's no question about it," Hauer said... Hauer is joining Fleishman-Hillard as a senior vice president for government relations. He also is a consultant for BioPort Corporation of Lansing, Mich., which produces the military's anthrax vaccine.
   Too Many Vaccines, Too Quickly?
by Deborah Funk - Army Times - Monday December 06, 2004
Army Spc. Tyran Duncan no longer needs a machine to draw breath, but his hands can't grip tightly and he wears braces on his legs to help him walk. Duncan, 20, who was temporarily medically retired Nov. 24, hasn't completely recovered from the Guillain-Barr' syndrome that struck him two years ago, a few weeks after he received numerous military-related vaccinations.

But at least he's not completely paralyzed anymore.

He believes the vaccinations caused his health problems, but since he received multiple shots, one after another, he has no idea which vaccine or vaccines may be to blame. He hasn't received any vaccinations since and may not ever again - not even for the flu or for trips abroad.

"He wouldn't know which shots not to have," said his grandmother, Faye Harville, who shares her home in Tennessee with Duncan. "He couldn't pursue a life where he might be able to travel with a job."
   Spacing out the shots may get harder look
by Deborah Funk - Army Times - Monday December 06, 2004
A group of civilian medical experts says multiple simultaneous vaccinations are safe, but nevertheless advises the Pentagon to look for ways to reduce the number of shots given to troops at one time. >br?>br? The goal should be to 'minimize discomfort' to troops and prevent possible lost work time and unnecessary vaccination while still protecting the force against diseases, the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board said in a April 2004 memo to senior health officials in the Defense Department and the services.

The board recommends spreading vaccinations out over time during initial entry training and subsequent service, and investigating whether someone has immunity against a particular disease before vaccinating.

"What we see consistently is overvaccination," said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, president of the board and assistant surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service. "We don't see solid, scientific, well-documented information that suggests there's any particular reason you can't give multiple vaccinations. However, we need to take a hard look at what we're doing because [vaccines] may not be needed by that particular individual."
   Vaccine role in gulf illness proposed for more study
by Deborah Funk - Army Times - Monday December 06, 2004
Vaccines, particularly anthrax vaccine, should be further studied to determine if they contributed to illnesses suffered by tens of thousands of 1991 Persian Gulf War veterans, according to a panel that helps guide research for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses thus far has focused largely on toxins, such as nerve agents and pesticides, which can cause neurological damage. But other factors could play a role, including vaccines, it said in a report released Nov. 12.

Studies have shown higher rates of illnesses among veterans who reported getting vaccines, but determining links between anthrax and botulinum toxoid vaccines and illness in U.S. veterans is tough to do because the shots often were not recorded.
   MVACPAC.ORG Joins In Support Of Senator Bingaman's Letter To Rumsfeld For VHC Funding
Military Vaccine Action Committee - Wednesday December 01, 2004
Dear Secretary Rumsfield: We write to express our support for a program that grew out of congressional appropriations designed to stimulate the development of clinical and research programs within the Military Health System that supported vaccine efficacy, safety and acceptability. The Vaccine Healthcare Centers (VHC) Network represents a response to congressional hearings that identified the need for clinical centers of excellence that could support new and rapidly evolving challenges facing current and future mandatory vaccination programs, whether related to biodefense or to pandemic preparedness.

The conferees to H.R. 4200 have stated, ?The conferees acknowledge that the Vaccine Healthcare Centers in existence today have made contributions to the quality monitoring system for adverse reactions to anthrax and smallpox immunization programs conducted by the Department of Defense. The Secretary should examine the feasibility and necessity of the establishment of an expanded Vaccine Healthcare Centers Network in the context of a review of the adequacy of existing clinical immunization safety, educational, training and research programs for military members and providers involved in immunization of military service members. The Secretary should also make recommendations on improvements as necessary in submission of data to the Vaccine-related Events Reporting System, and access to clinical management services for members who experience vaccine adverse events.?
-more-
   Anthrax Vaccine Manufacturer Moves To Maryland commentary follows
AP Wire - Tuesday November 30, 2004
Governor Ehrlich is welcoming an anthrax vaccine manufacturer to Maryland today at the opening of the company's new manufacturing plant in Frederick.
The chief executive of Emergent BioSolutions is joining Ehrlich at a ribbon-cutting at the plant, just south of Frederick, this afternoon.
Emergent BioSolutions is the parent company of BioPort, the Michigan-based manufacturer of the only federally licensed anthrax vaccine.
A spokeswoman says the Frederick plant probably will produce anthrax vaccine as well as other vaccines designed to protect people against biological weapons.


Commentary:
Of course, as is referenced above in the scrawling bulletin, the BioPort vaccine is illegal for the purpose for which anyone would purchase it.
   Shots Heard Around the World commentary follows
by Steve Weinberg - New Orleans Times-Picayune - Sunday November 28, 2004
Book review of "VACCINE A: THE COVERT GOVERNMENT EXPERIMENT THAT'S KILLING OUR SOLDIERS AND WHY GIs ARE ONLY THE FIRST VICTIMS" By Gary Matsumoto

Reading investigative journalist Gary Matsumoto's account of U.S. military personnel severely incapacitated or killed because, he says, they received vaccinations meant to protect them from anthrax poisoning is akin to absorbing hammer blows to the head over and over for hours. In relentless, and sometimes repetitive, fashion, Matsumoto presents evidence that military commanders, physicians and federal government drug regulators and pharmaceutical companies have lied to Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force troops.

The lies continue today, Matsumoto says, despite severe illnesses and deaths he and civilian medical researchers he has interviewed attribute to an ingredient in the vaccine that causes the body's autoimmune system to go haywire.


Commentary:
Matsumoto cannot state with 100 percent certainty that any of the individual cases he investigated so impressively are linked to anthrax vaccinations required of military servicemen and servicewomen. The circumstantial evidence is so massive, however, that I am persuaded. Experienced journalists -- and lawyers -- know that circumstantial evidence is as good as direct evidence if its quality is high and enough of it exists.
   Who does FDA serve and protect?
by ED SILVERMAN AND DAVID SCHWAB - New Jersey Star-Ledger - Saturday November 27, 2004
Note: Story originally ran Nov. 21, 2004
To hear David Graham tell it during a Senate committee hearing three days ago, the United States is virtually defenseless against unsafe medicines, which he largely blames on his own employer of the past 20 years: the Food and Drug Administration.

By blaming the FDA, the scientist also thrust a simmering debate about how effectively the federal agency protects consumers and who it really serves squarely into the American conscious.

His explosive remarks -- he compared heart attacks allegedly caused by the Vioxx painkiller to "aircraft dropping from the sky" -- also now place the FDA under unprecedented pressure to overhaul how it regulates an industry that sells more than $200 billion worth of prescription drugs every year. One idea already gaining steam in Congress is to create an independent panel to oversee the agency's safety activities.

"We have a broken system," said Raymond Woosley, a respected FDA consultant who was a leader in the successful fight to get the agency to ban the dietary supplement ephedra. "At the end of the day, we need someone independent of the process who is involved in safety decisions."
   TRI Sues Donald Rumsfeld & U.S. Military on Behalf of Air Force Sgt.
by Nisha N. Mohammed - Nisha N. Mohammed - Thursday November 18, 2004
WILMINGTON, Del.-Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed suit in federal district court on behalf of the First Amendment rights of Air Force Sergeant Jason Adkins, who was sanctioned after reporting to sick call and voicing concerns that he could be suffering the ill effects of a tainted anthrax vaccine administered to select military personnel. Sgt. Adkins is a 14-year decorated airman who served on the first C-5 aircraft flown into Baghdad in the recent Iraq War and other numerous classified special operations missions. The suit, which names Adkins' supervisors in the Air Force, as well as James Roche, the Secretary of the Air Force, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and others, was filed in federal district court in Wilmington, Del., by Institute affiliate attorney Thomas S. Neuberger of the Neuberger Firm. The complaint alleges that for five years the Department of Defense has subjected select military personnel to a dangerous experimental anthrax vaccine with life-threatening and debilitating side effects. Despite the DOD's insistence that the anthrax vaccine is safe and effective, a federal judge recently ordered the Pentagon to halt the mandatory vaccination program.

"Since his first day in the Air Force, Sgt. Adkins has been trained in one basic sacred safety principle-that flight officers with unsafe medical conditions are not to fly. Even during a flight, if crew members become ill or overly tired, they are encouraged to declare 'safety of flight,' at which point they are relieved of their duties, no questions asked, and always without any fear of discipline or repercussions," said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. "Sgt. Adkins felt it was his moral duty as a Christian to speak out against this injustice, and he should be commended for his bravery. If left unaddressed, the military's actions could very well give rise to a dangerous chilling free speech effect on our servicepeople."

All U.S. troops deployed overseas are required by the military to take a series of six or more anthrax vaccinations. Sgt. Adkins, a C-5 aircraft flight engineer, received eight inoculations. However, testing by the Food and Drug Administration discovered squalene in six of the inoculations administered to Sgt. Adkins. Research indicates that even trace amounts of squalene can suppress the immune system, causing arthritis, neurological problems, memory loss and incapacitating migraine headaches. In keeping with flight safety protocol, on Oct. 21, 2004, Sgt. Adkins reported to the Dover Air Force Base flight surgeon with a "crippling" headache and was subsequently grounded from a scheduled flight mission. Shortly afterwards, Sgt. Adkins was given a career ending written reprimand and was accused of dereliction of duty and faking his medical condition, allegedly in retaliation for having voiced his concerns that he might be suffering effects of the experimental anthrax vaccine. Other military personnel have since echoed Sgt. Adkins' concerns about the effects of the tainted vaccine. In addition to the litigation, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute are proposing that Congress adopt legislation to modify the Feres Doctrine, a Supreme Court opinion that arose out of Feres v. United States that shields the government from personal injury claims by servicemembers.

The Rutherford Institute is an international, nonprofit civil liberties organization committed to defending constitutional and human rights.
   Dover enlisted man collapses
milvacs.org - Wednesday November 17, 2004
An active duty enlisted crewmember collapsed in the urinalysis office this afternoon. It is unclear if it ws a stroke or a seizure of some sort. Jason Adkins is investigating. After it happened, seemingly every active duty 0-6 was in that office monitoring the situation.

This guy had no history of any such problems, but, as a crewmember, he has been taking the anthrax shot series.
   Debating the Evidence on Gulf War Illnesses
by Scott Shane - New York Times - Tuesday November 16, 2004
When a Department of Veterans Affairs panel produced a provocative report last week on the illnesses of veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf war, it stepped into a treacherous territory where patients' suffering meets scientists' skepticism.

By dismissing combat stress or other psychological causes and finding a "probable link" between the veterans' health problems and exposures to pesticides, sarin or other chemicals, the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses suggested that it was correcting the record based on the latest scientific evidence.

But some outside scientists, including several whose earlier gulf war studies found scant support for the chemical theory, wondered whether the committee was instead stretching thin data to tell veterans what they wanted to hear.

"What is their motive in drawing strong conclusions from weak evidence?" asked Dr. Harold C. Sox, editor of The Annals of Internal Medicine, who led an earlier gulf war study for the Institute of Medicine. "I think the process the V.A. used was flawed. They asked experts to testify who had at least the appearance of a conflict of interest. And they didn't have a methodology for assessing the strength of the evidence."

Whatever the eventual consensus, the disagreement makes clear that gulf war illnesses have joined a constellation of contentious health issues that pit the frustration of ailing patients against scientists' demands for meticulous data.

Like patients who believe their ills can be traced to silicone breast implants or Agent Orange, the ailing veterans complain of a daunting variety of symptoms: headaches, joint pain, fatigue, diarrhea, skin rashes, dizziness and even hair loss.

Gulf war illnesses - like multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia - have been attributed to numerous possible causes. Some veterans have blamed the anthrax vaccine, smoke from oil fires and exposure to depleted uranium for their ailments.

"You're dealing with a will-o'-the-wisp," said Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine and the author of a 1996 book on the breast implant controversy.

"If someone says rhubarb causes colon cancer, the presumption is that it doesn't until there's objective scientific data," Dr. Angell said.

Patients with multisymptom syndromes often suffer from depression, too, leading some researchers to believe that some of the ailments are psychosomatic.

But when patients are told their illness has a psychological origin, it can add to feelings of isolation and frustration.

"I think in general the less competent doctors tell their patients, 'It's all psychological,' '' said Dr. Paul Greengard, a Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist at Rockefeller University, who says he believes that a neurotoxin role in gulf war illness is plausible. "That's the last escape for doctors who can't find an answer."

Financial issues can complicate the picture. With breast implants, lawyers for women who said they had been harmed sought damages from manufacturers. With gulf war illnesses, as with Agent Orange, a finding that a sickness is "service-connected" can open the door to benefit payments.

Faced with such thorny medical controversies, the government's response is often to appoint a committee. But the committee's makeup may influence its conclusions.

For example, the V.A. committee that produced the new report included four gulf war veterans and six medical scientists, four of whom had published previous studies of gulf war health problems.

The committee noted that Desert Storm was a brief war in which few soldiers saw close-quarters combat that could cause lasting psychological harm.

Dr. Lea Steele, a Kansas State University epidemiologist and the panel's scientific director, said the committee found evidence that troops might have suffered neurological damage from exposure to pesticides or to sarin, a nerve gas possibly released when American forces destroyed Iraqi weapons depots.

In contrast, the Institute of Medicine, composing a different committee to study the effects of sarin on gulf war veterans, deliberately chose no veterans and selected six scientists who had never studied gulf war illnesses.

In August, that group found "insufficient evidence" that low-level exposure to sarin from the destruction of Iraqi arms could cause long-terms neurological effects.

"Our committee understood that the issues were highly politically charged," said Dr. Jack M. Colwill, chairman of the Institute of Medicine committee. "But we sat down and focused on the scientific evidence."

James Binns, a former Defense Department official who headed the new V.A. committee, said he believed his group reached a different conclusion because it considered animal studies of sarin that the Institute of Medicine panel ignored. He acknowledged, however, that panel members' backgrounds played a role.

Mr. Binns said that when Anthony J. Principi, the secretary of veterans affairs, selected the panel, he "looked for people who were open to reaching new conclusions."

Another member of the V.A. panel, Dr. Beatrice Golomb of the University of California at San Diego, said that if stress had been wrongly blamed for gulf war illnesses, there was a precedent. For decades, doctors told their patients that gastric ulcers were caused by stress.

Then a group of maverick researchers proved that most cases were caused by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori. Today, stress is believed to play a minor role or none at all. "The medical community was very resistant to accepting a new idea," Dr. Golomb said, adding that, with gulf war illnesses, too, "it's challenging, because there have been very strongly staked out positions."
   Military abused its authority in anthrax vaccine program
by Russell Dingle and Thomas Rempfer - Army Times - Monday November 15, 2004
In 1776, our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, in part due to abuses of authority whereby the occupying military power had become independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
The founders ensured through the Constitution that our new nations military would remain firmly under civilian control. As the scope and technology of our armed forces evolved, civilian leaders became increasingly reliant on the military leaderships integrity and expertise in the profession of arms.
This reliance was based on the leaders commitment to give unbiased assessments of threats, weaponry and force protection. Anything less from the military is a dangerous trend  one our forefathers decisively rejected. The militarys anthrax vaccine program, however, is a case study of inaccurate assessments to our civilian leaders. Military officials often unknowingly misled appointed civilian superiors with dogmatic rhetoric, delaying the proper execution of Congress oversight role. Regardless of where accountability lies for the misinformation, the fact is the military implemented the immunization program based on false assumptions about the safety, efficacy and legality of the vaccine. Adverse reactions were a hundred times higher than originally professed, and the vaccines experimental status rendered the mandatory program illegal. These facts were not communicated with candor. Despite delays in the oversight process due to this lack of forthrightness, civilian control of the military remained steadfast. In February 2000, Congress released a report finding that the vaccine was indeed experimental. It recommended developing a modern vaccine while making inoculations voluntary, in line with federal law. The Government Accountability Office, formerly the General Accounting Office, also published more than a dozen critical reports. In December 2003, a federal court upheld the anthrax vaccine to be an investigational drug & being used for an unapproved purpose, and affirmed that the Pentagon is in violation of 10 USC 1107, Executive Order 13139, and DoD Directive 6200.2. The court commented on the assertion that the vaccine was not experimental, stating: The documents submitted to this court under seal suggest otherwise. The court accurately recognized that the Defense Department had considered the vaccine experimental. Regardless of a belated attempt to complete the anthrax vaccines licensure by the FDA after the courts ruling, the programs past illegality stands as case law to this day. On Oct. 27, the federal judge reaffirmed his decision that the anthrax vaccine program is illegal absent informed consent or a presidential waiver. The Pentagons internal documents, the congressional report and the federal court ruling confirmed the vaccines known experimental status. The law explicitly required either a service members informed consent for such a vaccine or the presidents waiving of this right. Unfortunately, the Defense Department did not modify the anthrax vaccine program in its early stages, when the illegal program affected only a small portion of the armed forces. Instead, federal regulations, U.S. law and attempts at civilian control were dismissed. Today almost 5 million doses of vaccine have been mandated for more than 1.2 million troops. So is civilian control of the military at peril with regard to the anthrax vaccine program? Clearly, the answer is no. The congressional reports and legal opinions attest to ongoing efforts that will ultimately reaffirm civilian control of this program. The oversight is not as expeditious as many who have lost their careers or health due to the vaccine mandate might have hoped, but the process continues. For example, legislation was recently introduced in Congress to make the anthrax vaccine program voluntary and order the correction of records for troops previously punished over their concerns about the vaccine. Exoneration for those fined, dishonorably discharged or even jailed should be an academic exercise based on documented historic violations of law. Ultimately, the military itself should hold accountable the officers who misled our civilian authorities and armed forces about the anthrax vaccine mandate  enforced at the expense of thousands of punished and ill service members. Retired Lt. Col. Russell Dingle and Maj. Thomas Rempfer were members of a 1998 Connecticut Air National Guard investigative team that helped identify legal and ethical issues regarding the anthrax vaccine. Their views do not represent official Defense Department policy.
   Smallpox vaccine linked to heart inflammation
by Associated Press - Associated Press - Monday November 15, 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. will add black-box warnings linking its smallpox vaccine to heart inflammation, the government announced Friday. Healthy adults given Dryvax vaccine suffered acute myopericarditis -- inflammation of the heart and its surrounding sac -- says the warning approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Wyeth spokesman Doug Petkus said the company no longer manufactures or markets the smallpox vaccine. The vaccine had remained in storage since the 1980s. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the government asked Wyeth to test the smallpox vaccine to ensure it was potent. The black-box warnings apply to those vaccines repackaged by Wyeth for immediate use by firefighters, medical personnel and other first responders. The company had provided nearly 15 million doses for government use, enough to vaccinate up to 8 million people. Government health agencies vaccinated 36,217 civilians. The military has inoculated nearly 680,000 personnel since December 2002. Roughly 13 million smallpox vaccine doses remain in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's stockpile. Because of life-threatening complications associated with existing smallpox vaccines, the government has sought safer new-generation smallpox vaccines to prepare for another terror attack. In a recent clinical trial comparing Dryvax to an investigational smallpox vaccine, eight confirmed or suspected cases of myopericarditis were detected among 1,162 patients. That means people had a 1 in 145 chance of developing the heart condition after vaccination with Dryvax. The conclusion followed concerns raised during a 2002-03 Department of Defense vaccination program. Of 540,824 military personnel who received Dryvax, 67 developed myopericarditis -- or 1.2 per 10,000 vaccinations. The heart problems developed quickly, in three to 25 days. Among vaccinated civilians, 21 cases of myopericarditis were reported as of May 9, 2003, according to the FDA. Col. John Grabenstein, deputy director for military vaccine at the Army Surgeon General's Office, said the Department of Defense has warned about the heart problem since April 2003. "This is not a new finding. This is paperwork catching up with an old finding," Grabenstein said. While the heart condition is alarming -- sending otherwise healthy people to the emergency room with chest pains mistaken for heart attacks -- he said it remains uncommon. People stricken with the heart ailment get better, according to follow-up blood tests, heart exams and exercise stress tests. "Their recovery is very good," he said. This summer, tens of thousands of troops stationed in the Pacific and the Middle East received mandatory anthrax and smallpox vaccines to protect against biological warfare. In response to a federal judge's order in late October, the Pentagon halted the mandatory anthrax vaccinations for the military -- six shots spaced over 18 months. Mandatory smallpox vaccinations, not yet challenged in the courts, continue for personnel headed to Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea. In addition, a team of smallpox-vaccinated staffers are assigned to nearly 100 military hospitals and large clinics around the world, Grabenstein said.
   BioShield: The $5.6 billion few companies vie for
by Journal Staff - Boston Business Journal - Monday November 15, 2004
Local vaccine companies shunning a $5.6 billion federal program set up to fund bioterrorism antidotes and drugs blame the lack of incentives for early-stage vaccine-development companies and concerns about vulnerability to lawsuits. Signed into law in July, the Project BioShield Act of 2004 last week funded its first contract with an $877.5 million deal with Brisbane, Calif.-based VaxGen Inc. (Pink Sheets: VXGN) to buy 75 million doses of a new anthrax vaccine. Despite that deal, experts and local companies such as Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc. of Needham and Coley Pharmaceutical Group of Wellesley, say the funding mechanism is flawed and unsuitable for early-stage companies. Liability to lawsuits, the lack of a guaranteed market for companies considering product development and cumbersome regulations are hampering the law's effectiveness, critics say. Avant (Nasdaq: AVAN) secured a $3 million line item in the defense appropriations bill in fiscal 2004, which ended on Sept. 30, and $2.8 million in fiscal 2005, said President and CEO Una Ryan. One of its key biodefense projects is a single-dose oral vaccine for anthrax and plague. It has won National Institutes of Health and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) money for past project. Ryan, who believes BioShield is "part of the future" for companies such as Avant, said many of the smaller companies are "simply not ready for BioShield." She said the law changed substantially between proposal and passage, and the big disappointments are the lack of committed funds once a company decides to develop a drug and indemnification from lawsuits. "Biotechnology companies are prepared to take some risk, but you can't even calculate your risk if you don't know if there's a purchase at the end of the day," Ryan said. BioShield is an "end-stage acquisition process," and companies can use NIH and SBIR funding to help develop products, said Dr. Philip Russell, a senior adviser in the office of research and development coordination at the U.S. Departm ent of Health and Human Services. "It was intended to put a big pot of money upfront so we could guarantee a purchase of products. For the (VaxGen) anthrax vaccine, it worked like a charm," Russell said. Although the government "does a great job funding basic science" through various grant programs, companies need more help with transitioning products to the market, explained Piper Rudnick LLP partner Jim Pickup, who practices in the law firm's federal affairs and legislative practice group in Washington, D.C. Companies at the early stage of biodefense antidote research often have multiple possibilities and need incentives to develop a bioterrorism drug, Pickup said. "If you invest a whole lot of resources to the point where you're already starting Phase III trials, you can compete for these contracts," Pickup said. "It's a huge upfront investment before they have any thought of getting a contract." BioShield is based on the assumption that the availability of funding will entice companies to "drop what they're doing and go out and develop these products," said Arthur Krieg, Coley's senior vice president for research and development. Coley is working on therapies for cancer, infectious diseases, asthma and allergies. "Most companies are not going to do that because it doesn't make financial sense," Krieg said. "There are too many uncertainties in what the market is going to be for those products." Lack of protection from lawsuits also deters company involvement in BioShield, said Avant's Ryan. "Even the threat of a lawsuit frightens investors away," Ryan said. HHS' Russell acknowledged that liability is a risk for companies. "Unfortunately, there isn't any blanket addressing of indemnity upfront; it's on a case by case basis," Russell said. Biotechnology executives and legislators who trumpeted versions different from the BioShield bill that eventually became law this year are already gearing up for a BioShield II. In a joint hearing of the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and Judiciary committees last month, U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., said that he and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, would co-sponsor a BioShield II bill during the next legislative session.
   C-5 pilot refused shots, became target Cleared in other case, he was still punished
by Lee Williams - The News Journal - Sunday November 14, 2004
DOVER -- When a federal judge recently halted the military's mandatory anthrax vaccine program, Air Force Reserve Capt. Paul Staquet assumed his troubles had ended.

He was wrong.

The day the judge ruled, Staquet, a 33-year-old C-5 Galaxy pilot assigned to Dover Air Force Base, received a letter in the mail from his commanding officer. "I have initiated administrative separation actions against you," the letter stated.

In other words, Staquet's military career is over, and no federal judge or a ruling that the anthrax vaccine program be suspended will exonerate any military personnel in trouble for resisting the Defense Department's controversial vaccination program. Even at Dover, where tainted vaccine has heightened fears that the shots attack human immune systems.

Staquet is facing a bad-conduct discharge at a later date for refusing to submit to all six anthrax vaccinations - a sanction likely to destroy his military career and damage his future civilian career.

Staquet says he was targeted by his superiors the instant he refused the vaccine.

"It's punitive," Staquet said. "It's all because of the anthrax vaccinations. I know the science. The shot is not safe."

Staquet accused Dover Air Force Reserve officials of making an example of him to prevent others from refusing what some are calling the military's biological loyalty oath.

The bad-conduct discharge is the latest in a long list of official sanctions - all issued after he refused the vaccine.

Staquet was investigated but cleared of padding travel expenses by Air Force investigators who secretly attempted to interrogate his wife and parents.

Months later, even though all charges were dropped, he was still disciplined by a commander who Staquet says had threatened him for refusing the vaccine.

His complaints to the air base's inspector general about the treatment produced no response.

During the investigation, Staquet was grounded and stripped of his pilot's wings - a rare sanction for a nonflying offense, experts say.

He eventually returned to flight status and his pilot credentials were restored, but the black mark on his flight record is permanent, and could bar him from future flying jobs.

His annual evaluation included two negative marks out of six, he said, and ensured he would never be promoted to major.

Through his ordeal, Staquet received a half dozen letters of reprimand - career killers that led to the creation of an unfavorable information file, known as a UIF.

For an Air Force officer, a UIF is the start of a paper trail that can lead to a discharge. It also alerts subsequent commanders to the "problems" encountered by past commanders, restigmatizing the officer for allegations even if proved to be unfounded.

Now, Staquet's fate will be decided by the same officers who launched the investigation, issued the reprimands, took his wings and started the paper trail toward the discharge.

None of these officials, at Dover or Scott Air Force Base in Illinois - Dover's higher headquarters - agreed to be interviewed for this article.

The punitive nature of the sanctions sounds familiar to former Air Force Maj. Sonnie Bates.

When Bates refused the anthrax vaccine at Dover in 1999 and was threatened with a court martial, his case drew national attention.

"I was the first to be threatened with five years in prison, at a rank high enough to get '60 Minutes' attention," Bates said. "That interview turned the table. The military will tell you they'll throw you in prison for five years, but when the public becomes aware, they'll back down."

Bates accepted a plea bargain, left the Air Force after 14 years and received a general discharge.

"I wouldn't let them intimidate me. In the end, I knew the worse they were to me, the better it would be to correct the problem," said Bates, who lives in New Hampshire. "I came to terms with the fact I could end up in Leavenworth [military prison in Kansas]. I knew they'd eventually fall harder."

Change in status

Staquet grew up in Delaware County, Pa., has been married for five years, and has always loved to fly.

He was commissioned in November 1998, and received his initial flight training at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.

Staquet has flown missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, as well as missions in the Middle East.

When he is not flying Air Force Reserve missions, or serving on active duty, he pilots an executive jet for an Ohio-based aviation firm.

In February 2003, his Air Force Reserve unit was activated for one year to support the war in Iraq.

One month later, the anthrax vaccination series became mandatory for all Air Force personnel on "mobility orders," those forces subject to deployment to the Middle East.

"I wanted more time to research it," Staquet said.

He had spoken to Lt. Col. Jay Lacklen, a senior pilot in his squadron who blames his advanced arthritis and other ailments on the anthrax vaccine.

Lacklen was at Dover in 1999, when Col. Felix Grieder halted the vaccination program at the base after concerns over the safety of the vaccine were first raised. Grieder's suspension of the program, some military officers say, brought an end to his military career, and thrust Dover into the national spotlight.

"The last true act of leadership at Dover Air Force Base was when Col. Grieder called the timeout on the anthrax shot," Lacklen said. "Now we have commanders who are merely policemen and rule enforcers who mistake stringent punishment for strong leadership."

After years of investigation, Grieder concluded that his troops were the subjects of illegal experiments using tainted vaccine.

Dover personnel received anthrax vaccine that contained squalene, a substance that occurs naturally in the human body but can be harmful when injected with a vaccine and is not approved for use in humans.

Testing by the Food and Drug Administration detected squalene in varying amounts in the vaccine administered at Dover.

The substance was detected in all the vaccine sent to Dover, but not in vaccine sent to other military installations.

Subsequent batches of the vaccine sent to Dover by the Defense Department contained increasing levels of squalene.

At the time, the military was seeking a patent for using squalene to make the vaccine more potent.

Knowing this, Staquet avoided the shot for a while.

But in March 2003, he began a mission bound for Europe with a scheduled stopover in Charleston, S.C.

In Charleston, he came down with the flu, saw a flight surgeon and was grounded for three days.

Meanwhile, at Dover, Lacklen delivered a letter to squadron commander Lt. Col. Edward Poling, stating he refused to take the vaccine because it contained squalene.

Once Poling discovered there were others who had not received their vaccinations, he called Staquet and ordered him to take the shot in Charleston.

Instead, Staquet faxed a letter of refusal - an exact copy of the letter Lacklen had given to Poling with only the signature block changed.

"Poling got irate," Staquet said. "Another officer told me Poling was going to string me up."

Instead of allowing the C-5 and its crew to continue to Europe, and sending Staquet back to Dover on a smaller aircraft, or even a bus, Poling ordered the four-engine behemoth to return to Dover.

When the flight arrived, technicians noticed a mechanical defect that grounded the plane for two days, further delaying its European mission.

"It was mission-disruptive," Staquet said.

"Just the gas alone, for the additional takeoffs, cost thousands of taxpayer dollars," Lacklen said.

Once on the ground in Dover, Staquet was marched to the medical clinic, where he was personally briefed on the anthrax vaccination program by an Air Force doctor.

"I brought up squalene and how I thought it was unsafe. He actually agreed with me, but it didn't matter," Staquet said.

After the medical briefing, Staquet was ordered to contact the Area Defense Counsel - Air Force defense attorneys - though he had not been charged with a crime.

The lawyer told him he would be court-martialed for refusing the anthrax shot, and military prosecutors could play a role in determining what evidence would be admissible.

Once Staquet had been briefed by a physician and consulted an attorney, Poling gave him a direct order to take the shot. Because he was on active duty, not Reserve status, Staquet was subject to more stringent discipline.

He was forced to choose between his health and his career.

"When you're on [active duty] orders, you don't have much of a choice," Staquet said. "I talked to my wife. It was overwhelmingly stressful. I didn't want a court-martial, so I took it."

Double standard

Lacklen was sent to Spain after he refused the shot. At that time, anthrax vaccinations were not required for personnel sent to Spain.

"They had let me slide to avoid the stink of frying a big fish, but they couldn't let Staquet slide or many would have refused the shot, so they immediately threatened him with a court martial," Lacklen said. "He did put them on the record as having a double standard, however. I will always appreciate his courage to take that step and make them show their hand."

Problems didn't end for Staquet once he agreed to take the first shot of the six-shot series.

When Staquet first received orders to report to active duty, the orders listed his parents' home in Philadelphia, rather than the house he and his wife were renting in Dover. The error could have entitled him to claim more money in his travel vouchers than he was due because the mileage was greater. He addressed the issue with his squadron's first sergeant and reserve chief pilot, who took care of the problem.

Two days after he took his first anthrax shot, Staquet was ordered to report to Poling's office.

"They told me I was under investigation for fraud, for the travel voucher thing," he said.

After more than nine months, the investigation ended. It revealed Staquet had been the victim of a computer error.

"The final result was a big slap in their face," he said.

Days after Staquet was officially cleared of the fraud charges by the exhaustive investigation, Poling issued him a letter of reprimand - for the fraud charges.

"I will not tolerate such a blatantly fraudulent act," Poling wrote in the letter. "This is especially egregious as you are an officer. I expect better judgment and behavior from my officers."

Staquet filed a complaint with the base's inspector general, supposedly a neutral investigative arm, hoping it would remove the reprimand from his file.

The inspector general took no action.

Bates has seen several cases where an anthrax resister has been investigated for a crime for which that person was later cleared. "If you want to make someone look bad, you investigate them, even if they aren't guilty of anything," Bates said. "It's a smear campaign."

In March, when Staquet received his annual officer's evaluation, he was slammed a third time for the same travel allegations that had been officially dropped. The evaluation will bar him from any chance of promotion, Lacklen says.

When Poling was replaced as squadron commander by Lt. Col. Joseph Fagan, Staquet went to Fagan hoping he would remove the documents from his file.

Fagan refused.

"There was a breakdown of the system," Staquet said. "They were creating a paper trail on me."

In the meantime, Lacklen, Staquet and others sent samples of their blood to be tested for squalene. Within months, Staquet, who had then taken four shots, was told he tested positive for the substance. Therefore, when it became time to take his fifth shot, he refused.

His squadron's reserve chief pilot told Staquet he was not eligible to attend reserve meetings unless he took the shots.

Staquet stopped showing up.

His commanders backtracked.

"They told me I had misinterpreted what they had said," Staquet recalled. "They told me I needed to come in for recounseling on the vaccination program. I told them I didn't need recounseling about anthrax. There was nothing new."

In September, Fagan ordered Staquet to report to his office, ostensibly to discuss a training issue.

When he arrived, Fagan gave him two letters of reprimand; for missing training and not taking the shot.

"The squadron insisted he must take his next shot when he next performed duty, so he didn't perform any duty," Lacklen said. "Then, they brought him in to the squadron under false pretenses to administer two letters of reprimand that would provide the paper trail to administratively discharge him."

Staquet refused to return to the unit.

His commander put letters of reprimand in the mail.

Late last month, Staquet thought his problems were over.

On Oct. 27, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., ordered the Pentagon to halt the mandatory anthrax vaccination program.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued the order, calling the program "illegal." Sullivan did not rule on whether the vaccine was dangerous, but he chided federal officials for not accepting enough public input before they declared the vaccine safe.

As a result, the entire program became voluntary. Staquet assumed he could attend reserve duty without fear of the shot.

But a letter - dated Oct. 27 - from Fagan informed Staquet he was no longer eligible to attend reserve duty, and that he was about to be forcibly discharged.

"The letter was written on the very day of Judge Sullivan's decision," he said. "It's clearly punitive."

Non-response

Neither Poling nor Fagan returned calls or e-mails for comment.

"Air Force commanders forget they work for the American people, the American people do not work for them. If the public wants an explanation of the anthrax vaccination program, it is every commander's duty to provide that explanation," Lacklen said. "So far, not one commander, all the way to the four-star, has done his duty in this regard."

Grieder agrees.

"The right thing to do is to demand accountability for those that were involved in this illegal experiment and restitution for those that have been affected," Grieder said. "Those with health issues should be encouraged to step forward - not pressured into remaining silent."

"It's unfortunate that our commanders have reduced themselves to leading with fear and pressure instead of leading by example," Staquet said.
   Scientific Progress in Understanding Gulf War Veterans illnesses: commentary follows
Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses - Saturday November 13, 2004
PAGE 6-7 (pdf page 15-16 of 152)

At this time, the Committee recommends that VA:

"Work with federal agencies (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense) involved in conducting vaccine trials that include administration of anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) to ensure that these trials include follow-up assessments of study subjects a minimum of five years after inoculation. Such studies should utilize methods and instruments capable of capturing chronic symptoms and cognitive difficulties similar to those experienced by Gulf War veterans."

PAGE 69 (pdf page 78 of 152)

"A number of potential problems with the anthrax vaccine have been suggested, including problems with quality control during the manufacturing process,335,339 changes in the manufacturing process that may have resulted in increased levels of active antigen,341 and the use of unapproved adjuvants to bolster the immunological reactivity of the vaccines.23,340 Reports have indicated that the anthrax vaccine administered during the Gulf War, commonly referred to as AVA (anthrax vaccine adsorbed) is associated with a relatively high rate of acute adverse reactions,342 and have pointed out that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether the AVA vaccine formulation may be associated with long-term health sequelae.134,339"

PAGE 70-71 (pdf page 79-80 of 152)

"Work with federal agencies (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense) involved in conducting vaccine trials that include administration of anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) to ensure that these trials include follow-up assessments of study subjects a minimum of five years after inoculation. Such studies should utilize methods and instruments capable of capturing chronic symptoms and cognitive difficulties similar to those experienced by Gulf War veterans."

PAGE 71 (pdf page 80 of 152)

"Conduct a retrospective cohort study that compares chronic symptoms and diagnosed conditions experienced by veterans who received AVA as part of the militarys mandatory anthrax vaccination program to those of a comparable group of veterans who did not receive this vaccine."


Commentary:
These findings and recommendations directly refute those of the March 2002 National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on anthrax vaccine. This essentially nullifies DoD's and FDA's ability to use the IOM report as a credible source in future legal proceedings.
   Study reverses course on Gulf War illnesses
WASHINGTON (AP) - Saturday November 13, 2004
Panel recommends spending $60 million on more studies
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Parting company with the findings of a Clinton administration panel on Gulf War illnesses, a new study concludes more must be learned about the effects of toxic substances on those who fought there.

The Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illness urges that up to $60 million be spent over the next four years to monitor and research the health of Gulf War veterans and their children.

In so doing, the panel distanced itself from the earlier body that attributed a series of mysterious ailments to stress under conditions of warfare. Scientists are coming close to finding a treatment, the panel said in its report, but it also said researchers need substantially more government financial assistance.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report in advance of its expected release Friday by Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi.

The review committee that Principi formed concluded that "the goal of understanding and treating Gulf War veterans' illnesses is within reach" because of recent research breakthroughs.

But federal research is falling short in large part because studies have not asked important questions and continue to focus on stress to explain the veterans' problems.

"Additional progress in addressing Gulf War veterans' illnesses is not likely to come from a haphazard mix of studies," the panel said.

Department officials declined comment before the review was made public.

Hundreds of thousands of veterans of the 1991 Gulf War have experienced undiagnosed illnesses they believe are linked to the war, according to Congress' auditing arm. These ailments include chronic fatigue, loss of muscle control, diarrhea, migraines, dizziness, memory problems and loss of balance.

Principi's panel found that more recent studies suggest the veterans' illnesses are neurological and apparently are linked to exposure to neurotoxins such as the nerve gas sarin, the anti-nerve gas drug pyridostigmine bromide and pesticides that affect the nervous system.

"Research studies conducted since the war have consistently indicated that psychiatric illness, combat experience or other deployment-related stressors do not explain Gulf War veterans illnesses in the large majority of ill veterans," the review committee said.

The Pentagon has estimated that about 100,000 soldiers were exposed to nerve gas when Iraqi weapons caches were destroyed, although congressional auditors have questioned the Defense Department's estimates. The Pentagon also has said some soldiers may have been overexposed to pesticides.

The committee said the VA should allocate $15 million in each of the next four years for a Gulf War illness research program.

Principi had announced in 2002 that $20 million would be available for research this year. But during the summer, the panel found that little of that had been spent and some of what was went to studies investigating stress-related causes.

Recent research "makes it a very reasonable possibility that this Gulf War illness is not attributable simply to stress of troops that were deployed," said Paul Greengard, who won the Nobel Prize for work discovering the brain mechanisms involved in Parkinson's disease, a nerve disorder.

Greengard is the founder of Intracellular Therapies, which looks for treatments for central nervous system disorders. He said the company recently began investigating how nerve agents damage the brain.

Greengard has done preliminary work funded by the Army that would apply the research methods he used to investigate Parkinson's to study Gulf War illnesses.

"I think any reasonable person can no longer exclude the possibility that our military personnel deployed in Gulf War I were exposed to toxic chemicals that have produced this very high incidence of illnesses," Greengard said.
   Military personnel punished for refusing anthrax vaccine seek commentary follows
by Chris Strohm - Govexec.com - Friday November 12, 2004
Military personnel who were punished for refusing to take anthrax vaccine want their records cleared of wrongdoing after a federal judge ruled the vaccine is not properly licensed for its intended use, their lawyers said Thursday. In response to a lawsuit filed by six anonymous plaintiffs, a federal judge ruled Oct. 27 that the Defense Department must stop administering its anthrax vaccine to service members. The six plaintiffs are either on active duty or are National Guard members or civilian Defense contract employees. John Michels, a partner in the Chicago law firm of McGuireWoods and one of two lawyers who represented the plaintiffs, said those who were removed from duty or punished for refusing anthrax vaccine shots should be reinstated or compensated for time lost. He estimated that as many as 600 military personnel have been discharged since 1998 either as a result of administrative action or court martial for refusing the anthrax vaccine. "The soldiers that DoD discharged for refusing to take the shots are entitled to back pay and allowances from the date they were removed from paid status to the point where DoD properly decides what to do with them," Michels said. "In fairness to the hundreds of service members who were wrongfully separated from active duty, DoD should begin processing each one for compensation and reinstatement, particularly if it wants to avoid congressional involvement." Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Federal Drug Administration did not follow proper procedures or allow for sufficient public comment when it determined last December that the anthrax vaccine was safe and effective against inhaled anthrax. Sullivan said the vaccine could not be administered unless service members signed a consent form or the Pentagon got a presidential waiver. It is not clear if the government will appeal the ruling. The Pentagon and Justice Department did not return telephone calls Thursday seeking comment. Michels said affected personnel are preparing to petition the Pentagon to have their official records cleared of wrongdoing. Each service has a Board for Correction of Military Records, which makes recommendations to the secretary of each service to correct the military record of a service member or veteran. If the boards do not correct the records, Michels said, another lawsuit could be filed. "We'll just have to see how this plays out," he said. In addition to service members who were discharged, the attorneys said there are hundreds of others who voluntarily left active duty or the reserve to avoid the vaccine, and others who developed illnesses immediately after receiving the shots. Michels said he and Mark Zaid, managing partner of Krieger & Zaid in Washington, have received hundreds of e-mails since the Oct. 27 ruling from people who claim to have fallen ill after taking the vaccine.


Commentary:
The soldiers who were punished and are challenging the order are not seeking retribution; they are seeking justice - and there is a big difference between the two.
   UAB gets $12M contract for anthrax vaccine study
by Birmingham Business Journal - Birmingham Business Journal - Thursday November 11, 2004
LATEST NEWS 11:32 AM CST Thursday UAB gets $12M contract for anthrax vaccine study The University of Alabama at Birmingham has received a five-year, $12 million contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to study genetic factors that influence how well individuals respond to the anthrax vaccine. "This research will provide valuable information about individual differences in immune response and in adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccine," said Dr. Richard Kaslow, professor of epidemiology in UAB's School of Public Health. The national anthrax vaccine trial, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is aimed at determining whether the vaccine is equally safe and effective when injected into muscle rather than under the skin. It also examines an altered dosage schedule. UAB is one of six medical institutions across the country contributing to the trial.
   Military Vaccine Action Committee temporarily down this weekend
Military Vaccine Action Committee - Thursday October 21, 2004
The Military Vaccine Action Committee, L.L.C., a PAC concerned with changing the laws regarding the military's mandatory bioterrorism vaccines, will be offline briefly this weekend, Oct. 23-24, while new outreach software is incorporated into the site. MVAC-PAC expects the site to be up and operating again on Monday, Oct. 25th. If you need information about the PAC and getting involved, please write hkathryn7@qwest.net.
   Monkey Shortage Threatens Germwar Vaccine Testing, Some Researchers Warn
by Zack Phillips - CQ.com - Wednesday October 13, 2004
The effort to develop countermeasures to biological terrorism, many scientists say, faces a looming problem on the horizon: a critical shortage of monkeys needed for testing.

Three years after the anthrax attacks that killed five people and injured dozens of others, many involved in biodefense research say the country does not have a large enough supply of non-human primates for the kind of massive research effort that would be needed in the aftermath of another bioterrorist attack.
   Experts Call for New Approach to Biodefense
by Joe Fiorill - Global Security Newswire - Tuesday October 12, 2004
WASHINGTON - Top experts see important gaps in U.S. President George W. Bush 's largest biological-defense initiative and believe a fundamentally different approach is needed, according to a study released today (see GSN, Oct. 4). Project Bioshield does not address the threat of an attack using biologically engineered pathogens, according to 30 biological-defense leaders in the government, the drug industry and the academic world who were interviewed for the study by University of Pittsburgh and Sarnoff Corp. researchers. Instead of seeking to spur development of specific drugs to fight existing agents, the experts said, Washington should invest massively in an effort to speed the processes by which new drugs are developed. "The experts recommend that government, academia and private enterprise unite to create a new system to develop and approve antidotes quickly and affordably," the authors wrote. "This is a major challenge
   HHS Awards $232 Million in Biodefense Contracts for Vaccine Development, USA
Medical News Today - Thursday October 07, 2004
HHS Secretary Tommy G Thompson today announced four new contracts totaling more than $232 million to fund development of new vaccines against three potential agents of bioterrorism: smallpox, plague and tularemia. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will administer the contracts.
   U.S. Military Scrambles to Bring Back Abandoned Vaccine
by Michael J. Berens - Seattle Times - Sunday October 03, 2004
SEATTLE - More than three decades ago, the Pentagon created two pills to ward off a respiratory virus infecting boot-camp recruits. But defense officials abandoned the program in 1996 as too expensive.

Now recruits are dying, thousands are falling ill and the military is desperately racing to bring back a vaccine it once owned.

A top Pentagon official called it "a major screw-up," hobbling U.S. efforts to rapidly deploy troops abroad.

Adenovirus now infects up to 2,500 service members monthly -- one in 10 recruits -- in the nation's eight basic-training centers, an analysis of military health care records shows.
   Military Vaccine Action Committee temporarily down this weekend
Military Vaccine Action Committee - Saturday October 02, 2004
The Military Vaccine Action Committee, L.L.C., a PAC concerned with changing the laws regarding the military's mandatory bioterrorism vaccines, will be offline briefly this weekend, Oct. 23-24, while new outreach software is incorporated into the site. MVAC-PAC expects the site to be up and operating again on Monday, Oct. 25th. If you need information about the PAC and getting involved, please write hkathryn7@qwest.net.
   Military Vaccine Action Committee endorses HB 5166 to stop shots without consent
Military Vaccine Action Committee - www.mvacpac.org - Friday October 01, 2004
The newly formed Military Vaccine Action Committee, a non-connected PAC, strongly endorses Rep. Christopher Shay's HB 5166, a bill introduced yesterday in the House of Representatives to "prohibit the Department of Defense from requiring members of the Armed Forces to receive the anthrax and smallpox immunizations without their consent, to correct the records of service members previously punished for refusing to take these vaccines, and for other purposes."

Both the anthrax and smallpox vaccines are mandatory for members of the armed services being deployed to certain areas around the world. However, the anthrax vaccine has long been known to be highly reactive and dangerous, something the Army's own early research studies confirmed. The current FDA label on the vaccine admits that there can be up to a 35% systemic adverse reaction rate among those who take the vaccine; and a 2002 GAO report (Government Accounting Office, a government watch-dog agency) estimates the rate could be as high as 85%. Troops who have taken the anthrax vaccine report a wide variety of autoimmune and neurological system conditions, including grand mal seizures, vertigo, short-term memory loss, tumors and cysts, heart problems, constant migraine headaches, severe bone and joint pain, and severe hormone problems, as well as several types of autoimmune illnesses such as multiple sclerosis.

The smallpox vaccine, well-known for many years to have severe side-effects including heart problems, is not currently recommended for public (civilian) use due to its dangers, but is still forced upon the troops. Troops who refuse either of these vaccines are subject to court martial, a fine, time in a military prison, dishonorable discharge, and a felony conviction.

For more information on these vaccines, their symptoms, and their current use in the military, please visit the Military Vaccine Education Center at www.milvacs.org.

"We again thank Rep. Shays for stepping forward to lead this fight in Congress," says MVAC President Kathy Hubbell. "He has held numerous hearings on this issue and continued to fight for the constitutional rights of our troops and veterans when others would just as soon look the other way. When thousands upon thousands of America's finest men and women are willing to lay down their lives for the rest of us in this time of war, to have forced highly reactive, dangerous drugs on them, permanently ruining the health of so many, is abominable and must be stopped."

The Military Vaccine Action Committee can be reached at 406) 531-9355, or by writing to kathy@mvacpac.org or randi@mvacpac.org.
   Anthrax/Smallpox bill - introduced in US Congress commentary follows
Rep. Christopher Shays - Thursday September 30, 2004
Introduced today, Sept. 29, 2004 into 108TH CONGRESS 2D SESSION H. R.:
A Bill to prohibit the Department of Defense from requiring members of the Armed Forces to receive the anthrax and smallpox immunizations without their consent, to correct the records of servicemembers previously punished for refusing to take these vaccines, and for other purposes.


Commentary:
This bill was introduced and referred to committee. For more information, contact the office of Rep. Christopher Shays, or ask your Congressional delegaton for the details.
   Former soldiers slow to report
by Tom Squitieri, USA TODAY - USA Today - Monday September 27, 2004
WASHINGTON  Fewer than two-thirds of the former soldiers being reactivated for duty in Iraq and elsewhere have reported on time, prompting the Army to threaten some with punishment for desertion.

The former soldiers, part of what is known as the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), are being recalled to fill shortages in skills needed for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Of the 1,662 ready reservists ordered to report to Fort Jackson, S.C., by Sept. 22, only 1,038 had done so, the Army said Monday. About 500 of those who failed to report have requested exemptions on health or personal grounds.
   Army expands anthrax, smallpox vaccinations
by Leah Rubalcaba - Army News Service - Wednesday September 22, 2004
Anthrax vaccinations have resumed for Soldiers whose series of injections were interrupted during the anthrax vaccine shortages of 2000-2001.

The Army's immunization program has also expanded to include both anthrax and smallpox vaccinations for Soldiers assigned to 17 newly designated high-threat areas.

Active-duty Soldiers and members of the Army Reserve and Guard who stopped getting vaccinated in the middle of their six-shot anthrax series have been directed to resume their vaccination schedules, at the point where they left off, no later than Dec. 31. The directive specifies that these Soldiers are not to repeat or receive extra doses of the vaccine -- all earlier vaccinations count.

...The expansion adds Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to the 15 previously designated high threat areas in CENTCOM and EUCOM. Emergency-essential and equivalent civilian employees and mission-essential contractors assigned to these areas are also included in the expansion.

...The vaccination of adult military family members in Korea is voluntary. Vaccinations are also voluntary for most Army civilian employees and their families and non-essential contractor personnel assigned to the region.
   Pentagon not listing 17,000 war casualties
by Mark Benjamin - UPI - Wednesday September 15, 2004
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Nearly 17,000 service members medically evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan are absent from public Pentagon casualty reports, though they appear to fit the Pentagon's own definition of war casualties, according to military data reviewed by United Press International.
In addition to those evacuations, 32,684 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan now out of the military sought medical attention from the Department of Veterans Affairs by July 22, according to VA reports obtained by UPI. The number of those visits to VA doctors that were related to war is unknown.
The military has evacuated 16,765 individual service members from Iraq and Afghanistan for injuries and illnesses not directly related to combat, according to the U.S. Transportation Command, which is responsible for the medical evacuations. Most are from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
   Better vaccines are needed if vaccination is to be made compulsory
by Editorial - British Medical Journal - Tuesday September 14, 2004
Article originally published Sept. 4, 2004:
Taken at face value the use of vaccines to prevent the effects of serious infections caused by a terrorist attack appears a sensible policy. In 1997 the United States Department of Defense initiated the compulsory anthrax vaccine immunisation programme to immunise 2.4m military personnel.1 In December 2002 a similar programme, also involving civilians, was started against smallpox. In the first five and half months the Department of Defense administered 450 293 doses of smallpox vaccine.2 United States military personnel engaged in military operations in Iraq are immunised against smallpox and anthrax. As in any vaccination campaign, the incidence of the target disease and the characteristics of available vaccines are two key elements in decision making.

...The US effort to prevent the effects of infectious agents by vaccination seems to be based on an unproved threat and the availability of old vaccines for which relatively few controlled data exist. Whether a credible threat will provide a rationale for the use of current vaccines in future confrontations is not known. Intelligence or its interpretation by politicians has proved to be fallible. Attention has been paid to the surveillance of recipients of both types of vaccines, but such methods are no substitute for large, well designed field trials powered to detect both serological responses and rare but potentially important adverse events. Although field trials are expensive, logistically difficult to undertake, and unlikely to answer the issue of vaccine effectiveness during a terror attack, investment in evaluation and in better and safer vaccines surely must be a requisite to have credible compulsory immunisation programmes involving huge numbers of adults of reproductive age. Until such time, the choice of whether to be vaccinated or not should be left to the individual.
   U.S. Navy Widens Anthrax, Smallpox Vaccinations
Global Security Newswire - Thursday September 09, 2004
The U.S. Navy has initiated its plan to give anthrax and smallpox vaccinations to Navy and Marine personnel and some civilian workers working near locations including Iran, Afghanistan and the Korean Peninsula, Inside Defense reported yesterday (see GSN, June 30). A Sept. 1 order issued by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark begins implementing a Defense Department plan announced June 30. The order extends Central Command's anthrax and smallpox vaccination programs to every country within the command's responsibility...
   Vaccine-induced heart problems; Smallpox vaccinations and anthrax
Lexis-Nexis - Friday September 03, 2004
HEADLINE: Vaccine-induced heart problems; Smallpox vaccinations and anthrax vaccine BYLINE: Klotter, Jule BODY: Smallpox vaccinations have been linked to serious heart problems. Seventy-seven of over 615,000 (1.25%), according to the Pentagon, have developed myopericarditis, an inflammation of the sac around the heart. The Centers for Disease Control say that 21 of the 39,500 (5.3%) US medical professionals who received the vaccination also contracted the illness. When three people enrolled in clinical trials to test a new smallpox vaccine, developed by British biotechnology company Acambis, also developed myopericarditis, the company ended the trial........... [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The anthrax vaccine, which is also linked to heart attacks and strokes, is being implicated in unexplained blood clot disorders, according to a report by United Press International (6 October 2003). The label on the anthrax vaccine given to military personnel "warns of infrequent reports of heart attacks or strokes." Both can be caused by blood clots. Several soldiers and an NBC news correspondent have suffered--and in some cases died--because of unexplained blood clots. Widespread reports of adverse reactions to these two vaccines have encouraged soldiers to refuse them. Some 100 active-duty soldiers have been court-martialed, "according to congressional testimony and documents," and countless others have taken an other-than-honorable discharge rather than agree to be vaccinated. Soldiers who say that the anthrax vaccine has ruined their health have filed three federal lawsuits against the vaccine manufacturer, BioPort, Inc. of Lansing, Michigan. Benjamin, Mark. Mystery blood clots felling US troops. United Press International. (www.upi.com) 6 October 2003 Schneidmiller, Chris. Military Personnel Suffer More Heart troubles Than expected After Smallpox Vaccinations, Researcher Says. Global Security Newswire. 13 May 2004 www.nti.org Thompson, Marilyn W. Growing Doubts on Vaccine in Military. Washington Post. 27 March 2004 LOAD-DATE: September 02, 2004
   Review board grants few medical retirements commentary follows
by Karen Jowers - Army Times - Monday August 23, 2004
Staff Sgt. Dwayne Fitzpatrick has nothing but praise for the doctor who treated him at Fort Stewart, Ga., in the first steps of the Army's process to determine if he was fit to continue on duty. He has a different opinion about the bureaucracy. In May, a physical evaluation board notified Fitzpatrick, who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disorder that causes widespread muscle pain and fatigue, that it had decided to rate him 20 percent disabled. That is 10 percentage points shy of what is needed for medical retirement. (Later) After he discovered errors in the packet that was submitted, including the fact that most of the doctor's documentation was removed, Fitzpatrick appealed. He presented the new information, including the doctor's original information, to the board at the beginning of June. Fitzpatrick won the appeal, receiving a disability rating of 40 percent, and was medically retired on July 15. He now receives $1,234 a month. "We don't care about the amount of money," Fitzpatrick said. "We just want our medical care. I've met about 25 to 30 people, and only three of us have gotten 30 percent or more. The others are 10, 20, or zero percent. Six appealed their decisions and they were left unchanged." (Later) Robinson said anecdotal information indicates review boards are under evaluating service members' medical conditions by 10 to 20 percentage points. (Later) "When they're medically retired or take severance, it goes against the Defense Department budget," Robinson said. "It looks as if DoD may be saving money by not correctly evaluating these soldiers, and that's going to hurt them down the road."


Commentary:
Quote: "In the medical community, we take the time necessary to treat the soldier fully and bring the soldier to optimal health before forwarding Medical Evaluation Board results," he said. "The system is designed to give soldiers every opportunity to get well and return to duty." See SSGT Eddie Norman's story: http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-ARMYPAPER-289713.php
   FDA Plans Use of Unapproved Drugs in WMD Events
by Joe Fiorill - Global Security Newswire - Thursday August 19, 2004
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has begun preparing for the use of otherwise unapproved vaccines and treatments in the event of a WMD emergency. The agency is drafting guidelines on an emergency-use capability authorized in the Project Bioshield law signed a month ago by President George W. Bush, FDA Assistant Commissioner for Counterterrorism Margaret Glavin said last week (see GSN, July 21). "You can't anticipate every possible situation, so what we're trying to do is to lay out a thought process, rather than specific procedures and specific decision rules," Glavin said in an interview. The agency, which takes an average of 12 years to approve drugs for use in the United States, is developing the emergency-use guidelines in consultation with other bodies that would be involved in administering the unapproved drugs. The goal, Glavin said, is for the agencies to reach a "common understanding of what the boundaries are." The best-publicized component of Bioshield is the creation of a government-guaranteed market for otherwise unprofitable WMD countermeasures, which drug makers do not currently produce in quantities sufficient for a large attack. A separate provision of the new law allows the health and human services secretary to declare a one-year emergency, in the event of a WMD attack on the United States, during which drugs that lack FDA approval or are approved for other purposes may be used to combat biological or chemical agents or radiation. (Later) The usefulness of a new drug category is clear, Prior said yesterday in an interview. If an attack warranting an emergency-use authorization occurred tomorrow, he said, the current legal uncertainty could necessitate a presidential order accepting total government liability for damages. "That's not a good way to go for the government, to just take on unwarranted levels of indemnification, but they will do that in an emergency if there's no other recourse," Prior said.
   BioPort Announces IND Submission Accepted for Anthrax Immunity-Stimulating Molecule
Business Wire - Wednesday August 18, 2004
LANSING, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 18, 2004--BioPort Corporation today disclosed the recent acceptance of an Investigational New Drug (IND) submission by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) related to anthrax vaccine. The acceptance by the FDA of the IND submission will allow proof-of-concept studies in humans for an immune-stimulating molecule to be added to BioPort's FDA-licensed anthrax vaccine, BioThrax(TM). "We are striving to enhance what is already the best proven form of protection against weaponized anthrax and this is an early step, but a major step in that direction," said Bob Kramer, President of BioPort. The addition of the molecule, if demonstrated to be safe and effective, would potentially reduce the number of doses of BioThrax(TM) vaccine required to reach and maintain a protective level of immunity against B. anthracis infection. "This research has enormous implications for both pre- and post-exposure protection," Kramer said. "We have repeatedly emphasized that the so-called "next-generation" experimental anthrax vaccine is years away from possible FDA licensure. There is a significant role for BioThrax(TM) in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). This research serves to strengthen that already significant role."
   Pneumonia again hits troops in Middle East commentary follows
by Sandra Jontz - Stars and Stripes, European Edition - Thursday August 12, 2004
ARLINGTON, Va.-- Cases of pneumonia continue to plague troops deployed to the Middle East, and the number of severe cases, in which troops are put on ventilators, mirrors the number of this same time last year when the disease baffled health officials.

Eight servicemembers this year have contracted pneumonia and have shown a higher than usual number of a white blood cell type called eosinophils, one of the few facts that has linked the various cases, said Dr. (Col.) Bruno Petruccelli, director of the Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Directorate at the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine.

Of the eight, six had to be placed on ventilators, he said.

The body produced eosinophils to fight infection or when a person suffers from asthma, hay fever or other types of allergies.


Commentary:
Please see the link on the home page of this site for the article about the anthrax vaccine and pneumonitis.
   U.S. Military Personnel to Donate Plasma in CDC Anthrax Medication commentary follows
Global Security Newswire - Thursday August 12, 2004
U.S. military personnel who have received anthrax vaccinations are being invited to donate blood plasma to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for research and development of anthrax medication, the Defense Department announced yesterday (see GSN http://www.nti.org/d_newswire/issues/2004/8/6/391b0c0d-95bd-4109-bc44-7ba1553f03b0.html, Aug. 6). Only individuals who have received four or more doses of anthrax vaccine may donate plasma for the project. Most donations would occur 10 to 21 days after vaccination. The Department of Health and Human Services requested military assistance because most people vaccinated against anthrax in the United States are military personnel.


Commentary:
I wonder where all the veterinarians that were routinely vaccinated went? http://www.dallasnw.quik.com/cyberella/Anthrax/V_survey.html
   Experts Say Civilian Smallpox Shots Not Needed commentary follows
by Marina Malenic - Global Security Newswire - Monday August 09, 2004
WASHINGTON - Two former Bush administration advisers are no longer urging front-line U.S. health care workers to volunteer for smallpox vaccinations, even though they see no reduction in the threat from smallpox as a potential biological weapon (see GSN, July 14). It is the first time officials connected to the Bush adminstration have publicly said that no further immunizations are necessary. "We don't need to vaccinate the first-responders," Donald Henderson, a former senior Health and Human Services Department adviser, told Time magazine last month. (Later) Two years ago, the Bush administration announced a smallpox vaccination program, with a target of inoculating 500,000 military personnel and 500,000 civilian health workers. The military program succeeded in meeting its goal and even surpassed it - more than 625,000 service members have received the vaccine - and the U.S. Defense Department last month expanded the effort to include all personnel deployed by U.S. Central Command and, for the first time, select units within U.S. Pacific Command (see GSN, June 30). However, the civilian program never got off the ground due to concerns about the vaccine's side effects, according to Jerome Hauer, a former Health and Human Services acting assistant secretary and director of the Response to Emergencies and Disasters Institute at George Washington University. While the administration encouraged millions of first responders and other medical professionals to volunteer for vaccinations (White House press release, Dec. 13, 2002), in the end fewer than 40,000 received the inoculation. "I don't know that there has been a huge policy reversal rather than that it just fell apart," Hauer told Global Security Newswire last week.


Commentary:
The number of recipients in military vs. civilian is not surprising considering civilians have say over their basic human rights, and military personnel do not.
   Few injured, ill troops get disability pay they sought
by Larry Margasak - Associated Press - Tuesday August 03, 2004
Story initially ran Aug. 2, 2004:
WASHINGTON (AP) Nearly one-third of the National Guard and Reserve troops returning from war with illnesses or injuries are forced to wait more than four months to learn whether they'll be compensated under the military's disability system.

That's only one problem in a compensation system that can be as unforgiving as the battlefield. Fewer than one in 10 applicants receives the long-term disability payments they request.
   Soldier seeks answers in medical separation
by Deborah Funk - Air Force Times - Monday August 02, 2004
The walls are stripped bare, the furniture, pictures and awards are packed in storage, and the wheelbarrow and baskets overflowing with flowers that brightened the front yard have been given to neighbors. All that's left for Army Staff Sgt. Eddie Norman to do is go to the finance office, turn in his military ID card and map the route from Fort Meade, Md., to San Antonio. There, he'll go to the Department of Veterans Affairs for health care and rehabilitation. Where his wife and three children will receive care in Texas is not yet known. After nearly 15 years of service, Norman is being medically separated, not retired, from the Army for debilitating muscle and joint pain, stiffness and weakness that started after his anthrax vaccinations. "They're supposed to take care of me. They are accountable for what's happened to me," said Norman, 38. "They're not being accountable. They're not holding good leadership." Norman keeps folders labeled "VA," "SSI" and others in a brown casual briefcase. His stack of medical records includes his medical evaluation board results and 10 diagnoses. Three of those conditions "musculoskeletal pain, sleep apnea and clinical depression" prevent him from meeting military medical-retention standards, according to the medical documents. But the Physical Evaluation Board, part of the Army's personnel system, said only the musculoskeletal pain made him unfit for service and rated him 20 percent disabled for that condition. Norman needed a 30 percent disability rating to be medically retired, which would preserve his medical care and on-post shopping benefits.
   OHSU to study vaccination methods for those most susceptible to bioterrorist attack
Medical News Today - Monday August 02, 2004
Note: Story originally ran July 15, 2004:
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have been awarded a $10 million program grant to investigate methods for vaccinating those most susceptible to biological attacks or natural diseases.

The five-year study, led by investigators at the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, will investigate vaccination methods to improve disease protection for seniors and infants, groups that, on-average, have weaker immune systems than the rest of society. Funding is provided by the National Institute on Aging, a component of the National Institutes of Health.
   In a Shift, Bush Moves to Block Medical Suits
by Robert Pear - New York Times - Sunday July 25, 2004
WASHINGTON , July 24 - The Bush administration has been going to court to block lawsuits by consumers who say they have been injured by prescription drugs and medical devices.

The administration contends that consumers cannot recover damages for such injuries if the products have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In court papers, the Justice Department acknowledges that this position reflects a "change in governmental policy," and it has persuaded some judges to accept its arguments, most recently scoring a victory in the federal appeals court in Philadelphia .
   President signs vaccine legislation commentary follows
Associated Press - Wednesday July 21, 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush on Wednesday signed a bill to develop and stockpile vaccines and other antidotes to biological and chemical weapons. The legislation provides the drug industry with incentives to research and develop bioterrorism countermeasures, speeds up the approval process of antidotes and, in an emergency, allows the government to distribute certain treatments before the Food and Drug Administration has approved them.

...U.S. officials are hoping that Project BioShield, which Bush signed into law, will yield enough new-generation anthrax vaccine to dose 25 million people. Federal health officials also hope that the $5.6 billion program will provide antidotes for botulism and anthrax, a safer smallpox vaccine and a long-awaited children's version of an anti-radiation pill.

Note: italics and bold added by web site editor


Commentary:
Our question is: Who gets to decide if there is an emergency?
   HINCHEY: FDA'S CHIEF COUNSEL SERVES INDUSTRY, NOT PUBLIC commentary follows
by Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey, NY - Press Release - Friday July 16, 2004
WASHINGTON - U.S. Representative Maurice Hinchey (NY-22) today held a press conference to reveal information he has uncovered about actions taken by Daniel Troy, Chief Counsel of the Food and Drug Administration. Taking the counsel's office in a wholly unprecedented direction, Troy has repeatedly interceded in civil suits on behalf of drug and medical device manufacturers that were accused of harming patients who had used their products. Hinchey provided evidence that Troy worked in cooperation with the manufacturers in taking these actions, that he ignored serious conflicts of interests, and that the FDA sought to mislead Hinchey in his efforts to investigate the matter.
"The mission of the Food and Drug Administration is to ensure that the public is protected from unsafe food, drugs and other medical products," said Hinchey. "Daniel Troy is instead making it the agency's mission to protect the drug companies from being held accountable when their products do serious harm..."


Commentary:
Italics and bold added by web site editor.

For full information, contact:
Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey
Contact: Kevin O'Connell
U.S. House of Representatives
Phone: 202-225-6335
2431 Rayburn House Office Building
Mobile: 202-225-0817
Washington, D.C. 20515
E-mail: kevin.o'connell@mail.house.gov
   Report on the prewar intelligence assessments commentary follows
MSNBC News - Friday July 09, 2004
(U) The statement in the key judgments of the NIE that "Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons" overstated both what was known and what intelligence analysts judged about Iraq's chemical and biological weapons holdings. The intelligence reporting did support the conclusion that chemical and biological weapons were within Iraq's technological capability, that Iraq was trying to procure dual-use materials that could have been used to produce these weapons, and that uncertainties existed about whether Iraq had fully destroyed its pre-Gulf War stocks of weapons and precursors. Iraq's efforts to deceive and evade United Nations weapons inspectors and its inability or unwillingness to fully account for pre-Gulf War chemical and biological weapons and precursors could have led analysts to the reasonable conclusion that Iraq may have retained those materials, but intelligence analysts did not have enough information to state with certainty that Iraq "has" these weapons. (BLACKED OUT) Similarly, the assessment that "all key aspects - R&D, production, and weaponization  of Iraq's offensive BW program are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War" was not supported by the underlying intelligence provided to the Committee. Intelligence showed that Iraq was renovating or expanding facilities that had been associated with Iraq's past BW program and was engaged in research that had BW applications, but few reports suggested specifically that the activity was related to BW. Intelligence reports did indicate that Iraq may have had a mobile biological weapons program, but most of the reporting was from a single human intelligence (HUMINT) source to whom the Intelligence Community (1C) never had direct access. It was reasonable for intelligence analysts to be concerned about the potential weapons applications of Iraq's dual use activities and capabilities. The intelligence reporting did not substantiate an assessment that all aspects of Iraq's BW program "are" larger and more advanced than before the Gulf War, however. (later) (BLACKED OUT) The presumption that Iraq had active WMD programs affected intelligence collectors as well. None of the guidance given to human intelligence collectors suggested that collection be focused on determining whether Iraq had WMD. Instead, the requirements assumed that Iraq had WMD, and focused on uncovering those activities and collecting against the extent of Iraq's WMD production and the locations of hidden stocks of weapons. A former manager in the CIA's Iraq WMD Task Force also told Committee staff that, in retrospect, he believes that the CIA tended to discount human intelligence (HUMINT) sources that denied the existence of Iraqi WMD programs as just repeating the Iraqi party line. In fact, numerous interviews with intelligence analysts and documents provided to the Committee indicate that analysts and collectors assumed that sources who denied the existence or continuation of WMD programs and stocks were either lying or not knowledgeable about Iraq's programs, while those sources who reported ongoing WMD activities were seen as having provided valuable information. (BLACKED OUT) The presumption that Iraq had active WMD programs was so strong that formalized IC mechanisms established to challenge assumptions and "group think," such as "red teams," "devil's advocacy," and other types of alternative or competitive analysis, were not utilized. The Committee found no evidence that IC analysts, collectors, or managers made any effort to question the fundamental assumptions that Iraq had active and expanded WMD programs, nor did they give serious consideration to other possible explanations for Iraq's failure to satisfy its WMD accounting discrepancies, other than that it was hiding and preserving WMD. The fact that no one in the IC saw a need for such tools is indicative of the strength of the bias that Iraq had active and expanded WMD programs. The Committee does not regard theBLACKED OUT analysis on Iraq's aluminum tubes performed by CIA contractors as an attempt to challenge assumptions, but rather as an example of the collective rationalization that is indicative of "group think." The contractors were only provided with information by CIA, did not question agencies about their analysis, were not briefed by other agencies about their analysis, and performed their analysis of a complex intelligence issue in only one day.


Commentary:
Is this justification for increasing US biodefense spending from $300M (2001) to $5,200M (2004) per year -- and an illegal DoD anthrax vaccination program?
   Antex Biologics Awarded NIAID Grant to Continue Development of Helicobacter pylori Vaccine commentary follows
Business Wire - Friday July 09, 2004
LANSING, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 9, 2004--Antex Biologics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emergent BioSolutions and sister company to BioPort Corporation, has received a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (a division of the National Institutes of Health) in connection with its Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) vaccine candidate. The $2 million grant is distributed over three years and supports the development of a dry formulation of the vaccine, including clinical manufacturing of both the vaccine active ingredient and a novel recombinant vaccine adjuvant. An adjuvant is a substance that enhances the immune-stimulating properties of a drug. (Later) Antex Biologics' vaccine candidate could be used to prevent infection, as well as be used alone or in conjunction with antibiotics to treat existing infections. "The NIAID grant will allow vital studies on H. pylori to continue," said Gary Nabors, Ph.D., Director of Immunology for Antex Biologics and principal investigator for the project. "We are pleased to further develop this candidate that has the potential for worldwide disease prevention." Over the past two years, the companies of Emergent BioSolutions have attracted nearly $7.5 million in Research and Development funding in the forms of grants and contracts from various government agencies to further develop its vaccine pipeline. Emergent BioSolutions is a company dedicated to preserving life, protecting health and preventing disease. BioPort Corporation, the world's only manufacturer of the FDA-licensed anthrax vaccine, BioThrax(TM), and Antex Biologics, a research and development company, are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Emergent BioSolutions.


Commentary:
Snip: "Antex Biologics' vaccine candidate could be used to prevent infection, as well as be used alone or in conjunction with antibiotics to treat existing infections." If you're going to have a vaccine to treat a disease, why incorporate antibiotics into it - unless of coarse, it's wanting to claim that a vaccine is 'effective' in treatment. Another totally unnecessary vaccine.... --------------------------------------- Comment: A totally unnecessary vaccine...this is Bio-Pork that is emblematic of what the yet-to-be-signed Project BioShield Act is all about...corporate welfare...
   Rebuttal and analysis to Dep. Sec. of Defense Paul Wolfowitz memo
Military Vaccine Education Center - Friday July 02, 2004
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz memo, June 28, 2004 -- Excerpt -- analysis follows:

"To date, the Department's immunization programs against anthrax and smallpox have been a success."

Analysis: The anthrax vaccine mandate has been an historically unprecedented military disaster. To contend otherwise is an Orwellian effort to rewrite the history of the program, while ignoring thousands of refusals and illnesses, critical GAO and Congressional reports, and federal court rulings finding the program in violation of US law. The previous anthrax vaccine order, pre-30 DEC 03, was not legal, and the order at this point will only remain legal if the final license rule is upheld by the judge, despite violations of federal rule making procedures.

DoD Press Briefing -- http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2004/tr20040630-0948.html -- Excerpt -- analysis follows:

Q What happens if somebody declines --
DR. WINKENWERDER: The bottom line is, we've had very few refusals that have led to separations from the service. A rough statistic that I would share is about four people per hundred thousand who have been vaccinated. So it's a really very low rate.

Q But then they still face the possibility of court-martial?Z
DR. WINKENWERDER: I'm not aware of any court-martials in recent months applying to these situations. I don't know if you --

GEN. RODRIGUEZ: No, I'm not either. It's just like disobeying orders. It's been ruled a legal order to tell them to take the vaccination, and then the chain of command handles that appropriately. But there have not been recent court-martials like you asked.

Analysis: The DoD has had "very few refusals" because they are "managing" the bad news in accordance with the "new" program implementation guidance. DoD is not accounting for the large refusal rates during the first stab at the program from 1998 to 2001. The DoD is careful to use caveats about separations, because they aren't tracking refusals leading to internal non-discharge/non-judicial punishment. The DoD is "managing" refusals to eliminate court-martials and discharges in order to preclude further judicial review of the historically documented illegal program. The federal judge specifically ruled the vaccine program was "experimental" and "illegal" as of 22 DEC 03, before the FDA finalized the anthrax vaccine license on 30 DEC 03. Once the license was published in the Federal Register on 5 JAN 04 the federal court lifted their injunction, and set out to review the entire process. The federal court may rule the licensing process was not valid, which will return the program to a state of illegality.
< br> Bottom-line: "only lawful orders must be obeyed; illegal orders must be disobeyed." (Reference -- recent USAF legal memo regarding Iraq prison abuses.) If the threat warrants, there are legal ways to use experimental vaccines and drugs on our soldiers, with accountability for such decisions residing with the President.

A more complete analysis of the recent policy and legal process involved is available at this link: http://www.thepowerhour.com/articles/anthrax.htm
   U.S. to Expand Military Vaccinations commentary follows
by Marina Melenic - Global Security Newswire - Wednesday June 30, 2004
"The U.S. Defense Department announced today that it would expand its anthrax and smallpox vaccination programs to include all personnel deployed by U.S. Central Command and, for the first time, select units within U.S. Pacific Command. Previously, approximately half of deployed personnel had been vaccinated in Central Command, which includes the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters of operation."


Commentary:
It's a good thing there's temporary funding for those Vaccine Healthcare Centers. You'd think 11,000 troops coming home ill from Iraq would be enough.
   Proposed U.S. Biological Research Could Challenge Treaty Restrictions, Experts Charge commentary follows
by David Ruppe - Global Security Newswire - Tuesday June 29, 2004
WASHINGTON - Offering a controversial justification, the Bush administration is planning to perform certain biological defense activities that some arms control experts say could violate the Biological Weapons Convention and potentially render its restrictions meaningless. The proposed work could include developing and testing new and existing biological weapons agents and delivery devices, studying new potential means of delivery, and modeling production processes, according to a government presentation delivered earlier this year. It would be funded through a newly created Homeland Security Department "Biothreat Characterization Center" and would occur primarily at a multiagency biological defense campus at Fort Detrick, Md. The program's principal purpose would be to inform U.S. policy-makers about the nature of the most serious and credible biological threats potentially facing the United States in order to guide defensive efforts, Maureen McCarthy, director of research and development at the Department of Homeland Security, said in an interview with Global Security Newswire. It would comply with the treaty's restrictions, she said, because the work is intended solely for defense. "The treaty is intent-based. Our intent and the intent of all the biodefense programs going on in the nation right now is to develop protective measures to protect the American public," she said. "We are and will continue to be fully compliant with the BWC," McCarthy added. Nongovernmental arms control experts, however, say that elements of the plan would probably violate the 32-year-old treaty's restriction on developing and producing agent delivery devices. They say, furthermore, that the planned work as a whole could undermine international confidence in and adherence to the treaty because, although the work would be defensive, it would effectively give the United States a modern offensive biological weapons capability. "This is absolutely without any question what one would do to develop an offensive biological weapons capability," said Mark Wheelis, a professor of microbiology at the University of California-Davis. "We're going to develop new pathogens for various purposes. We're going to develop new ways of packaging them, new ways of disseminating them. We're going to harden them to environmental degradation. We'll be prepared to go offensive at the drop of a hat if we so desire," he said. What the administration is planning "would look like a violation to them if anybody else did it," said former Ambassador James Leonard, who led U.S. negotiations of the treaty. No review has yet been done within the administration on whether the proposed programs would comply with the treaty or U.S. law, but specific proposals would be so evaluated, according to McCarthy. A State Department official said that the department had not done a compliance review and that "relevant interagency consultations are ongoing." Justification Previously Used The program's work was ordered by President George W. Bush in a classified presidential directive and explained very generally in a White House initiative called "Biodefense for the 21st Century" announced in April (see GSN, April 28). "The proliferation of biological materials, technologies, and expertise increases the potential for adversaries to design a pathogen to evade our existing medical and nonmedical countermeasures," says an unclassified version of the directive. "To address this challenge, we are taking advantage of these same technologies to ensure that we can anticipate and prepare for the emergence of this threat," it says. The Biothreat Characterization Center is part of a larger National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC), also headquartered at Fort Detrick. Its plans were first publicly detailed by then-NBACC Deputy Director U.S. Army Lt. Col. George W. Korch Jr., in a February slide presentation. The BTCC program activities could include genetically engineering new pathogens, improving the environmental stability of agents, exploring novel ways to package and deliver bioweapons agents, and modeling bioweapons production processes, according to Korch's slides. The program apparently would be a more coordinated and visible Homeland Security version of classified CIA and DOD efforts initiated during the Clinton administration in the late 1990s and publicly revealed during the Bush administration. The New York Times on Sept. 4, 2001, reported details of such programs, including a CIA project that built and tested a model of a Soviet-designed bomb and the U.S. Army assembly of a mock germ factory for assessing potential terrorist capability. A Pentagon spokeswoman that same day told reporters that the Army intended to develop a copy of a genetically modified Russian anthrax strain to see whether the U.S. anthrax vaccine could handle it. "A functional, gradual, incremental equivalent [to the BTCC], eroding the boundary between defensive and offensive research, may already have been in place for a half dozen years," said Milton Leitenberg, an arms control expert at the University of Maryland. Military and CIA lawyers reportedly had concluded such work was allowed by the treaty because the intent was defensive, a conclusion some other government officials reportedly disputed. "The Biological Weapons Convention allows you to do work that is purely defensive in nature," Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said at the Sept. 4, 2001 press briefing. The administration also that summer said it would oppose a negotiated protocol creating a BWC inspections mechanism, citing in part concerns that inspections might compromise U.S. biological defense secrets. U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton in a 2002 speech argued that a country's intent, rather than equipment, should be the used to judge treaty compliance, as offensive equipment also has uses for "the study of defensive measures against a biological attack." Intent vs. Letter of the Treaty Homeland Security's McCarthy in her interview with GSN asserted that the treaty allows nations to conduct some biological weapons activity if it is intended for defensive purposes. The treaty is "intent-based," she said, and "says you can't do a whole bunch of things unless there's a justification for prophylactic, or protective, or peaceful purposes," she said. Critics say that interpretation is at odds with Article 1 of the treaty. While the article's first paragraph forbids biological weapons agent development, production, stockpiling or acquisition except for types and in quantities justifiable for "prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes," it makes no such specific exception for delivery devices. Instead, the article's second paragraph forbids obtaining or producing :weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict."


Commentary:
Quote 1: "What the administration is planning "would look like a violation to them if anybody else did it," said former Ambassador James Leonard, who led U.S. negotiations of the treaty". Quote 2: "The administration also that summer said it would oppose a negotiated protocol creating a BWC inspections mechanism, citing in part concerns that inspections might compromise U.S. biological defense secrets".
   Bioterrorism Fight Could Be Creating New Hazards commentary follows
Global Security Newswire - Monday June 28, 2004
The push to defend the United States against bioterrorism by licensing more researchers and facilities to conduct related experiments could be creating new hazards, the Baltimore Sun reported yesterday (see GSN, June 25).

Some scientists say the increase in the number of individuals and organizations conducting germ research in the United States - now standing at 11,119 workers in 317 laboratories - heightens the possibility of an accidental or even deliberate release of those pathogens.

The growing effort has achieved some successes, such as developing new ways to detect anthrax, said Martin Hugh-Jones, an anthrax researcher at Louisiana State University. However, "I think we've spent an awful lot of money, and I'm not sure we're much better off," he added.

The U.S. Bioterrorism Act, passed after the anthrax mail attacks of 2001 killed five people, imposed new regulations on germ research.

American Biological Safety Association President Stefan Wagener said many of the new regulations have been beneficial.

"I would say the impact has been positive," said Wagener, a microbiologist who oversees the Canada's highest-security biological defense lab. "But has the law made the United States safer from an insider's bioterrorist attack? That's harder to answer," he added.


Commentary:
"In terms of accidental release, I think we're unquestionably less safe than we were before 2001," he added (Scott Shane, Baltimore Sun, June 27).
   NIH Scientists Broke Rules, Panel Says
by Rick Weiss - Washington Post - Sunday June 27, 2004
Story originally ran June 23, 2004:
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health violated federal rules by engaging in lucrative collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and not reporting those arrangements to ethics officials as required, according to documents released yesterday as part of an escalating congressional investigation into conflicts of interest at the agency. The House oversight subcommittee had already identified several instances in which scientists engaged in outside activities that posed at least the appearance of a conflict of interest. But in those cases the arrangements had been approved by top legal and ethics officials. Now, NIH officials said, disciplinary actions may be needed.
   VA alerts doctors to malaria-drug concerns
by Mark Benjamin and Dan Olmsted - UPI - Saturday June 26, 2004
WASHINGTON, June 24 (UPI) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs is warning doctors to watch for long-term mental problems and other health effects from an anti-malaria drug given to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The drug is mefloquine, known by the brand name Lariam, which has been given to tens of thousands of soldiers since the war on terrorism began. Some of those soldiers say it has provoked severe mental and physical problems including suicidal and violent behavior, psychosis, convulsions and balance disorders. Last year the Food and Drug Administration began warning that problems might last "long after" someone stops taking it.

The VA warned its own doctors Wednesday that the drug "may rarely be associated with certain long-term chronic health problems that persist for weeks, months, and even years after the drug is stopped," according to a summary of published studies by a VA panel of experts. The summary accompanies an "information letter" from the VA's acting undersecretary for health, Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin, to healthcare professionals who treat veterans.
   Getting liability off the backs of the biotech industry
by Getting liability off the backs of the biotech ind - Boston Globe - Friday June 18, 2004
Even as Congress finalizes a bill to fund vaccines and other countermeasures against bioterror attacks, many executives say the much-ballyhooed measures from Washington have sidestepped the toughest issues facing the drug industry.
These executives, especially from biotechnology companies, worry that their firms could be held liable for side effects patients might suffer if the government urged them to take experimental treatments for smallpox, anthrax, or other pathogens during an emergency.
The companies also say current rules don't offer the patent protections they need or enough funding.
All these issues are heating up as politicians consider a new set of biodefense proposals -- dubbed "Bioshield II" -- to address questions left unanswered by "Project Bioshield" legislation passed by the House and Senate since last fall.

...Liability is a central issue because often the drugs that might be needed during a crisis -- such as Avant's experimental vaccines against anthrax and plague -- haven't yet gotten long-term safety approvals from the Food and Drug Administration. Even running clinical trials can pose ethical problems because such trials might put healthy people at risk.
   Bingaman Amendment passed on Tuesday, June 15
Bruce Lesley, office of Senator Jeff Binagman - Thursday June 17, 2004
The Bingaman/Smith Amendment passed on Tuesday evening this week. The VHC's (Vaccine Healthcare Centers) will be funded. The only thing that did not happen was expanding from 4 centers to 7 - but, they're at least funded, so soldiers can still get medical treatment for adverse events from military vaccines.
   House Approves BioShield but Industry Remains Concerned commentary follows
by Joe Fiorill - Global Security Newswire - Wednesday June 16, 2004
Congress approved legislation that would guarantee a government market for medical countermeasures against a biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear attack.
The chamber voted 414-2 in favor of a bill to implement Project Bioshield, which President George W. Bush first proposed in January of last year. The Senate passed identical legislation May 19. Bush is expected within a week or two to sign the bill, which is intended primarily to spur production of drugs that manufacturers would otherwise find unprofitable.


Commentary:
Snips:
"It makes no sense to create a new vaccine and then not figure out how to get people to take it," Benjamin said.
Some drug makers also highlighted the work left to be done after passage of the measure, calling in particular for special legal protections for the government's vendors. Congress is preparing legislation known as "Bioshield 2" that could set limits on the legal liability of drug makers whose government-purchased products are said to cause harm to users.
Besides authorizing the government to spend $5.6 billion over the next decade on countermeasures produced by private drugmakers, the act would speed National Institutes of Health countermeasure research and development, as well as allow the Food and Drug Administration to approve new drugs more quickly during emergencies.
   Possible California Anthrax Exposure Raises Concerns
Global Security Newswire - Monday June 14, 2004
The number of facilities performing anthrax research has increased significantly in recent years without corresponding regulation hikes, experts said last week following the possible exposure of seven California researchers to the biological agent (see GSN , June 11).

This is a cautionary tale, Jonathan Tucker, a senior researcher at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and an expert in biological weapons, told the San Mateo County Times. You have a lot of inexperienced researchers working at facilities around the country on these projects, he added.
   Bioshield Project Moving Forward Without Law
by Joe Fiorill - Global Security Newswire - Wednesday June 09, 2004
Bioshield Project Moving Forward Without Law By Joe Fiorill Global Security Newswire BALTIMORE  A top U.S. vaccine development official today expressed hope that President George W. Bush would sign the Project Bioshield initiative into law by months end but called the absence of such a law unimportant to the projects progress (see GSN, May 20). Bioshield is designed to guarantee a government market for vaccines that drug makers otherwise would see as unprofitable and be reluctant to produce. The Senate and House of Representatives have passed separate versions of legislation to enact Project Bioshield, but no step has yet been taken to reconcile the chambers approaches and allow passage by the full Congress. Bush, who first proposed the project early last year, would be expected to quickly sign the bill if congressional passage occurred. Despite Bioshields statutory nonexistence, Congress has appropriated funds for the project, a fact stressed today by top Health and Human Services Department vaccine adviser Philip Russell during a question-and-answer period after a speech he delivered at the University of Maryland Law School.
   U.S. bioterrorism research leaps past defensive tactics commentary follows
by By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER - Oakland Tribune - Tuesday June 08, 2004
The Bush administration is ramping up bioterrorism research that will press beyond traditional defenses against natural biowarfare germs to explore genetically engineered superbugs, as well as the means to mass-produce and disseminate them.
After spending almost $10 billion on biodefense research, defense scientists say broader studies of bioterror threats are needed to weigh the chances of certain attacks, tell U.S. intelligence what to look for and shore up defenses...
"We will not violate the law, we will be compliant," he (Livermore's Fitch) said. "To the maximum extent possible, this will be a transparent program unless we anticipate it will reveal a vulnerability."


Commentary:
Who will hold our newly developing biodefense labs accountable? One can only assume that this accountability be on the honor system, supplemented with an occasional unwanted small leak to the media. We have certainly seen almost no accountablity in the past in regards to programs of a much smaller scale.
   FDA Approves First Blood Test for Anthrax
Reuters - Monday June 07, 2004
BOSTON (Reuters) - More than two years after anthrax killed five people in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the first blood test for the bacteria, the Boston-based company that developed the process said on Monday.
Immunetics Inc., a diagnostics technology firm, developed the test at the behest of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after anthrax-laced letters provoked a scare just weeks after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
   Drug Causing GIs Permanent Brain Damage
by Mark Benjamin and Dan Olmsted - UPI - Thursday May 27, 2004
WASHINGTON, May 26 (UPI) -- Six U.S. soldiers have been diagnosed by the military with permanent brain damage from an anti-malaria drug used in Iraq and Afghanistan, and health officials must reassess its safety, a U.S. senator said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, said the drug, called mefloquine, has "serious risks" that have not been adequately tracked by the Pentagon, the Peace Corps and other government agencies that distribute it.
   Amendment to DOD Reauthorization bill would fund Vaccine Healthcare Centers commentary follows
by Bruce Lesley, staff member: Bruce_Lesley@bingaman. - Offfice of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) - Friday May 21, 2004
Senator Bingaman is preparing to offer the attached amendment to the Department of Defense reauthorization bill, which is on the Senate floor right now. This amendment would reauthorize the Vaccine Healthcare Center (VHC) Network, which were created by Congress in 2001 to provide consultation, education, and clinical health services to our nations servicemembers who need additional information, are seeking referral, and need health care services with respect to the DoD vaccine program. This includes the provision of needed health care services for those suffering adverse events from any number of vaccines that our nations military personnel receive.


Commentary:
The bill is S. 2400, but this amendment does not have a number yet. Pleaes contact Bruce Lesley in Senator Bingaman's office for more information and updates, at Bruce_Lesley@bingaman.senate.gov

This bill is co-sponsored by Senator Smith (R-Oregon) and Senator Corzine (D-New Jersey).
   Biological Arms Control Experts Question U.S. Laboratory
Global Security Newswire - Friday May 21, 2004
A Homeland Security Department biological defense lab at Fort Detrick in Maryland could undermine an international ban on biological weapons by pushing other nations toward developing such weaponry, three biological arms control experts said this week (see GSN , April 29).

...The work of Homeland Securitys National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center could include devising more dangerous viruses and bacteria in efforts to develop stronger vaccines and drugs, the Baltimore Sun reported...
   U.S. Senate Passes Bioshield Plan commentary follows
by Joe Fiorill - Global Security Newswire - Thursday May 20, 2004
By Joe Fiorill Global Security Newswire WASHINGTON: The U.S. Senate yesterday voted 99-0 to establish a program that would use $5.6 billion over 10 years to stimulate private-sector development of vaccines and treatments against agents such as smallpox, anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola and plague (see GSN, May 5).

The House of Representatives is expected to endorse the bill and pass it on for signature to President George W. Bush in short order. A Health and Human Services Department spokesman said today that the first contract under the program would be for an anthrax vaccine and is expected in the near future.

First proposed early last year by Bush, Project Bioshield would give the government long-term authority to buy billions of dollars worth of new drugs from private companies, speed National Institutes of Health research and development on such medicines and allow the Food and Drug Administration to greatly quicken its drug-approval process during emergencies. The bill would also cover some countermeasures against chemical, radiological and nuclear attacks.

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who played a major role in crafting compromises that led to the bill's passage, yesterday called Project Bioshield "a major component of our defense against future terrorist attacks."

"We need to protect ourselves and our country against the ability of these terrorists to use the weapons they can easily get their hand on to kill innocent Americans. If these Islamic fundamentalists get their hands on a biological weapon like anthrax, they will use it, and they will use it in a place like a subway station, where great numbers of people congregate," Gregg said.

The House voted 421-2 last July to approve its own Bioshield bill, but several key House members said the Senate bill is now likely to be submitted to Bush without a formal conference to reconcile the two versions.

"It is my expectation that this will now be passed swiftly by the Senate and the House without any formal conference. & After nearly 18 months of consideration, it is urgent that the Congress send this important public health and safety legislation to the president for his signature. Our national security cannot afford to wait while terrorists act," House Select Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) said yesterday, shortly before the Senate passed its bill.

The impetus for Bioshield was the drug industry's unwillingness to develop and produce medicines for which the everyday market is small but which could become crucial in an attack. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said in January 2003 that the project would "assure drug companies there will be a market for their product."

"The medical treatments available for some types of terrorist attacks," the White House said in February 2003, "have improved little in decades, while there has been tremendous and rapid progress in the treatment of many serious naturally occurring diseases. The president believes that, by bringing researchers, medical experts and the biomedical industry together in a new and focused way, our nation can achieve the same kind of treatment breakthroughs for bioterrorism and other threats that have significantly reduced the threat of heart disease, cancer and many other serious illnesses."

Biotechnology Industry Organization President Carl Feldbaum said yesterday that by passing the bill, Congress would create "the procurement structure to make product development and production financially viable."

Compromise won out over strong objections to aspects of bills to create Project Bioshield in both chambers of Congress.

Representative Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) said last May at a Select Committee on Homeland Security hearing that Bioshield would be "chicken feed to the industry," while Representative Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) called for more flexibility in deciding what biological threats to guard against.

"What if they [terrorists] just do the one thing we don't have?" Shays asked.

In the Senate, opposition to the project was led by Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, and by Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the senior Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. Byrd withdrew his opposition after a compromise was reached on language governing how the funds would be appropriated.

Levin was still expressing reservations about the bill as late as May 7, when a spokesman said the senator sought to increase competition for Bioshield contracts and was concerned about part of the measure that could allow the military to give its members emergency-approved countermeasures without obtaining their informed consent.

Expressing support for the bill yesterday, though, Levin said he was "pleased" that the final Senate bill stipulates "full and open competition" for most Bioshield contracts. Provisions in the pending defense appropriations bill, ensures the bill "will not make it more likely that military personnel will be required to take unapproved products without their consent," Levin said.

Although only the House had then passed legislation to create the program, Congress voted last September to fund Bioshield with $890 million for fiscal 2004. The Bush administration'ss fiscal 2005 budget proposal includes $2.5 billion for Bioshield under the Homeland Security Department budget.

The first contracts are expected within months. Health and Human Services spokesman Marc Wolfson said today that the departments Office of Emergency Public Health Preparedness is reviewing proposals for an anthrax vaccine and is likely to make an announcement "within the near future."

"That will be the first Bioshield contract," Wolfson said.


Commentary:
First proposed early last year by Bush, Project Bioshield would give the government long-term authority to buy billions of dollars' worth of new drugs from private companies, speed National Institutes of Health research and development on such medicines and allow the Food and Drug Administration to greatly quicken its drug-approval process during emergencies.

Biotechnology Industry Organization President Carl Feldbaum said yesterday that by passing the bill, Congress would create "the procurement structure to make product development and production financially viable."

Yet, funding was not included in the 890 million dollar budget for FY 2004 to take care of those that will have adverse reactions to these mandated vaccines.
   U.S. Army Provides No Funds for Vaccine Care Centers
by David Willman - Global Security Newswire - Tuesday May 18, 2004
WASHINGTON  The U.S. Army has not budgeted any money in fiscal 2005 for a widely praised chain of centers for treating soldiers with serious complications from military-administered vaccines, even as the network expands this year.

Exactly why is not clear. The Army offered no direct explanation, instead it forwarded requests for information to the spokesman for the Vaccine Healthcare Centers (VHC) Network. Army Col. Renata Engler, who runs the network, cited Army budget constraints and the process of Army budgeting.

Critics of the Defense Departments vaccine policies have questioned whether there is a strong commitment in the Army and the Bush administration to the network, which by the nature of its work generates evidence of illnesses potentially caused by already-controversial vaccines (see GSN , Feb. 20).

By cutting the funding, the administration is sending the wrong message to the brave men and women who risk their lives to serve our country by telling them their health is not a priority. In my view it is of the highest priority and I will work to ensure that the program is fully funded, said Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) in a statement last week.

Bingaman plans to introduce an amendment to the fiscal 2005 defense authorization bill, which is on the Senate floor this week, to authorize $10 million for the centers, and such sums as would be necessary for each fiscal year thereafter.
   Exposure to germ tests was extensive
by Lee Davidson - Deseret News, Salt Lake City - Monday May 17, 2004
Story originally ran May 15,2004:
WASHINGTON: It may have sounded awful when the Pentagon reported last year that nearly 6,000 soldiers may have been unwittingly exposed to germ and chemical weapons in 50 tests conducted worldwide from 1962 and 1974 by Army scientists based in Utah.

But congressional investigators said Friday that figure was just the tip of the iceberg.

The U.S. General Accounting Office, a research arm of Congress, said those Pentagon-reported numbers were just for one series of experiments, called Project 112 or Project SHAD. "We have determined that hundreds of such classified tests and research projects were conducted outside Project 112," GAO officials said in a new report released Friday.
   Notice from MVEC President
by Kathy Hubbell - Military Vaccine Education Center - Saturday May 15, 2004
Notice to members of the Military Vaccine Education Center: Please log on later this week to get the new agenda and timetable for our Membership and Board of Directors meeting in Washington D.C. on Saturday, May 29, over Memorial Day weekend, and for an updated notice of our participation in Rolling Thunder on Sunday, May 30th. You need to be a paid member to attend our membership meeting unless you have received special permission because of some other role that you may play (at least one documentary filmmaker is expected). Thanks, it'll be great to see you there! And we hope you can attend Rolling Thunder on Sunday afternoon, to hear our speech on the anthrax vaccine. Kathy Hubbell
   Editorial: A failure of leadership at the highest levels commentary follows
Army Times - Wednesday May 12, 2004
Around the halls of the Pentagon, a term of caustic derision has emerged for the enlisted soldiers at the heart of the furor over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: the six morons who lost the war.
Indeed, the damage done to the U.S. military and the nation as a whole by the horrifying photographs of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees at the notorious prison is incalculable.
But the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons.
There is no excuse for the behavior displayed by soldiers in the now-infamous pictures and an even more damning report by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba. Every soldier involved should be ashamed.
But while responsibility begins with the six soldiers facing criminal charges, it extends all the way up the chain of command to the highest reaches of the military hierarchy and its civilian leadership.


Commentary:
May we repeat: But while responsibility begins with the six soldiers facing criminal charges, it extends all the way up the chain of command to the highest reaches of the military hierarchy and its civilian leadership.

...as does the responsibility for using investigational new drugs on our troops without their informed consent; as does the responsibiltiy for forcing the smallpox vaccine on our troops when it is now deemed too dangerous and too reactive for the civilian population; as does the responsibility to stop using our troops as medical experiments.
   Gulf War soldier on hunger strike commentary follows
BBC News - Tuesday May 04, 2004
A former soldier has gone on hunger strike in an attempt to secure a public inquiry into Gulf War Syndrome.
Alexander Izett said he was ready to die to force the military to "come clean" over the issue.


Commentary:
Further quote:
He said he received nine inoculations, including one for the plague and another for anthrax, whilst serving with 25 Engineer Regiment, based in Osnabruck, Germany.
   Program Launched For Disabled Soldiers
by Josh White - Washington Post - Sunday May 02, 2004
For U.S. soldiers who are seriously wounded in combat, the maze of red tape they face upon returning home can be dizzying. In the transition to a civilian life filled with rehabilitation, emotional difficulties and financial concerns, many soldiers don't know where to turn.

The Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a new program yesterday designed to help soldiers with serious disabilities navigate the return from war and maneuver through an often complex system of services and agencies.
   Study shows Lou Gehrig's disease prevalent among vets commentary follows
AP - Thursday April 29, 2004
(AP) -- Men who served in the U.S. military during the last century appear to have an unusually high risk of dying from Lou Gehrig's disease, but experts are puzzled over why and are uncertain whether the apparent hazard is real.
The surprising finding comes from a study of men veterans from World War I through Vietnam. It concludes they are about 60 percent more likely than non-veterans to get the often fatal illness, known formally as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

...Overall, the veterans' risk of dying of ALS through 1998 was 60 percent higher than that of the non-veterans, and it varied little between branches of the service.


Commentary:
They are very puzzled as to why, saying, "The study offers no hints about how military service might increase the risk. Weisskopf said some theoretical possibilities include more exposure to heavy metals, such as lead, infections that occur more commonly in the military, or extreme physical exertion."

... or perhaps vaccines?
   New book: HOME FRONT: The Government's War on Soldiers commentary follows
by Rick Anderson - Clarity Press - Wednesday April 21, 2004
Inspired by the untold story of Sgt. Joe Hooper, Vietnam's most decorated solider and a home-front causality, Home Front chronicles how--in the midst of his war--George Bush has cut benefits of both veterans and front line troops. It reveals how the Pentagon has ordered soldiers to take experimental medicines that sometimes prove fatal, how defense contractors sometimes knowingly delivery faulty weapons to troops, and how the true casualty measure of war is the body count--the medical failures, psychological toll and the uninvestigated suicides--that occurs on the home front.


Commentary:
"I don't know why the government, if it cares so much about its troops, isn't saying 'My God, 200,000 disabled in that war, 11,000 dead! What did we do?'"
-Former Army flight nurse and veterans' advocate Joyce Riley

"Use 'em, abuse 'em and lose 'em. This has been the U.S. military mantra since before George Washington slapped on a pair of boots. This brilliant work documents it all. A searing condemnation of an ungrateful nation."
--David H. Hackworth, Colonel, U.S. Army Retired Author of STEEL MY SOLDIERS' HEARTS
   MILITARY VACCINE EDUCATION CENTER ANNOUNCES NEW WEB SITE, NEW ORGANIZATION
Military Vaccine Education Center - Sunday April 18, 2004
MISSOULA, MT: The Military Vaccine Education Center (MVEC), a newly-formed, national organization, is pleased to announce the launching of its new web site at http://www.milvacs.org, and its first formal membership drive. MVEC was formed as an educational and watchdog organization to cover the militarys mandatory bioterrorism vaccinations, with a special focus on the anthrax vaccine since it is so clearly illegal and dangerous. The organization works to educate the public, the media, members of Congress and troops and veterans about the severe problems with the Dept. of Defenses Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program, its smallpox program, and other concerns. In addition, the web site provides help and instructions for troops who become ill from taking the vaccines, or for those who have already decided to refuse the vaccines. While MVEC does not recommend that any service member refuse a vaccine, those who have already made the decision need to know the likely consequences, and what their rights are. Additionally, there are medical and legal resources on the site, health care suggestions for those who have become ill, and advice on working through a Medical Evaluation Board and working with the VA. Those who wish to join MVEC as paid members ($20/year individual, $30/year family), may also receive one-to-one introductions to others who are ill, as needed, or to others who find themselves in a similar situation and are needing support, networking and assistance. Free assistance is also available for contacting the media or holding community activities to continue the education process. Interested parties should simply click on the Please Join button on the left side of the home page on the web site, and follow instructions. MVEC is also in the process of creating a Data Base of the Ill, designed to extrapolate information about the frequency and severity of adverse reactions to the bioterrorism vaccines, and yet to protect the anonymity and privacy of those who have volunteered information. The officers of the new organization include Kathy Hubbell, president; John Sorg, Vice-President; Jackie Rickard, Treasurer; and Pamela Thornton, Secretary. Randi Airola has been named Executive Director, and Magda Chaney serves as Administrative Assistant. An Advisory Board consists of people with medical and/or military backgrounds. For more information about the Military Vaccine Education Center, its purposes and activities, and its current plans, go to http://www.milvacs.org, or leave a message at (406) 728-4595 or (517) 819-5926. ###
   Conditions at U.S. VA hospitals
ABC News - Thursday April 08, 2004
With 130,000 young American men and women putting their lives at risk in Iraq today, there are concerns about conditions at some U.S. veterans' hospitals.
   Broken US troops face bigger enemy at home
by Suzanne Goldenberg - The Guardian, United Kingdom - Saturday April 03, 2004

The army specialist came within inches of death last November 15, when the Humvee he was driving hit a roadside bomb, killing his sergeant. The entire left side of Gunn's body was splattered with shrapnel, his elbow was shattered and, as he lay in the US military hospital bed in Germany, he was tortured by nightmares....

The note, which acknowledged Gunn suffered post-traumatic stress, said: "After discussion of his case it was determined ... this may be in his best interest mentally to overcome his fear by facing it. Therefore, he has been cleared for redeployment."

   Medical Evacuations in Iraq War hit 18,000
by Mark Benjamin - UPI - Thursday April 01, 2004
WASHINGTON, March 31 (UPI) -- In the first year of war in Iraq, the military has made 18,004 medical evacuations during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Pentagon's top health official told Congress Tuesday.
The new data, through March 13, is nearly two-thirds higher than the 11,200 evacuations through Feb. 5 cited just last month to Congress by the same official, William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.

...Soldiers described being deployed to war with serious medical conditions and then getting poor and erratic health care upon return -- including months-long waits for doctors, surgeries or treatments. United Press International first reported that problem last October.
Two soldiers said better access to mental health services might have prevented two suicide attempts at two separate bases, and asserted that soldiers are sometimes prescribed powerful drugs by military health professionals in place of medical care. The soldiers also described widespread concern about being put out of the military without fair compensation for wounds and illnesses they received during service.
"Is it a question of incompetent medical care or a question of a well-organized government system that achieves just what it is supposed to achieve?" Retired Army Reserve First Sgt. Gerry Mosley, who served in Iraq, asked the panel.
"Use people, strip them of all human dignity, disrespect them, wear them down, and be pleased when soldiers no longer have the physical and mental capacities to continue to fight to have the same rights and respect as those American citizens for whom we have fought to preserve those entitlements."
   Many Iraq-Bound GIs Buy Own Armor
by By Ryan Lenz ?MMIV The Associated Press - CBSNEWS.com - Friday March 26, 2004
(AP) Soldiers headed for Iraq are still buying their own body armor - and in many cases, their families are buying it for them - despite assurances from the military that the gear will be in hand before they're in harm's way.
Last October, it was reported that nearly one-quarter of American troops serving in Iraq did not have ceramic plated body armor, which can stop bullets fired from assault rifles and shrapnel.
   Congratulations to Mark Benjamin, and our deepest thanks commentary follows
UPI - Friday March 26, 2004
UPI Reporter receives top journalism award Washington, DC -- February 5, 2004 -- United Press International (UPI) today announced that Investigations Editor Mark Benjamin won second place in the Raymond Clapper Memorial Awards for Outstanding Washington Reporting. The award was presented to Benjamin last night for his investigative series exposing problems of sick, wounded and injured U.S. soldiers, many of whom served in Iraq.


Commentary:
Further quote:
In stories a month earlier, Benjamin was the first to link a number of U.S. non-combat illnesses and deaths in Iraq and elsewhere to possible side effects of the anthrax and smallpox vaccines.
He also was the first to report a specific breakdown of non-combat illnesses and injuries, which showed that more than one in five medical evacuations from Iraq were for psychiatric or neurological reasons.
   Gulf War Linked To Miscarriages commentary follows
UPI - Thursday March 25, 2004
LONDON - Women whose partners served in the Gulf War during the early 1990s were more likely to suffer miscarriages in the years that followed, U.K. researchers said.
The babies of such women were not more likely to have suffered birth defects, however, according to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine researchers. They also found no evidence to suggest the women had higher stillbirth rates, BBC News Online reported Wednesday.


Commentary:
Further quote: The finding supports a similar study carried out on U.S. Gulf War veterans that was published in 2001. It found women whose partners were Gulf War veterans were 60 percent more likely to have suffered a miscarriage during the years that followed the war.
   Army steps up to plate, acknowledges vaccine problems, gives advice in memo commentary follows
by James B. Peake, Lt. General, Commanding - Headquarters, U.S. Army Medical Command, Fort Sam Houston, Texas - Monday March 22, 2004
In this Feb. 10, 2004 memo to Commanders of the Regional Medical Command, Lieutenant General Peake notes the death last year of Rachel Lacy after receiving a batch of mandatory vaccines, and advises that Commanders should:
1. Advise vaccinees to seek medical care if they are having medical problems;
2. Remind clinicians to take a vaccine history during patent assessment; and to watch for specific problems post-vaccinations, including fever, chest pain, and pleural or pericardial inflammation;
3. Consider the possibility of an autoimmune illness for any condition not responding to antibiotics;
4. Report adverse effects through the VAERS system (http://www.vaers.org)
5. Continue to follow guidelines for managing adverse events after vaccination (including some new smallpox vaccine guidelines);
and
6. Grant medical exemptions when clinically appropriate.


Commentary:
This is such a strong step in the right direction among the internal chain of command, and we want to congratulate Lt. General Peake on openly handing down such long-needed advice and direction.

We hope he, and all others throughout the entire military chain of command, will make it mandatory that all military physicians learn to recognize and properly diagnose adverse reactions to both the anthrax vaccine and the smallpox vaccine, so that 1) we will not lose any more troops to death by vaccine; 2), troops who do become ill will immediately receive proper and adequate medical attention, and 3) we will not lose any more troops who are medical-boarded out of the service due to their incapacitating illnesses post-vaccine.
   Universal National Service Act of 2003 (Introduced in Senate) S 89 IS
U.S. Congress - Sunday March 21, 2004
SEC. 2. NATIONAL SERVICE OBLIGATION.
(a) OBLIGATION FOR YOUNG PERSONS- It is the obligation of every citizen of the United States, and every other person residing in the United States, who is between the ages of 18 and 26 to perform a period of national service as prescribed in this Act unless exempted under the provisions of this Act.
(b) FORM OF NATIONAL SERVICE- National service under this Act shall be performed either--
(1) as a member of an active or reserve component of the uniformed services; or
(2) in a civilian capacity that, as determined by the President, promotes the national defense, including national or community service and homeland security.
   The New Pentagon Papers commentary follows
by Karen Kwiatkowski - salon.com - Wednesday March 10, 2004
From May 2002 until February 2003, I observed firsthand the formation of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans and watched the latter stages of the neoconservative capture of the policy-intelligence nexus in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. This seizure of the reins of U.S. Middle East policy was directly visible to many of us working in the Near East South Asia policy office, and yet there seemed to be little any of us could do about it.

I saw a narrow and deeply flawed policy favored by some executive appointees in the Pentagon used to manipulate and pressurize the traditional relationship between policymakers in the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies.

I witnessed neoconservative agenda bearers within OSP usurp measured and carefully considered assessments, and through suppression and distortion of intelligence analysis promulgate what were in fact falsehoods to both Congress and the executive office of the president.

While this commandeering of a narrow segment of both intelligence production and American foreign policy matched closely with the well-published desires of the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, many of us in the Pentagon, conservatives and liberals alike, felt that this agenda, whatever its flaws or merits, had never been openly presented to the American people. Instead, the public story line was a fear-peddling and confusing set of messages, designed to take Congress and the country into a war of executive choice, a war based on false pretenses, and a war one year later Americans do not really understand. That is why I have gone public with my account.


Commentary:
While this story may seem slightly off-topic when it comes to mandatory bioterrorism vaccines, it is highly indicative of the callous attitude in Washington toward the sacrifice of our troops and veterans - members of our families, our neighbors, our friends. It takes no radical leap of faith to understand that the mentality of looking at our troops as completely disposable for private aims applies to experimentation with vaccines as well as creating war.
   Army Proposal to use U.S. Soldiers as Human Test Subjects commentary follows
by Alexander Otto - Bureau of National Affairs - Saturday March 06, 2004
Originally posted 02/28/2004. Author's introductory note:The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) are facing a tough lawsuit by soldiers questioning the safety of the experimental anthrax vaccine. In response, DoD and FDA want a new drug category and bypass human test subject rules. This plan by DoD and FDA represents a major attempt to undermine the health and safety rights of soldiers. Congress must stop the DoD and FDA plan. We urge readers to familiarize themselves with the Nuremberg Code that prohibits using humans as experimental test subjects unless there is informed consent and the right to refuse.

Under a plan proposed by U.S. Army human research regulators, the Department of Defense could ignore key Food and Drug Administration safety standards when administering experimental products to soldiers, according to an October memorandum recently obtained by BNA from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases' Office of Human Use and Ethics.

...Dr. Meryl Nass, an advocate for soldiers injured by anthrax vaccine, botulinum toxin, nerve gas antidote, and other experimental products, takes a dim view of the initiative. It is part of an ongoing DOD campaign to free the military from basic human subject protections, she said. Soldiers are subject to military discipline if they refuse an experimental product. Those injured have no recourse; soldiers cannot sue DOD for injuries received while in the service, Nass noted.


Commentary:
BNA is a subscription only DC Beltway trade publication...note his terminology: "...the experimental anthrax vaccine..."
   GI Denied Health Care After Speaking Out commentary follows
by Mark Benjamin - UPI - Tuesday March 02, 2004
WASHINGTON -- An Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran says Army officials at Fort Knox, Ky., refused him medical treatment after he talked publicly about poor care at the base, which helped spark hearings in Congress.


Commentary:
Congress, veterans groups, and the press should immediately launch a full investigation into this Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran's allegation he suffered retaliation from the military for speaking with reporters about substandard military healthcare. A series of three UPI articles about this major scandal are posted here. They describe the "squalor" more than 1,000 wounded, ill, or injured service members were forced to endure while on "medical hold." -- Veterans for Common Sense
   Action needed now to abolish the Feres Doctrine
by Barb Cragnotti, VERPA Legislative Coordinator - Veterans Equal Rights Protection Advocacy, Inc. - Sunday February 29, 2004
February 15, 2004
Dear Veterans, Military, Family and Friends,
We would like to thank everyone who participated in VERPA's "It's Now or Never" campaign the first two weeks of January, 2004. Enough calls were received by Senator Specter's office to compel them "to get things rolling" regarding the VERPA Act. We appreciate your support and together we can and will abolish or amend the Feres Doctrine. We are working with the Senator's office to get all issues we know of, by working directly with all of you. Since our last update, additional matters of injustice have been presented to us. Again, the time is now or never to spread or pass the word that all issues under the Feres Doctrine can be addressed under the VERPA Act.
Please help us help you by:
1. Signing our on-line petition:
http://www.petitiononline.com/fd1950/petition.html to document your service connected injury or injustice allowed by the Feres Doctrine.
The hard copy of all previous signatures and comments has been provided to Senator Specter for his review.
2. Call your own State Representatives. You can find their names and numbers at www.congress.org then put in your zip code. Please let them know that you wish for them to sponsor or cosponsor the VERPA Act to abolish or amend the Feres Doctrine. Although we are focused on the Senate at this time, there must of course be a Companion bill in the House of Representatives. We have all ready been promised that when the Senate introduces a Feres Bill, Congress will follow.
3. For those who have yet to submit your case in writing, please send it to Senator Specter, 711 Hart Senate Building, Washington, DC 20510-3802. Please mail a copy to VERPA to ensure your case gets to the hearings when the time comes. Mail is not being delivered to WA DC at this time due to the ricin scare so you may want to wait until delivery begins again.
We have come a long way, however we still have work to do as a "team."
Although Americans not serving in our military might not believe the Feres Doctrine impacts them, please let everyone you know with children 18 to 26, there is a joint bill S 89 and HR 163; "a bill to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service for a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes."
We are honored to introduce our Sister Organization: The Justin Haase Foundation. Please visit their new website: www.justinhaasefoundation.com
Also, please review our newly updated website at www.verpa.org and forward this message to Veterans you know, as well as to your own family and friends. Our website explains who we are, why, and what we are doing to abolish Feres. Specifically, on our "About US" page are specific questions which a "yes" answer on any one of the questions will make you see we must achieve this now and as a team! "One for all and all for one" has always been the position of VERPA with regards to addressing our injuries or injustices under the Feres Doctrine.
Any questions or comments.. please send them to me at verpalegislative@aol.com.
Thank you again for your support of VERPA. We are here to help YOU and to stop further abuses allowed by the Feres Doctrine again, it is now or never and we do have the attention of the Congress because we speak the truth and as a team.
Sincerely,
Barb Cragnotti
VERPA Legislative Coordinator
www.verpa.org
   Questions Linger Over Pentagon's Use of Multiple, Simultaneous Vaccinations
by David Ruppe - Global Security Newswire - Friday February 20, 2004
"WASHINGTON - Questions persist about possible serious health risks faced by U.S. military personnel who are required to receive multiple, simultaneous vaccinations, some national experts said this week. The Armed Forces Epidemiological Board met in Florida this week to review that question and other possible consequences of the vaccine policy, such as the risk of lesser side effects. The review could prompt the board to recommend spreading out military vaccinations over time when possible.

'There are reasons that if you have that opportunity, it probably makes sense to try to do it,' board president Stephen Ostroff, who is the associate director for epidemiologic science at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview yesterday. The military is evaluating simultaneous vaccinations in response to the April 2003 death of 22-year-old Army Reservist Specialist Rachel Lacy, who was vaccinated against anthrax, hepatitis B, measles-mumps-rubella, smallpox and typhoid fever a month earlier as she was preparing for service in Afghanistan."
   Data Base of the Ill now being developed; link is to symptoms only
Military Vaccine Education Center - Thursday February 19, 2004
A Database of the Ill is now being programmed under the auspices of the Military Vaccine Education Center. This link goes to a master symptoms and illness list only. These symptoms and illnesses have been compiled from VAERS reports, individual physician reports, and anecdotal evidence from the troops, and are associated with the anthradx vaccine, the smallpox vaccine or both. When finished, the data base will contain numbers to represent individuals, and will be available on this site. The correlation of numbers to individual names will be kept offline in two separate locations, and will not be released. If you are interested in adding your case to this data base, we would like to hear from you. Please write to Randi Airola at contact@anthraxvaccine.net; Kathy Hubbell at contact@milvacs.org; or Dr. Meryl Nass at mnass@gwi.net.
   SCANDAL OF GULF WAR GUINEA PIGS: MoD (Ministry of Defense) admits it breached international law
by Jackie Bytheway - The Sunday Post (London) - Sunday February 15, 2004
London, England: The ministry of Defence breached the Nuremberg Code by carrying out medical tests on soldiers during the first Gulf War.
Injections with a cocktail of drugs were given to thousands of soldiers prior to being sent to the Gulf. But one medical unit -- 205 General Hospital, now 205 Field Hospital, based in Govan, Glasgow --was used for vaccine experiments without being told.
Immunisation
The Nuremberg Code states that voluntary consent is "asolutely essential"before such experiments are carried out.
Britain is bound by the code yet two of the soldiers in 205GH were unaware they were used as guinea pigs until told by The Sunday Post.
A Government report into the immunisation of soldiers during the first Gulf War states, HQ British Forces Middle East decided a trial should be conducted at 205 General Hospital to assess how many personnel would suffer severe reactions as a result of plague immunisation before other units in theatre began the administration of plague vaccine.

The results of the trial would give an indication of the number of personnel who would be affected by severe vaccine reactions.
Tony Flint, who was attached to the unit, added, "We were guinea pigs and we are all pretty angry about it. We had no choice and they had no right to do that to us. It is against the Nuremberg Code. We all assumed this vaccine had been safe and tested out at Porton Down -- not on the battlefield."
   Pentagon Won't Release Data on Old Bioweapons Test
Fox News - Wednesday February 04, 2004
Story originally posted Jan. 16, 2004:
WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is continuing to withhold documents on Cold War chemical and biological weapons tests that used unsuspecting sailors as "human samplers" after telling Congress it had released all medically relevant information.

In response to questions from The Associated Press about a deposition last month by a former military scientist, J. Clifton Spendlove, who planned and supervised the testing program, the Defense Department acknowledged this week it still has documents laying out the scope and methods of the tests.
   Veterans Say Military Keeps Poor Health Records on Troops
by Robert Tomsho - Wall Street Journal - Wednesday February 04, 2004
U.S. TROOPS on the battlefield face far more potential dangers than simply enemy weapons fire: Germ and biochemical weapons, environmental pollution -- even bites from insects and animals native to the battle zone -- can sicken a soldier with symptoms that linger long after he's gone home.
To shield troops from some of these risks, military doctors typically inoculate soldiers before deployment with shots against an array of exotic diseases.
But what the military hasn't been doing -- at least not well, some veterans and officials say -- is keeping good medical files on deployed troops to track the vaccines and treatments they receive and where or when they may have been exposed to a biological agent in the field.
   Army won't review medication in suicides commentary follows
by MARK BENJAMIN AND DAN OLMSTED - UPI - Thursday January 29, 2004
WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army didn't investigate whether a malaria drug it developed could have triggered suicides by soldiers in Iraq, despite a new government suicide warning and complaints from soldiers, a senator and a leading veterans' advocate.

The Pentagon next week is expected to release a report on an elevated number of suicides among Army troops serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pentagon spokeswoman Martha Rudd told United Press International the Pentagon saw no reason to consider the anti-malaria drug, Lariam, as a possible factor in the suicides. Some troops in Iraq have taken the drug, particularly in the summer months. The Army said the suicide rate spiked in July.


Commentary:
Further quote from the article:
The Food and Drug Administration last year ordered that all patients taking the drug receive a written warning that Lariam "can rarely cause serious mental problems in some patients. ... Some patients taking Lariam think about killing themselves, and there have been rare reports of suicides. It is not known whether Lariam was responsible for these suicides."
The FDA said side effects include aggression, paranoia, delusions, depression and psychosis.
   House Democrats Call for Revitalizing U.S. Smallpox Vaccine Program
Global Security Newswire - Thursday January 29, 2004
Calling federal efforts to vaccinate U.S. health care workers against smallpox "an embarrassing failure of government, with serious implications for homeland security," Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday called on the Bush administration to reassess the smallpox bioterrorist threat and improve the U.S. ability to respond to such an attack (see GSN, Jan. 26).

Led by Representative Jim Turner (D-Texas), the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security released a 19-page report yesterday lambasting U.S. efforts to prepare for the possibility of a smallpox attack.
   New Army Web site assists disabled retirees apply for special compensation
U.S. Army - Wednesday January 28, 2004
Story originally posted Jan. 23, 2004:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Army News Service, Jan. 23, 2004) -- A new Web site designed to assist disabled military retirees in applying for Combat-Related Special Compensation went online the week of Jan. 12.

The U.S. Army CSRC Web site, located at www.crsc.army.mil , provides information a disabled military retiree needs to apply for this special compensation, said officials from the Human Resources Command. The site provides program guidelines used to determine eligibility for combat-related disability benefits and application procedures for the program.

The site includes an application form, which can be downloaded, and it gives detailed instructions of the application process, said Brig. Gen. Gina S. Farrisee, the Army Adjutant General. It also contains supporting documentation required to substantiate a claim and helpful tips on how to enable the timeliest application processing. (There is more, click to read full article)
   Recent Evidence Shows That Iraq Secretly Destroyed Some WMD Stockpiles commentary follows
Global Security Newswire - Wednesday January 28, 2004
U.S. forces in Iraq have found new evidence that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime secretly disposed of some biological and chemical weapons stockpiles in the mid-1990s, former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq David Kay said yesterday (see GSN, Jan. 27).

In an interview with the Washington Post, Kay said the Iraq Survey Group has discovered "contemporary documents" that Iraq destroyed some weapons of mass destruction in the 1990s without notifying U.N. inspectors. According to Kay, Iraqi scientists did not have complete records to support their claims because of pressure to keep the destruction effort hidden from U.N. weapons inspectors.

In addition to the recovered documents, the Iraq Survey Group also interviewed Iraqi scientists who confirmed some, but not all, of the destruction, Kay said. "That will be impossible, and there will always be some doubts," he said.


Commentary:
Quote from article:
"Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday appeared to back off their persistent claims that weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq."

"Everyone was wrong. Outside experts like myself and other intelligence agencies . including the Germans and French believed he (Hussein) had weapons," Kay said (Pincus/Milbank, Washington Post, Jan. 28)."
   Greek film crew looking for Gulf War I veterans
The film crew - Wednesday January 28, 2004
Please send out to any further Gulf War Veterans, or lists you may be part of with Gulf War Veterans.
A Greek documentary filmmaker will have a film crew in NYC and DC for about 8 days beginning Jan 30th.
They are doing a documentary on the first Gulf War that will air on/about Feb 17th.
They are looking to film GW veterans who:
1) received anthrax vaccine and became ill
2) can speak on DU related illnesses
3) have unique "war stories" about their experience they would be willing to tell on-camera.
The persons filmed would have to travel to NYC or DC...the film crew apparently is not going to be set up to travel.
Please send any inputs to Marisa at warzone@megatv.com
   U.S. Officials Anxiously Await Passage of Bioshield Bill commentary follows
by David McGlinchey - Global Security Newswire - Monday January 26, 2004
WASHINGTON: U.S. public health officials said Thursday that they anticipate Congress will soon pass the Project Bioshield legislation, a sweeping bill designed to strengthen the nations biological defenses and also loosen restrictions on hiring biological experts and the use of emergency drugs (see GSN , July 17, 2003).
President Bush announced the Project Bioshield effort during his 2003 State of the Union speech, but the legislation has not moved with the speed that administration officials had anticipated.
"I'm hopeful that in the spring it will pass," said Stewart Simonson, special counsel to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.
HHS officials are working with lawmakers to move the bill through Congress, according to Simonson, who spoke at a meeting of the Secretary's Council on Public Health Preparedness in Washington.
Project Bioshield "seems like it's very near," said D.A. Henderson, the chairman of the secretary's council and a senior scientific adviser at HHS.


Commentary:
Further quotes from the article:
"Still being debated on Capitol Hill are portions of the plan that allow the executive branch to use unlicensed drugs in the event of a bioterrorist attack and loosen restrictions on drug procurement and hiring at the National Institutes of Health."
"Simonson said that it is generally accepted that the White House would need permission to use unlicensed drugs in the case of an attack. That action would only be used "as a last resort," he said. "We need to have the authority," he added."
"Simonson dismissed fears that the Bioshield program would be used as a cash cow for drug companies with political ties to the White House."
From this web site editor:Please see the recent news article, 1/25/2004, concerning the fact that the Carlyle Group is a major investor in BioPort, the manufacturer of the anthrax vaccine, and the Bush family - Sr. and Jr. - are members of the Carlyle Group.
   Doing Business with the Enemy: 60 Minutes, Tonight commentary follows
CBS News - Sunday January 25, 2004
CBS) 60 Minutes reveals how, thanks to 401(k)s, pension plans and mutual funds, ordinary Americans are unwittingly investing in companies that are doing business in terrorist-sponsoring states.
Correspondent Lesley Stahl's report will be broadcast Sunday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.


Commentary:
Not included in this story is why the Clinton Admin and DoD allowed the sole producer of anthrax vaccine in the US to be sold to an off-shore holding company (I & F Holdings) owned by Fuad El-Hibri, a non-US citizen (was quickly granted afterwards), with extensive business ties to the Middle East -- reputedly to the bin Laden family (the "good" bin Ladens, of course) and to the privately held Carlyle Group...and why the Bush Admin has continued to protect El Hibri's company.
   The Money Trail: Business with disease: The scourge of prescription drugs commentary follows
by Sultan Muhammad - Finalcall.com - Saturday January 24, 2004
FinalCall.com) - According to a genetics expert from the largest European pharmaceutical corporation in the world, GlaxoSmithKline, 90 percent of drugs only work in 30-50 percent of people. Geneticist Allen Roses said that "drugs in the market work, but they dont work in everybody."
Mr. Roses also quoted research results by a medical diagnostic, Brian Spear, who three years earlier, had found that different drugs had vastly different success rates in treating patients.
The consequences of this finding are real and form the basis of what is termed "business with disease" in an astounding complaint filed with the International Criminal Court that names President George Bush, members of his staff, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, including GlaxoSmithKline.
However, this information seldom reaches the patients who are prescribed these drugs. Whether they work or not, these drugs are paid for by the patient or government programs that supplement the cost.
Just recently, President Bush signed a $400 billion healthcare bill which, according to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, will set aside $139 billion for drug companies. Despite questions on their effectiveness, the pharmaceutical companies get paid.


Commentary:
Further quote from article:
"What we must deduce from this report is that medicine is in need of complete and total reform. We are fully aware that what stands in the way of change are powerful pharmaceutical companies, medical technology companies and special interest groups with enormous vested interests in the business of medicine," the study acknowledged.
The anthrax vaccine was initially pushed by President George Bush Sr., during his presidency, for the military. Now, under his sons presidency, an anthrax scare pervades as the vaccine is urged for the public. Bioport, the lone manufacturer of the anthrax vaccine, has as one of its major investors, the Carlyle Investment Groupone of the key supporters of both Bush campaigns. The family is also a member of the Carlyle Investment Group.
Avemtis Corporation is a major manufacturer of the now popular "flu vaccine" that the public is now rushing to get for fear of a dreaded "killer" flu virus. Aventis profits can be traced back to supporters of the Bush presidency. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was, at one time, the head of Searle Pharmaceuticals.
   Study Slams Biodefense Plan
Boston Globe - Friday January 23, 2004
"WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon's efforts at creating new vaccines and drugs to combat biological weapons are poorly organized, underfunded, and unlikely to produce successful results in the near term, if ever, according to a congressionally mandated study released yesterday. According to the report, the United States has not developed any vaccines and "only a few drugs as medical biodefense countermeasures" since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, when the specter of biological warfare against US troops was first brought to the public consciousness. The study, by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, recommended that Congress establish a new Medical Biodefense Agency to direct Defense Department research and development of medicines for dealing with biological warfare attacks as well as regular infectious diseases."
   NIH Directors No Longer Drug Firm Consultants
by David Willman and Jon Marino - Los Angeles Times - Friday January 23, 2004
WASHINGTON:Top-level officials at the National Institutes of Health amid sharp criticism from congressional leaders have stopped accepting consulting fees and stock options from drug companies, the agency's leader told a Senate hearing on Thursday.
"As of this moment, no director has any outside biotechnology or pharmaceutical relationship," said the leader of the NIH, Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni, referring to the directors of the agency's research institutes and centers. "Those have been stopped."
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services and education, nevertheless told Zerhouni and other NIH officials at the hearing that "there are really major problems here." Specter, who reminded the officials that he had helped double the NIH budget in recent years, added, "I believe there will have to be very substantial remedial steps taken."
Citing paid arrangements between biomedical companies and senior NIH scientists disclosed last month by The Times, Specter asked if ongoing consulting deals for all NIH employees could be suspended immediately.
Specter also voiced dissatisfaction with policies and decisions that have exempted about 94% of the NIH's highest-paid employees from having to publicly disclose payments from drug companies or other outside employers.
"Is there any reason why a governmental employee making as much as the vice president should not be required to fill out a public financial disclosure form?" Specter asked.
"This subcommittee is prepared to do it if you don't. And we're prepared to get into changes in law, if you don't come up with something that's adequate."
The NIH is the federal government's center for medical research on humans. Its top scientists are among the highest paid employees in the government, and its studies can affect the commercial viability of new drugs and the stock prices of biomedical companies.
   Hackworth: Politicians: Read This Before Self-Destructing
by Col. David Hackworth - Military.com - Thursday January 22, 2004
Article orignally ran Jan. 13, 2004:

The recycled Pentagon types now merrily selling their "expertise" to the weapon-makers and the rest of the current crop of shakers and takers who make up todays military-industrial-congressional greed machine are as usual sucking up big bucks, while many of our vets continue to get the shaft. Also as usual.

Wesley Clark summed up what's going down in a recent campaign speech: "We've got veterans hospitals closing; we've got people who have to drive six hours to get a checkup; we've got veterans that are waiting six months to get an appointment ... that's not health care."

If elected, Clark promises to add $2 billion to the vet health-care budget. "We've got to fix the veterans' issues here in America," he said. "We're going to put the full funding we need to get the Veterans Affairs to meet our ... former service members' needs."

Since 1996, the VA's workload has increased from 3 million to 7 million vets without a comparable increase in operating funds. There's presently neither the money nor the infrastructure to take care of all those who paid the hard price when Uncle Sam said, "I want you." Which is why the enrollment of thousands of eligible vets in the category designated as Priority Group 8 "non-service disabled vets and those with incomes higher than $24,000 a year" were dropped like a live grenade last year.

According to VA honcho Anthony Principi, this suspension affects only the lowest priority group in the VA's eight-tier system vets in Group 8. But he says Priority 8s already enrolled will be "grandfathered" and allowed to continue in the VA health-care system.

"Who is Principi to play God?" asks Vietnam vet Lawrence Tahler. "When is a vet not a vet, and why should these good men and women be penalized for not getting their paperwork in before some bureaucrat arbitrarily decides to change the system?"

"I'm a Priority 8 Vietnam vet who was denied enrollment," Donald Schlotz says. "As a result, I annually spend over $7,000 on health insurance for promised care that would otherwise be provided by the VA. It looks to me like the Bush administration is trying to save money at the expense of vets who were assured they'd have health care for life."

Millions of vets who agree with Schlotz are angry because they believe the Bush administration has looked the other way when it comes to the aging veteran population.

But Bush's $63.6 billion 2004 VA budget actually comes in at a whopping 7.7 percent increase over last year's allocation - the biggest VA increase in history. The bummer is, that's far from enough dough to do the job.

"This action against Priority 8 vets is outrageous," Schlotz says. "It's particularly distasteful that this now pits vets against each other for benefits, rather than providing benefits for all. Moreover, by "grandfathering" some vets, it discriminates between similarly situated vets based on nothing other than when they applied for benefits."

The Priority 8s are the victims of a government that's forgotten George Washington's sage warning, "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."

While Clark has low-balled the money needed to get the VA program back on track, he's spot on when it comes to the 2004 election. Veterans - and there are millions of them from sea to shining sea - have vowed to hold our politicians' feet to the fire this time around to make sure they honor our nation's sacred obligation to the men and women whose sacrifices have made our country the freest in the world.

Principi recently said, "Our veterans deserve nothing less than the best a grateful nation has to offer."

Sounds good. But Principi, the president and Congress should be told that America's vets need action, not more glowing words. Payback begins at home. Our country's service heroes must be properly looked after before the rest of the world gets any more goodies. And certainly before the powers that be give another thought to colonizing the moon or Mars.
   Arms Issue Seen as Hurting U.S. Credibility Abroad commentary follows
by Glenn Kessler - Washington Post - Monday January 19, 2004
The Bush administration's inability to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq -- after public statements declaring an imminent threat posed by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein -- has begun to harm the credibility abroad of the United States and of American intelligence, according to foreign policy experts in both parties.

In last year's State of the Union address, President Bush used stark imagery to make the case that military action was necessary. Among other claims, Bush said that Hussein had enough anthrax to "kill several million people," enough botulinum toxin to "subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure" and enough chemical agents to "kill untold thousands."

Now, as the president prepares for this State of the Union address Tuesday, those frightening images of death and destruction have been replaced by a different reality: Few of the many claims made by the administration have been confirmed after months of searching by weapons inspectors.


Commentary:
COMMENT: The Commander-in-Chief has no credibility on WMD, but the Pentagon's anthrax vaccine court-martials -- and illnesses -- continue.
QUOTES FROM ARTICLE: "In last year's State of the Union address, President Bush...said that Hussein had enough anthrax to "kill several million people"...[but] .."...U.S. investigators have found no evidence that Iraq had a hidden cache of old chemical or biological weapons..."
   U.S.-Backed AIDS Vaccine Trial in Thailand Is Questioned commentary follows
by David Brown - Washington Times/UPI - Monday January 19, 2004
Nearly two dozen well-respected AIDS researchers are publicly questioning the value of a U.S.-sponsored AIDS vaccine trial just starting in Thailand, suggesting the huge experiment is a waste of money that offers little prospect of benefiting Thais.

The study, which has been planned for seven years, is by far the largest AIDS vaccine trial ever undertaken. It is testing a two-component vaccine in 16,000 volunteers in two provinces in Thailand. One of the vaccine's components, however, has twice failed to offer any protection against the AIDS virus. While the usefulness of the second component is not known, its ability to stimulate the immune system has proved extremely disappointing in preliminary testing.

Defenders of the Thai trial -- designed by the U.S. Army but turned over to the National Institutes of Health in 2002 -- believe the vaccine may prove to be better than the sum of its parts. In any case, some argue, the trial is likely to provide scientific insights useful to future AIDS vaccine research and is thus worth it.


Commentary:
QUOTE (last sentence): "When you are starving for information, then whatever reasonable trial you can do to get some information is something that you want to pursue," [Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases] said.

This is rich:
"Half of the volunteers will receive "active" vaccine and half placebo shots. All, however, will be counseled extensively on how to avoid infection and will be told not to count on the shots to enhance the protection that comes from their own behavior. For that reason, scientists expect the infection rate among trial participants to be lower than that of people like them not in the study. "

In other words: Stay away from unprotected sex, stay away from sharing needles and be very careful on blood transfusions because we don't think this vaccine is going to help.
   Critics of NIH Studies Prompt Senate Hearing commentary follows
by Rick Weiss - Washington Post - Sunday January 18, 2004
Under pressure from conservative activists and members of Congress, officials at the National Institutes of Health are scrambling to respond to allegations of improper funding and financial conflicts of interest that will be the focus of a Senate hearing scheduled for Thursday.

This week's hearing and another being planned in the House reflect an uncomfortable shift of political winds for the venerable research institute and its director, Elias A. Zerhouni, who took the reins of the agency in May 2002.


Commentary:
Further quote from the article:
...In December, an article in the Los Angeles Times suggested that improprieties were occurring in collaborations between NIH scientists and drug companies. Those claims prompted a fresh round of congressional questions.
   Probe Sought Into NIH Officials' Outside Work commentary follows
by David Willman - Los Angeles Times - Saturday January 17, 2004
WASHINGTON:Three leading House Democrats on Friday asked the General Accounting Office to investigate consulting fees and stock options paid by drug companies to employees at the National Institutes of Health.

Citing details from a Los Angeles Times article published last month, the House members called for an "investigation into potential conflicts of interest" at the federal government's center for medical research on humans.

...The Times identified hundreds of consulting payments, totaling millions of dollars, to senior NIH scientists. Rules prohibiting top NIH officials from accepting consulting fees and stock options from drug companies were lifted in late 1995, through an internal memorandum from the leader of the NIH that had not been made public prior to last month's article. The Times also reported that about 94% of the top-paid employees at the NIH were not required to publicly disclose payments from outside employers, including drug companies.


Commentary:
We are reminded of the number of people who cite the NIH study on the antharx vaccine - a study funded by the Pentagon - declaring it to be both safe and effective. There certainly are a lot of cooks in the kitchen.
   Suicide rate is up among troops in Iraq
by Matt Kelley - Associated Press - Thursday January 15, 2004
WASHINGTON -- U.S. soldiers in Iraq are killing themselves at a high rate despite the work of special teams sent to help troops deal with combat stress, the Pentagon's top doctor said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, about 2,500 soldiers who have returned from the war on terrorism are having to wait for medical care at bases in the United States , said Dr. William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. The problem of troops on "medical extension" is likely to get worse as the Pentagon rotates hundreds of thousands of troops into and out of Iraq this spring, he said.

Both situations illustrate the stresses placed on the troops and the military's health system by the war in Iraq .

Suicide has become such a pressing issue that the Army sent an assessment team to Iraq late last year to see if anything more could be done to prevent troops from killing themselves. The Army also began offering more counseling to returning troops after several soldiers at Fort Bragg , N.C. , killed their wives and themselves after returning home from Afghanistan .
   Cause of Iraq pneumonia still mystery commentary follows
Washington Times/UPI - Thursday January 15, 2004
WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Military medical investigators are baffled at what caused an extremely rare form of pneumonia that sickened soldiers in Iraq, UPI has learned.

As summer approaches -- and with it the threat of a new outbreak -- they have ruled out all known causes and are settling into intense research to try to find the cause, Col. Bruno Petruccelli, the director of epidemiology and disease surveillance at the U.S. Army Medical Corps, told UPI.


Commentary:
Though the article says that smoking likely impaired the immune system, predisposing to infection, there was no infection. The diagnosis of acute eosinophilic pneumonia remains uncertain for most of the cases. But TWO cases of eosinophilic lymphocytic peri/myocarditis that occurred within 2-3 weeks of both anthrax and smallpox vaccinations OUGHT to suggest to Col. Bruno Petrocelli that this vaccine combination, or individual vaccines, could have been the predisposing cause. Meryl Nass, MD H 207 276-5092 W 207 288-5082 ext 220 or pager 441 C 207 522-5229
   Report: Gulf War Syndrome linked to vaccines
Reuters/CNN - Wednesday January 14, 2004
Originally ran 1/12/2004:
LONDON, England (Reuters) --A leaked British Army medical report has provided the first official backing that vaccines given to British soldiers before the 1991 Gulf War caused illnesses associated with Gulf War Syndrome, the Times reported on Monday.

It said Lieutenant-Colonel Graham Howe, clinical director of psychiatry with the British Forces Health Service in Germany, made the link after the War Pensions Agency asked him to look at the case of former Lance-Corporal Alex Izett, who now suffers from osteoporosis and acute depression, the paper said.

The Times quoted Howe as saying in his unpublished report, dated September 2001 and handed to the paper by Izett, that "secret" injections given to the soldier "most probably led to the development of autoimmune-induced osteoporosis."

Howe came to that conclusion because in the end Izett was never posted to Iraq, the Times said.

The paper added that Izett won a landmark ruling at a war pensions appeals tribunal last summer which awarded him a 50 percent disability pension.
   Resumption of anthrax vaccine for military personnel
U.S.A.F. Headquarters, Washington, D.C. - Monday January 12, 2004
Originally posted 01/04/2004:

1. THIS MESSAGE AUTHORIZES AND DIRECTS IMMEDIATE RESUMPTION OF ANTHRAX VACCINATIONS IAW REF A, B, C, AND G.

2. REFS A, B, AND C PROVIDED AUTHORIZATION AND IMPLEMENTATION GUIDANCE FOR REINTRODUCTION OF THE ANTHRAX VACCINE IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM IN JUN 02 FOR DESIGNATED MILITARY, EMERGENCY-ESSENTIAL CIVILIANS AND MISSION-ESSENTIAL CONTRACTORS IAW THESE REFERENCES.

3. IN RESPONSE TO A 22 DEC 03 U.S. DISTRICT COURT RULING CONCERNING DODメS ANTHRAX VACCINE IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM, DOD ISSUED A MEMORANDUM ON 23 DEC 03 DIRECTING A TEMPORARY STOP TO ALL ANTHRAX VACCINATIONS (REF D). SAFETY OF THE VACCINE WAS NOT THE FOCUS OF THE INJUNCTION. THE JUDGEメS RULING WAS BASED ON CONCERNS ABOUT THE COMPLETENESS OF THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATIONメS (FDA) PROCESS TO APPROVE THE VACCINE FOR USE AGAINST INHALATION ANTHRAX.

4. REF E PROVIDED THE AIR FORCE DIRECTIVE TO TEMPORARILY STOP ALL ANTHRAX VACCINATIONS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

5. ON 30 DEC 03, THE FDA COMPLETED AND APPROVED THE FINAL RULE THAT STATES ANTHRAX VACCINE ADSORBED (AVA, BIOTHRAX) IS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE AGAINST ALL FORMS OF ANTHRAX, INCLUDING INHALATIONAL ANTHRAX. THE FINAL RULE WAS PUBLISHED IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER ON 5 JAN 04 (REF F). ON 7 JAN 04, THE JUDGE GRANTED THE GOVERNMENTメS MOTION FOR A STAY OF HIS 22 DEC 03 INJUNCTION. IN RESPONSE (REF G), DOD DIRECTED IMMEDIATE RESUMPTION OF ANTHRAX VACCINATIONS IAW THE ORIGINAL GUIDANCE (REFS A, B, AND C) AND ALL SUBSEQUENT GUIDANCE RELEASED PRIOR TO 24 DEC 03 (COMPLETE LIST OF AF-WIDE GUIDANCE IS AVAILABLE AT: https://chembio.xo.hq.af.mil/bio-anthrax.shtml).

6. THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS ARE DIRECTED: IMMEDIATELY RESUME MANDATORY ANTHRAX VACCINATIONS FOR DESIGNATED DOD PERSONNEL IAW REF A, B, AND C FROM THE LAST DOCUMENTED VACCINATION GIVEN IN THE SERIES. DO NOT RESTART THE SERIES FROM THE BEGINNING, NOR SKIP OR REPEAT ANY VACCINATION IN THE SERIES. CONTINUE VACCINATIONS FROM THE LAST DOSE RECEIVED UNTIL THE SIX-SHOT SERIES IS COMPLETE, FOLLOWED BY ANNUAL BOOSTERS. ENSURE ALL VACCINATIONS ARE ACCURATELY RECORDED IN THE MEDICAL RECORD AND THE AIR FORCE COMPLETE IMMUNIZATION TRACKING APPLICATION (AFCITA).

7. MILITARY JUSTICE GUIDANCE: FOR ANTHRAX VACCINATION REFUSALS PRIOR TO 22 DEC 03 AND AFTER 7 JAN 04, DISCIPLINARY AND ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS MAY PROCEED IAW GUIDANCE PREVIOUSLY PROVIDED IN REFS B AND C. ENSURE SERVICE MEMBERS KNOW THAT DODメS TEMPORARY CESSATION IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT AND THAT ORDERS TO BE VACCINATED ARE LAWFUL ORDERS. CONSULT LEGAL ADVISORS AT HIGHER HEADQUARTERS AS APPROPRIATE.

8. HQ USAF/XO POC FOR THIS MESSAGE IS LT COL DONNA HUDSON/XONP, 703?692?0371 (DSN 222), OR EMAIL: DONNA.HUDSON@PENTAGON.AF.MIL.
   US military stretched too thin? commentary follows
by Tom Regan - CSmonitor.com - Friday January 09, 2004
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Pentagon experts worry that some of the military's most experienced pilots might quit after prolonged deployments to dangerous hot spots like Afghanistan and Iraq. At least 14 US helicopters have crashed in Iraq since President Bush declared major combat over last May, claiming some 58 lives and underscoring the vulnerability of an essential cog in US military operations there. Retention of pilots is a major concern because of the time, and the cost, of training them. Analysts say the situation with pilots is just one more example that the US military is stretched too thin.

"There is no question that the force is stretched too thin," said David Segal, director of the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland. "We have stopped treating the reserves as a force in reserve. Our volunteer army is closer to being broken today than ever before in its 30-year history."


Commentary:
Extensive article; read in its entirety. There is mention of calling up Reservists who are retired.
   Help with appeal for Senate Hearings on the Feres Doctrine
Veterans Equal Rights Protection Advocacy, Inc. - Tuesday January 06, 2004
Open letter:
January 4, 2004

Dear Veterans, Family and Friends,
Thank you so much for signing VERPA's on line petition. We appreciate your support and together we can and will abolish the Feres Doctrine. Right now, we have finally achieved what many have doubted could be done. To establish one central point of contact in the Senate who sits and awaits to see how many Americans will make contact to request Senate Judiciary hearings to abolish the Feres Doctrine.

Please help us help you , by making one very important phone call this week, to Senator Arlen Specter at (202) 224-4254 and either speak with or leave a message for Juria Jones.

Please let Ms. Jones know that you and the number of family members you speak on behalf of wish for Senator Specter to commence follow-up hearings on the Feres Doctrine to abolish the Feres Doctrine via introducing the VERPA Act.

Ms. Jones is working with VERPA to convince Senator Specter the time is now to introduce the VERPA Act to end the 54 years of injury or injustice under the Feres Doctrine. Your call will show your support of this bill and will reinforce the need for Senator Specter to act now. The key is to contact Ms. Jones and if you can, please also contact all members of the Judiciary committee listed on our website.

Also, please review our newly updated website at www.verpa.org and forward this message on to Veterans you know, as well as to your own family and friends. Our website explains who we are, why, and what we are doing to abolish Feres. Specifically, on our "About US" page are specific questions which a "yes" answer on any one of the questions will make you see we must achieve this now and as a team!

Any questions or comments.. please send them to me at verpalegislative@aol.com.

Thank you again for your support of VERPA. We are here to help YOU and to stop further abuses allowed by the Feres Doctrine.

Sincerely,
Barb Cragnotti
VERPA Legislative Coordinator
www.verpa.org
   Disabled Veterans Get Health Care Priority from VA
Veterans Administration - Friday January 02, 2004
WASHINGTON (Jan. 2, 2004) - All veterans with service-connected medical problems will receive priority access to health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under a new directive.

"Caring for veterans with service-connected medical problems is a major reason VA exists," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi. "This directive should ease the minds of veterans who no longer have to wait for health care appointments."

The new directive provides that all veterans requiring care for a service-connected disability -- regardless of the extent of their injury -- must be scheduled for a primary care evaluation within 30 days of their request for care. If a VA facility is unable to schedule an appointment within 30 days, it must arrange for care at another VA facility, at a contract facility or through a sharing agreement.

The directive covers hospitalization and outpatient care. It does not apply to care for medical problems not related to a service-connected disability. However, veterans needing emergency care will be treated immediately.
Anthrax Vaccine

Back to list
   BioWatch: PharmAthene to work with HHS on anthrax vaccine commentary follows
Gazette.Net - Maryland Community Newspapers Online - Friday January 08, 2010
Last month, two Maryland biotechs were dealt a blow when federal health officials canceled their agency's request for proposals for a new, second-generation anthrax vaccine.

Both PharmAthene of Annapolis and Emergent BioSolutions of Rockville have been working for years to win the contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. But BARDA officials said they did not think the companies could have a vaccine ready for Food and Drug Administration approval within eight years.

Rather than issue a new request, the agency, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, said it would ask vaccine developers to submit new product development plans.

On Dec. 29, BARDA announced plans to negotiate with PharmAthene to help develop its vaccine candidate, called SparVax, which has been tested in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials on 700 individuals.


Commentary:
Given that Emergent Biosolutions is the same basic company that originally manufactured and distributed the vaccine for inhalational anthrax - with a track record of contaminated and expired vaccine, of changing fermenting and filtering equipement without notifying the FDA, of mislabeling vaccine lots and more - we can only think it must be good news if this company is not invited to make any more anthrax vaccine. Ever.
   Delaware business: Newark lab wins vaccine contract commentary follows
by Andrew Eder - Deleware News Journal - Wednesday January 06, 2010
"Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology [...] said Tuesday that it has received a $5.3 million contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a unit of the Department of Defense tasked with protecting the country from weapons of mass destruction. The government hopes to find a flexible technology that can quickly produce a large amount of vaccine for biological agents in the event of a terrorist attack. [...] Fraunhofer Executive Director Vidadi Yusibov said his group has been working on anthrax and plague vaccines for about four years, aided by government grants.

[...] Both diseases are rarely seen in humans in the United States but could be deadly as a biological weapon. With the new contract, Fraunhofer is expected to demonstrate safety and efficacy in animal testing of a one-shot vaccine to protect against both infectious diseases, with the goal of having a product ready for initial testing in humans.

[...] Fraunhofer has developed a technology to produce vaccines quickly by growing target proteins in tobacco plants. [...] Fraunhofer [...] will look to produce the anthrax and plague vaccines separately and combine them into a single formulation."


Commentary:
Be worried. Be very worried. The military already has a habit of giving multiple vaccines in one day to service members; and service members have already died from this practice. Physicians don't order these shots; commanders do. Proper medical protocol is too often sacrificed for "convenience" and "efficiency." -- Have to wonder how convenient and efficient it is to lose service members or have them experience the onset of debilitating illnesses as a result of these vaccines and how they're given.
   The Anthrax Vaccine: A Dilemma for Homeland Security
by Lt. Col. Thomas Rempfer, USAF - The Journal of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security - Wednesday June 17, 2009
***Story published in May, 2009 edition of Journal:
Past problems with the Department of Defense anthrax vaccine currently impact Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services policy. Following the 2001 anthrax letter attacks, those departments included the old anthrax vaccine in the Strategic National Stockpile. This article explores the Department of Defenses experience with the vaccine, enumerating past safety, efficacy, regulatory, and legal problems. Public health policy alternative courses of action are suggested, including use of antibiotics and development of a new vaccine.
   Emergent BioSolutions Meets With FDA To Review Regulatory Strategy For Recombinant Anthrax Vaccine
Medical News Today - Sunday June 14, 2009
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE:EBS) announced that it has met with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review Emergent's regulatory strategy for the development of its recombinant anthrax (rPA) vaccine. Emergent recently submitted to FDA, among other documents, its rPA Development Plan in response to the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) amendment to its request for proposal (RFP) to develop and deliver up to 25 million doses of an rPA vaccine for the Strategic National Stockpile. In amending the RFP, HHS required that all bidders deemed to be in the competitive range submit to FDA a comprehensive plan outlining the regulatory strategy for their rPA vaccine. Emergent completed that submission on May 12, 2009 ahead of the June 15, 2009 submission deadline.
   Emergent biosolutions receives FDA approval extending shelf life of biothrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) to 4 years
Welt Online - Wednesday June 10, 2009
"Emergent BioSolutions Inc. [...] announced today that [...], BioThrax [...] has been granted a shelf life extension from 3 to 4 years by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). [&] Emergent continues to research additional enhancements to BioThrax such as a possible further reduction in the vaccination regimen and a potential label expansion to include use as a post-exposure prophylaxis. To date, Emergent has supplied over 33 million doses of BioThrax to the U.S. government, with additional deliveries to the [Strategic National Stockpile] SNS scheduled through the third quarter of 2011. [&] BioThrax is the only FDA-licensed vaccine for the prevention of anthrax infection [sic]. It is indicated for the active immunization of adults who are at high risk of exposure to anthrax [spores]. BioThrax is manufactured from a culture filtrate, made from a non-virulent strain of Bacillus anthracis. Since 1998, the U.S. government has procured nearly 33.5 million doses of BioThrax. During that time period, more than 8.7 million doses have been administered to more than 2.2 million military personnel."
   Insider threats seen as biolabs' biggest problem
Maryland AP News - Tuesday June 09, 2009
"A Defense Science Board report on military biolab safety says insider threats are the labs' biggest security problem. The Frederick News-Post reports that the board recommends a security review of Fort Detrick's U.S. Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases' environmental system computers. These computers help ensure that airborne pathogens cannot leave labs. The report comes after the FBI's conclusion that a Fort Detrick scientist was responsible for the 2001 anthrax [spore] mailings that killed five and sickened 17. But it does not examine the Justice Department's specific allegations. The report identifies insider threats as the most difficult to defend against, but dismisses concerns about outsiders trying to obtain pathogens from Defense Department labs."
   Biodefense firm in running to develop anthrax vaccine
by Katie Arcieri - The Capital - Tuesday June 02, 2009
"An Annapolis biodefense firm said it is one of two companies left in the running for a government contract to develop 25 million doses of an anthrax vaccine. Employees of the Annapolis-based PharmAthene work together in a laboratory. The company said it is one of two firms competing for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contract to produce 25 million doses of an anthrax vaccine. Stacey Jurchison, spokeswoman for PharmAthene, said the only other firm competing for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contract is Emergent BioSolutions of Rockville. PharmAthene officials said the deal could be worth up to $500 million and is part of the government's effort to procure an anthrax vaccine for the national stockpile."
   EPA green lights first antimicrobial pesticide against anthrax [bacteria]
Environmental Protection Agency - Thursday May 28, 2009
"The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the first registration, or license, of an antimicrobial pesticide product to deactivate anthrax spores on hard surfaces. 'Peridox with the Electrostatic Decontamination System' can decontaminate buildings, structures, vehicles, ships, aircraft, personal protective equipment, and other items infected with anthrax spores. Its use is limited to dry, precleaned, hard, nonporous surfaces. [...] The use of anthrax-related products will be limited to federal on-scene coordinators, the U.S. military, and persons trained and certified competent by the manufacturer. Peridox is the first pesticide registered to deactivate anthrax spores. EPA previously issued crisis exemptions allowing use of unregistered antimicrobial chemicals to clean buildings and any contents contaminated with anthrax spores."
   EPA green lights first antimicrobial pesticide against anthrax [bacteria]
Environmental Protection Agency - Thursday May 28, 2009
"The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the first registration, or license, of an antimicrobial pesticide product to deactivate anthrax spores on hard surfaces. 'Peridox with the Electrostatic Decontamination System' can decontaminate buildings, structures, vehicles, ships, aircraft, personal protective equipment, and other items infected with anthrax spores. Its use is limited to dry, precleaned, hard, nonporous surfaces. [...] The use of anthrax-related products will be limited to federal on-scene coordinators, the U.S. military, and persons trained and certified competent by the manufacturer. Peridox is the first pesticide registered to deactivate anthrax spores. EPA previously issued crisis exemptions allowing use of unregistered antimicrobial chemicals to clean buildings and any contents contaminated with anthrax spores."
   Anthrax [vaccination] shots reduced
by Jimmy Norris - Stars & Stripes - Monday March 16, 2009
Story first ran on March 6, 2009:

Theres good news and bad news for service members who dont like getting shots. The good news is a December change to Food and Drug Administration guidelines has reduced the number of shots in the anthrax immunization series from six to five. The bad news is, it was the second shot in the series that was removed, meaning those whod already gotten the second shot still have to finish all six. The anthrax shots, according to an information paper by the Military Vaccine Agency, are required of all military members and emergency-essential civilians assigned to U.S. Central Command and South Korea, as well as those assigned to units with biodefense-related missions.
   Military intelligence-anthrax [sic] inquiry bill reintroduced
by Justin Palk - Frederick News Post - Thursday March 12, 2009
Last week, [U.S. Rep. Rush] Holt [D-NJ] reintroduced his bill to create a commission to investigate the [2001 b. anthracis] attacks. The commission would investigate both the mailings and the federal government's investigation of them. In particular, it would examine to what extent federal investigators followed credible leads and identified potential mailers. The commission would have to produce a report on its investigation and recommendations for preventing future bioterrorism attacks within 18 months. Holt introduced the same bill last year, but Congress took no action on it.
   Emergent cleared to sell BioThrax in India commentary follows
Lansing State Journal - Friday February 13, 2009
ROCKVILLE, Md. - Emergent BioSolutions Inc. said it has received approval to sell its Lansing-made anthrax vaccine in India. Emergent said Biological E. Limited will market the BioThrax vaccine in India. BioThrax is the only anthrax vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Emergent makes the BioThrax vaccine at its north Lansing campus, which employs about 350 workers. The primary customer for the anthrax vaccine has been the U.S. government


Commentary:
Uh-huh. Has anybody told India that this vaccine is still experimental; that there's been no peer-reviewed, published research as to its safety and efficacy - only a long-ago study on a different anthrax vaccine? You suppose India is ready for the horrendous list of illnesses and possibly death that's about to come their way?
   FDA approves shortened anthrax-vaccine course commentary follows
by Lisa Schnirring Staff Writer - CIDRAP - Monday December 22, 2008
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new version of BioThraxthe nation's only licensed anthrax vaccinethat requires fewer doses and changes the injection route. Emergent BioSolutions, maker of BioThrax, said in a Dec 19 press release that the FDA's approval of the company's supplemental biologics license application for its anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) allows a new schedule for the vaccine: five intramuscular (IM) doses compared with the previous regimen of six subcutaneous doses. The vaccine is required for US military members who are deployed to the Middle East, but some have objected to the vaccine because of side effects. The FDA's approval is based on early findings from a large multicenter trial that was initiated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2002, according to the statement from Emergent. The goal of the study is to evaluate if as few as three doses of the vaccine administered over 6 months with booster doses up to 3 years apart will offer sufficient protection.


Commentary:
Pardon the sarcasm but oh, big fat discovery. The original protocol when this vaccine was first developed was only for 3 doses; there was never any research to back up the change to 6 doses; and on top of that, the label was changed to reflect the practice of 6 doses, not to dictate the accepted protocol of 3 doses. Now they're claiming they've done some research and made the discovery that just 3 doses were needed all along. Any sacrifice of our service members in order to save face, is that it?
   Self (inflicted) defense can up risk commentary follows
by http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-108T - Baltimore Examiner - Sunday November 23, 2008
Two clear facts shine from the clouded mystery of anthrax attacks on America and our governments tenuous claim seven years later of closing the case with the suicide of a suspect.
Fact No. 1: Government warnings about anthrax being a weapon of mass destruction were false. Somebody dispersed the most lethal strain our tax dollars can produce  weapons-grade or near enough  via the U.S. Postal Service, exposing tens of millions of people, yet managed to infect 22. Five died. But from anthrax vaccination, at least 21 died and thousands reported a wide range of illnesses.
Fact No. 2: If FBI accusations against their prime suspect in the 2001 attack are true, it means billions of dollars taxpayers invested on the premise of prevention actually increased the risk.
When senior biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins died from an overdose of Tylenol 3 after being identified as sole suspect, our central government declared the crime solved.
However, co-workers at the U.S. Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Frederick say the actions attributed to Ivins over the time the government claims are scientifically impossible.
This is going to be another never-healing wound in Americas body of unsolved mysteries.
But mystery should not distract us from the truth. Our governments response to bioweapons is raising the danger level from them.
Think it through, citizens. The very vaccination program intended to thwart anthrax apparently sickened and killed more people than an actual mass attack.
After the 2001 attack, our government hurled $41 billion at bioterror with no real coordination or study. High-level labs multiplied threefold. A dozen agencies exponentially increased the number of facilities and workers handling pathogens. Now we have more than 15,000 potential Bruce Ivins.
Meanwhile, our leaders provided no adequate increase in oversight, coordination, training, security, surveillance, testing, background checks or psychological screening.
Statistically, something going horribly wrong now approaches sure thing. That is not just a threat to residents of Frederick, Bethesda and other communities. It is, as the spread of anthrax spores proved, a threat to the whole world.
We learned in 2001 the actual danger from anthrax was lower than vaccine.
But these biohazard labs grow a lot more dangerous pathogens than anthrax. The next one to get out could kill millions.
President Bush must immediately halt programs until we can impose coordinated oversight, then assess security and capacity needs.
We must not let self-defense become self-inflicted catastrophe.


Commentary:
Link to GAO reports
High-Containment Biosafety Laboratories
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-108T
Issues Associated with Expansion
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-333R
Read the vaccine series:
Scientific impossibility
Sickening results
Costly program
Pentagon responds
   Costly Program with a Shady Past
by Deborah Rudacille - Baltimore Examiner - Thursday November 20, 2008
The Food and Drug Administration licensed Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed in 1970, based on a 1950s study of textile mill workers who processed imported goat hair. Each year, several mill workers contracted anthrax, a disease that humans get by touching, breathing or ingesting the pathogen bacillus anthracis from infected animals.

Of the 400 vaccinated workers, three contracted anthrax, and all of them developed cutaneous anthrax, a skin infection that is rarely fatal if treated with antibiotics. The FDA then approved AVA as safe and effective against cutaneous anthrax.

When anthrax is inhaled, however, its spores germinate in the lungs, releasing toxins that cause internal bleeding and death.

For nearly two decades, scientists studying B. anthracis in biodefense programs  like the one at Fort Detrick in Frederick  received the vaccine that the Michigan State Department of Public Health produced under contract to the Pentagon.

During the first Gulf War the fear of billowing clouds of weaponized anthrax engulfing U.S. troops led to mass immunization. About 150,000 troops received AVA in 1990-91, although the vaccine had never been licensed by the FDA for that purpose.
   The Pentagon Responds to Anthrax Articles commentary follows
by Eileen M. Lainez, Pentagon spokeswoman - Baltimore Examiner - Thursday November 20, 2008
We vaccinate our service members to protect them against deadly diseases, both natural and those potentially spread by terrorists or enemy forces. We take very seriously the potential use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists. Anthrax is a deadly infection, and this vaccine is a [protective] measure to combat it.

The Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly found, and independent medical experts have confirmed, that the anthrax vaccine is safe and effective. Mandatory vaccinations are designated for uniformed personnel assigned to Central Command [in the Middle East] and Korea areas of operation for 15 or more consecutive days.

Vaccinations are also extended to emergency-essential and equivalent [Department of Defense] civilian and contractor personnel carrying out mission-essential services serving in the Central Command and Korea areas of operation for 15 or more consecutive days.

To date, with vaccines we have protected almost 2.1 million service members against anthrax spores.


Commentary:
Ms. Lainez, surely you can quote chapter and verse on peer-reviewed, published research to support your "safe and effective" claims?
   Sickening Results
by Deborah Rudacille - Baltimore Examiner - Thursday November 20, 2008
Eddie Norman is only 43 years old, but he gets confused when he tries to remember important dates. The Fort Meade veteran walks with an old mans shuffle and has twice experienced kidney failure. To combat this misery, he takes 13 pills a day.

What anthrax has done to me, I cant put a number on, he says. It really destroyed me.

Norman is not a victim of the anthrax letter attacks of 2001. He is a casualty of the Armys Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program, instituted in 1998 to protect American troops from the threat of biological warfare. About 2.1 million troops have received the vaccine.

The number of troops who have died, been disabled or suffered chronic health problems after receiving the vaccine easily eclipses the five dead and 17 sickened by the bio-terror attack that began just a week after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Between 1998 and 2000, the first two years of the mandatory vaccination program, approximately 20,765 troops were hospitalized, according to vaccination data that the Pentagon long withheld from lawmakers. The illnesses ranged from systemic reactions such as numbness, joint pain and extreme fatigue to autoimmune diseases such as lupus, musculo-skeletal disorders and other chronic conditions.

It is impossible to say with certainty how many have fallen ill after getting the shots because no one is keeping exact count.

The Food and Drug Administration, however, has confirmed 21 deaths following anthrax vaccination, including Richard Dunn, an employee of the anthrax manufacturer  16 more than the number of people killed in the letter attacks.

The FDA does not say the troops died because of the vaccine, only that they died after taking the shots.
   Scientific impossibility: Did FBI get their man in Bruce Ivins?
by Deborah Rudacille - Baltimore Examiner - Thursday November 06, 2008
Bruce Ivins was a cold-blooded murderer, a deranged psycho-killer, who in the fall of 2001, cooked up a virulent batch of powdered anthrax, drove to Princeton, N.J., and mailed letters loaded with the lethal mix to five news organizations and two U.S. senators. At least, thats what the FBI says.

Frederick Police talk with a woman who they identified as Diane Ivins, the widow of Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who died of an apparent overdose of prescription Tylenol mixed with codeine, at their home, Friday, Aug. 1, 2008, in Frederick, Md. AP Photo/Rob Carr The letters infected 22 people, killing five, including two Maryland postal workers.

The sixth victim of the madness was Ivins himself, a 62-year-old biodefense researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, who committed suicide rather than face charges.

Case closed? Neatly wrapped up? Not so fast.
   HHS limits anthrax vaccine legal liability commentary follows
by Elaine M. Grossman, Global Security Newswire - Government Executive.com - Monday October 20, 2008
The Health and Human Services Department early this month moved to shield government, industry and business officials from lawsuits filed by those who have received the anthrax vaccine. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt established legal immunity for public and private officials who oversee the production or distribution of the anthrax vaccine by declaring a "public health emergency" due to the risk of a bioterrorism attack. He said the emergency began on Oct. 1 and would run through Dec. 31, 2015. U.S. law provides protection from lawsuits to individuals responsible for selected countermeasures, including antibiotics, during a declared emergency.


Commentary:
Further quote: "The ramifications, in this instance, could be to prevent individuals who have received one or more anthrax inoculation from taking grievances to court, based on claims that the vaccine caused severe adverse reactions or did not work."

Not that service members or veterns could take anything to court anyway under the long shadow of the Feres Doctrine. . .
   Attorney general turns up heat in seeking promotion for Guard officer commentary follows
by Thomas D. Williams - Journal Inquirer (North Central Connecticut) - Saturday October 04, 2008
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal last week sent another letter to Gov. Jodi Rell asking her to posthumously promote former Air Force National Guard officer Russell Dingle of East Hartford.

Blumenthal sent the letter Sept. 26, two days after a story in the Journal Inquirer cited evidence that Dingle was forced to resign from the National Guard in 1999 after he disputed the militarys policy concerning mandatory anthrax vaccinations.

Christopher Cooper, Rells spokesman, said the governor is out of town until Monday, so there is no immediate comment on the letter.

Dingles resignation followed a Guard investigation he led into the militarys mandatory anthrax vaccinations. The investigation concluded that the anthrax vaccine the military was requiring was improperly licensed and potentially unsafe. Dingle and seven others refused to take the vaccine ordered by the Guard, citing the inquirys conclusions that it could cause serious adverse reactions.

Dingle had earned the rank of major before he left the National Guard. Later, after joining to the Air Force Reserves, he earned the rank of lieutenant colonel there.

Blumenthals request is that Dingle, who died of cancer in September 2005, be made a full colonel in the National Guard.

Lieutenant Colonel Dingle performed this mission in an extraordinarily thorough and exemplary manner, Blumenthal said. The research he did in carrying out his orders concluded that the vaccine was investigatory and the mandatory order (to use it) illegal. His work contributed significantly to the good order and discipline of the National Guard.

Blumenthal had written a similar letter to Rell last May calling for Dingles after-death promotion to full colonel. But, a month later, Maj. Gen. Thaddeus J. Martin, the states adjutant general, rejected the request.


Commentary:
The research which Lt. Col. Dingle and then-Major Thomas Rempfer did on the anthrax vaccine can be found on this web site under the Pilots' Corner link.
   Efforts continue to posthumously promote EHartford man who opposed military vaccinations commentary follows
by Thomas D. Williams - Journal Inquirer (North Central Connecticut) - Wednesday September 24, 2008
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is continuing months of efforts to press the states National Guard and Gov. M. Jodi Rell to posthumously promote Russell Dingle of East Hartford one of the nationwide leaders of a successful effort to promote drug safety and licensing requirements for the military's mandatory anthrax vaccine inoculations.

Lieutenant Colonel Dingle, at great personal and professional sacrifice, not only persevered in challenging the legality of the vaccine, but also succeeded in forcing the (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to correct the warning label on the vaccine thereby avoiding birth defects and other serious health problems for many people, Blumenthal said in a May letter to Rell.

Therefore, I strongly urge you to consider this posthumous promotion as a fitting tribute to a Connecticut Air National Guard member, someone who did so much for his fellow soldiers, his state, and his country, he wrote.

The attorney general long has supported efforts by Dingle and others to stop the use of the vaccine because he considered it unsafe and improperly licensed.

Dingle, who died of cancer at 49 in September 2005, waged an unprecedented eight-year battle to compel government recognition of improper licensing of the controversial vaccine.

Eventually, his protests to government agencies, the courts, and two presidential administrations helped result in a December 2003 ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington, D.C., temporarily blocking required military inoculations eventually aimed at all 2.4 million service members.

After the Food and Drug Administration made adjustments to the vaccines license, ordered by Sullivans ruling, the Pentagon continued mandatory vaccinations. The inoculations caused thousands of adverse reactions and hundreds of disciplinary actions, including service removals of military men and women who refused to be vaccinated.

What began as a task to investigate the anthrax vaccine (Tiger Team Alpha) has resulted in nonspecific personal threats, verbal abuse, ostracism, and, most recently, defamation of character and slander, Dingle wrote in a February 1999 letter to his commander, Col. Walter Burns, weeks after he and seven other veteran combat pilots announced they were being forced out of the Air National Guard. He and others involved in opposing the vaccine, Dingle said, were being compared to Nazi sympathizers.

In August of this year, the FBI identified its second prime suspect in the September 2001 attacks that involved anthrax spore mailed to media outlets, two Democratic U.S. senators, and others: military lab vaccine scientist Bruce Ivans. The FBI insisted the national threat to cut off use of the anthrax vaccine motivated Ivans to spread terror with the spores to promote the vaccine he had a financial interest in.

Federal government discussions, including some involving former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, aimed at possibly halting the mandatory inoculations resulted in part from the earlier legal battle and other governmental pressures brought by Dingle and several Air Force colleagues. Initially, soon after the attacks, high-level officials, including President Bush, suggested foreign agents spread the anthrax spores and, as a result, the threat to discontinue the vaccine ended.

But, in fact, Dingle and Air Force Reserve Maj. Thomas Rempfer  a close friend, fellow military pilot, and vaccine-fighting colleague  argued that the threat of a foreign anthrax spore attack is remote. It had been used only once, and unsuccessfully, in 1995 by terrorist group Aum Shinrikyo in a Tokyo subway station, they said. And whats more, Dingle and Rempfer added, the spore is difficult, dangerous, and expensive to produce.

A month after Blumenthals request to promote Dingle, Maj. Gen. Thaddeus J. Martin, the states adjutant general, rejected it. Martin said Dingle voluntarily transferred from the Guard to the U.S. Air Force Reserve, so he wasnt qualified for Guard promotion.

But Dingle repeatedly had insisted he was forced out of the Guard in early 1999 because Guard officials didnt want to accept his investigative findings that the vaccine was a dangerous health threat and was improperly licensed.

Most recently this month, Blumenthal  after reviewing evidence supporting Dingles claim supplied by a reporter  sent another request to authorities because he became convinced that Dingle was illegally forced out of the National Guard.

Dingles inspiration to oppose the vaccine arose in 1998 after Burns, his former Air Force National Guard commander, assigned him and Rempfer, then both majors and pilots, to research all aspects of the controversial drug.

After their Tiger Team Alpha found the vaccine to be too likely to cause adverse reactions, to have failed manufacturing inspections, and to have been improperly licensed, Burns rejected their conclusions.

A video shows that Burns later told Guard members they would be traitors if they failed to take the vaccine.

A deposition of Burns quotes him as saying: If you do not get the shot during this time period & all youre doing is kicking the can & if some of these issues are burning inside you. & Cant have that because words like traitor start coming up in my mind, and I dont have a lot of time for those kind of people. & If youre not going to be ready to go to war whenever were called, you are sponging America as far as Im concerned.

The videotape, sworn testimony, and other data were e-mailed by a reporter to Martin, the states adjutant general. Martin, who in the February 1999 letter from Dingle to the Guard was accused of berating Dingle, continued to insist Dingle voluntarily resigned.

Ultimately, his press spokesman, Lt. Col. John Whitford, insisted that all queries be directed to Air Force headquarters in Washington, D.C. Air Force spokesman Michael Andrews said any such questions should be addressed instead to the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. And there, spokeswoman Kristine M. Munn ultimately told a reporter that such subjects were in the purview of the Connecticut National Guard.

Blumenthal is asking the Guard and Rell to promote Dingle to the rank of full colonel from his Guard rank as major. After leaving the Guard in early 1999, Dingle moved into the Air Force Reserves and eventually was promoted to lieutenant colonel.

Rempfer supports the attorney generals efforts. He said Dingle should be posthumously promoted to full colonel, though he likely would have risen farther had he been allowed to remain. Russ was a leader with unparalleled integrity, and the state of Connecticut should honor his service accordingly.

A Rell spokesman, Christopher Cooper, declined comment until the governor reviews a letter Blumenthal is preparing for unidentified authorities.

In May 2001 Dingle wrote to three congressmen seeking their intervention in the court-martial of then-Air Force Capt. John Buck, a medical doctor, who refused to take the vaccine.

He said: `When the U.S. military no longer allows for professional dissent within its ranks; when the U.S. military mandates that any and all orders be obeyed regardless of their moral or legal basis; when the U.S. military allows its members to defend themselves with I was just following orders; then the U.S. military will cease to attract men and women of principle and honor. & It will end up resembling the military organizations that we have fought for the last 60 years.

Dingle was survived by his wife, Jane; two daughters, Megan and Emma; and his mother, Barbara.


Commentary:
The body of research which Dingle and Rempfer conducted is posted on this web site under the "Pilots' Corner" link on the menu at left.
   Motives for anthrax attacks? The vaccine was being criticized commentary follows
Jeff Taylor, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia - Friday August 08, 2008
Motive from statement: "Fifth, as reflected in the court documents, Dr. Ivins had a history of mental health problems and was facing a difficult time professionally in the summer and fall of 2001 because an anthrax vaccine he was working on was failing."

Motive reiterated in QnA: QUESTION: "Can you elaborate a little bit on what you think is the motive behind this? ..." MR. TAYLOR: "The other question you have, Dr. Ivins is a troubled individual, particularly so at that time. He's very concerned, according to the evidence, that this vaccination program he's been working on may come to an end. He's also very concerned that some have been criticizing and blaming that vaccination program in connection with illnesses suffered by soldiers from, I think, the first Gulf War. So that was going on, according to the evidence, in his mind at that particular time. With respect to motive, I'll point again to -- with respect to the motive, the troubled nature of Dr. Ivins. And a possible motive is his concern about the end of the vaccination program. And the concerns had been raised, and one theory is that by launching these attacks, he creates a situation, a scenario, where people all of a sudden realize the need to have this vaccine."


Commentary:
Ivins obviously didn't feel badly that our service members and veterans have suffered so greatly from the anthrax vaccine, which he helped to invent and develop. What he felt badly about was being criticized; and he didn't mind taking a couple of other lives in a twisted attempt to "prove" the vaccine was needed. Is this an example of the twisted thinking upon which the Pentagon relies?
   2001: Ivins, Anthrax Key Dates
Hartford Courant (CT) - Friday August 08, 2008
Mid-August: Microbiologist Bruce Ivins begins to spend more evenings in his lab.

Sept. 14-16: Ivins spends three consecutive evening shifts at the lab.
Sept. 17-24: Ivins does not enter the lab.
Sept. 18: The date of postmarks on letters containing anthrax to members of the news media.
Sept. 26: In an e-mail, Ivins discusses his therapy group and how all of the other people in it are battling depression, sadness and stress. But he's different, he says. "I'm really the only scary one in the group."
Sept. 28-Oct. 5: Ivins works eight consecutive nights in the lab.
Oct. 5: Robert Stevens, 63, a photo editor at American Media Inc. in Florida, dies after inhaling anthrax.
Oct. 9: The date of postmarks on letters containing anthrax to Democratic Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy.
Oct. 16: A co-worker of Ivins tells a friend in an e-mail that, "Bruce has been an absolute manic basket case the last few days."
Oct. 21-Nov. 21: Two postal workers in Washington, a hospital employee in New York City, and Ottilie Lundgren, 94, of Oxford, Conn., die from anthrax exposure.
 Associated Press
   Feds' Case In Anthrax Killings Wasn't Airtight
by MARK SHERMAN, MATT APUZZO And LARA JAKES JORDAN - AP/Hartford Courant (CT) - Thursday August 07, 2008
WASHINGTON  - Lacking hard proof, federal prosecutors relied on the process of elimination and circumstantial evidence to finger Bruce Ivins as the anthrax killer whose mailings rattled the nation in the worst bioterror case in U.S. history, just a month after the Sept. 11 attacks.

"We are confident that Dr. Ivins was the only person responsible for these attacks," said Jeffrey Taylor, the U.S. attorney in Washington, at a news conference Wednesday at the Justice Department.

   Anthrax mailer feared his life's work was doomed, prosecutors say
by James Gordon Meek - Daily News Washington Bureau - Thursday August 07, 2008
WASHINGTON - Accused anthrax mailer Bruce Ivins was scared his life's work - a vaccine to protect U.S. troops from the deadly bug - was doomed, prosecutors alleged Wednesday.

Saving the controversial military vaccine program may have motivated the Fort Detrick germ expert to mail anthrax powder to media outlets and to a senator directly involved in the effort to end his beloved research, prosecutors and sources said.

"A possible motive is his concern about the end of the vaccination program," U.S. Attorney for D.C. Jeffrey Taylor said yesterday.

"One theory is that by launching these attacks, [Ivins] creates a situation, a scenario, where people all of a sudden realize the need to have this vaccine," Taylor explained.

Documents obtained by the Daily News - which show President Bush's deputy chief of staff Karl Rove viewed the mandatory vaccinations as a "political problem" shortly before the anthrax attacks - establish Ivins had reason for his concern.

Troops were refusing to take the shots over fears they were unsafe and ineffective. Rove asked Paul Wolfowitz, then No. 2 at the Pentagon, in an April 2001 letter to deal with the "anthrax vaccine problem," which he said may have caused Gulf War syndrome from the 1991 Persian Gulf War. "They are political problems for us," Rove wrote.

Documents also show that staffers for Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) were pressing the Pentagon that summer to kill Ivins' vaccine.

On Aug. 10, 2001, top Rumsfeld lieutenant David Chu ordered the vaccinations continued only at "a minimum level."

On Oct. 15, 2001, Daschle's office received an anthrax letter.

Mark Zaid, a lawyer who represented the troops refusing the vaccine, said Ivins was at the center of the fight, which a newly unsealed FBI affidavit supports.

"Dr. Ivins was well aware that efforts we undertook between 1998 and 2001 to challenge the legality of the vaccination program was potentially on the verge of stopping it," Zaid said.

Just before the 2000 election, records show, Ivins fretted in an e-mail, "Apparently Gore (and maybe even Bush) is considering making the anthrax vaccine for the military voluntary, or even stopping the program."

The FBI alleged Ivins was "under pressure" in 2001 due to the vaccine controversy. "That was going on ... in his mind at that particular time," Taylor said.

On Oct. 16, 2006, the vaccinations were resumed by the Pentagon, which cited the 2001 anthrax letters as a reason.

jmeek@nydailynews.com
   *FDA [Food and Drug Administration] issues warning on Cipro [a common prescription for anthrax exposure], similar antibiotics commentary follows
by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar - AP;Chem-Bioterrorism newsletter - Tuesday July 08, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal drug safety officials have imposed the government's most urgent warning on Cipro and similar antibiotics, citing risks that they can cause tendon ruptures, a serious injury that leaves some patients incapacitated.

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday ordered makers of flouroquinolone drugs - a potent class of antibiotics - to add a 'black box' warning to their products, which include Cipro, Levaquin, Floxin and other medications.

Patients should immediately stop taking the medications if they develop any tendon pain, swelling or inflammation.


Commentary:
Cipro is one of the drugs most commonly uesd to treat reactions to the anthrax vaccine.
   Whats going on with Ebola? I thought it was going to kill us all.
by Katherine Tweed - Science Line - Monday July 07, 2008
Since 2000, there has been an Ebola outbreak every year. In late 2007, Ebola was diagnosed in nearly 100 people in Uganda, killing 25 percent. Ebola is unlikely to cause an epidemic because it is too effective a killer. For a virus to really be successful, its host has to stay alive long enough to find a new host. [&] Eventually, the current human volunteers will need to be tested for immunity. Just as it would be unethical to inject people with a weakened Ebola virus, it would be unthinkable to knowingly give anyone the real virus to see if a vaccine is effective. Instead, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has created an exception known as the animal rule for just this situation. The FDA will approve vaccines for highly virulent agents such as Ebola and anthrax if the same immunity can be shown in two different animal species. And if the current National Institutes of Health trial were successful, it would be the first vaccine to invoke the animal rule for approval.
  

Men who refused vaccine may get clear records

commentary follows
by William H. McMichael - Air Force Times - Sunday May 11, 2008
A federal judges decision could lead to clearing the records of military personnel who refused to take mandatory anthrax shots between 1999 and 2004. Judge James Robertson of the district court for the District of Columbia admonished the Air Force Board for the Correction of Military Records, which had rejected a petition by two former Connecticut Air National Guard officers for compensatory relief for back pay and lost promotions after they claim they were forced to resign for refusing the vaccine. The plaintiffs, Thomas Rempfer and the estate of the late Russell Dingle, based their appeal on a separate anthrax vaccine lawsuit.


Commentary:
The work of Rempfer and Dingle can be seen in its entirety on this web site under the "Pilots Corner" link.
   Veteran Battles Pentagon's Vaccine, Seeks "Justice for All" commentary follows
by Thomas D. "Dennie" Williams - Truth Out/Report - Wednesday April 09, 2008
US Air Force Reserve Maj. Thomas "Buzz" Rempfer, a 43-year-old Connecticut native, is hoping he is nearing the end of nearly a decade's perpetual and unprecedented battle with the Pentagon over the legality, safety and effectiveness of mandatory anthrax vaccinations.
His and others' efforts have already netted favorable federal court rulings. They invalidated the original Department of Defense mandate and the vaccine's initial licensing.
Now Rempfer, formerly of West Suffield, Connecticut, and now of Tucson, Arizona, awaits a ruling from the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records. The board could award him back pay for lost time and promotions in the Air National Guard. If the board does not, he is likely to appeal back to the federal court. It was that court which decided in his favor by forcing another ruling from the Air Force panel.
However, much more significant to Rempfer is a broader public service goal. Rempfer and his deceased close friend, US Air Force Reserve Maj. Russell "Russ" E. Dingle, both pilots, fought their battle for others adversely affected by the vaccine. It was their belief that any victory, legally, must become a crucial military servicewide precedent, clearing all other vaccine-resisting veterans from punishment. Rempfer is acting as a representative of Dingle's estate.
In more than five years of research, Dingle and Rempfer concluded the anthrax vaccine was improperly licensed and ineffective. They found it created thousands of adverse reactions and was unnecessary. The threat of a foreign anthrax attack is extremely remote, they discovered. And, if there ever is such an attack, those exposed can take antibiotics afterward, they confirmed. That would avoid six anthrax vaccinations over 18 months as well as annual booster shots.
Significantly, the infamous 2001 anthrax powder attacks, killing five people and sickening 17 others after 9/11, were domestic and not foreign in nature. They were allegedly inspired by laboratory insiders who mailed the powder to the offices of two US senators, a number of national news offices in New York City, and elsewhere. The incidents are still under active FBI investigation.
That probe, says Fox News, recently identified three or four new suspects at an Army bioweapons lab intricately involved in helping to support the need for the mandated vaccine. They include a deputy commander, an anthrax scientist and a microbiologist. Curiously, at that point in time, the vaccine's continued use was being threatened by closer scrutiny from the US Department of Defense and other Bush administration officials. That review withered away after the attacks. However, the DOD then used the domestic incidents to claim the foreign threat was "real."


Commentary:
This story is worth reading from the first word to the last. It includes much of the history of the anthrax vaccine along with the critical history of the research conducted by Rempfer and Dingle.
   FBI Focusing on "About Four" Suspects in 2001 Anthrax Attacks
by Catherine Herridge and Ian McCaleb - Fox News - Friday March 28, 2008
WASHINGTON  The FBI has narrowed its focus to "about four" suspects in the 6 1/2-year investigation of the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001, and at least three of those suspects are linked to the Armys bioweapons research facility at Fort Detrick in Maryland, FOX News has learned.

Among the pool of suspects are three scientists  a former deputy commander, a leading anthrax scientist and a microbiologist  linked to the research facility, known as USAMRIID.

The FBI has collected writing samples from the three scientists in an effort to match them to the writer of anthrax-laced letters that were mailed to two U.S. senators and at least two news outlets in the fall of 2001, a law enforcement source confirmed.

. . . But in an e-mail obtained by FOX News, scientists at Fort Detrick openly discussed how the anthrax powder they were asked to analyze after the attacks was nearly identical to that made by one of their colleagues.

"Then he said he had to look at a lot of samples that the FBI had prepared ... to duplicate the letter material," the e-mail reads. "Then the bombshell. He said that the best duplication of the material was the stuff made by [name redacted]. He said that it was almost exactly the same & his knees got shaky and he sputtered, 'But I told the General we didn't make spore powder!'"
   Judge advances anthrax vaccine refusal case commentary follows
by Elaine M. Grossman - GovernmentExecutive.com - Monday March 24, 2008
WASHINGTON - A U.S. federal judge has ruled that the Defense Department must again consider exonerating two military pilots whose Connecticut Air National Guard careers ended after they refused to take compulsory anthrax vaccine shots.

The plaintiffs were among hundreds of service members compelled to leave the military after resisting the inoculations during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Many cited qualms about the vaccine's safety and efficacy in protecting against inhaled anthrax, the form of exposure that Pentagon officials anticipated in the event of a biological weapons attack.

The federal courts have since found that the military's mandatory vaccine program was being conducted illegally for more than six years, beginning with its March 1998 inception. Pending Food and Drug Administration approval for using the drug specifically against inhaled anthrax, the Defense Department could not administer the six-shot series without an individual's informed consent, a federal judge said in an October 2004 decision.


Commentary:
The body of Rempfer's and Dingle's research is posted on this site under the "Pilots' Corner" link at left.
   Lawsuit continues over military pilots' opposition to anthrax vaccine commentary follows
WTNH.com TV - AP - Friday March 14, 2008
Note: Please see full legal opinion and Judge's ruling under "Legal Issues" section from menu at left.

Washington (AP) _ A federal judge has kept alive a lawsuit in which two Connecticut Air National Guard pilots said they were forced to resign nine years ago for refusing to be vaccinated against anthrax.

Federal Judge James Robertson in Washington ruled today that an Air Force panel must spell out the reasons for denying the two compensation for back pay and lost promotions.

One of the pilots, Russell Dingle, died in 2005 and he is represented in the lawsuit by the executor of his estate. The other Connecticut Air National Guard pilot is Thomas Rempfer.

The two men were assigned to a unit whose job it was to investigate the Pentagon's anthrax vaccination program in the late 1990s and raised questions about the vaccine's safety.

A federal court blocked the Pentagon's anthrax vaccination program in 2003. It ruled that the vaccine had not been licensed or approved for use against inhalation anthrax. Other courts have since differently.


Commentary:
The body of research conducted by the late Russ Dingle and Tom Rempfer can be found under the "Pilots' Corner" section of this site. Their assigned research long ago uncovered facts and figures about the experimental anthrax vaccine that the Pentagon didn't want to admit or know; it brought up questions the Pentagon couldn't or wouldn't answer; and the punishment has been severe. The ethics and professionalism shown by Dingle and Rempfer has been unsurpassed; and if Russ Dingle were alive today, he would surely feel some small measure of gratification over this news.

In addition, "Hopefully this process will lead to a precedent others can use to get their fines, demotions, felony convictions, and administrative punishments reversed."
   Judge dismisses challenge to military's mandatory anthrax vaccine
by MATT APUZZO, Associated Press - South Coast Today (MA) - Thursday March 13, 2008
This story first posted March 1, 2008:
WASHINGTON  The Pentagon can require its troops be vaccinated against anthrax, a federal judge said Friday.

Judge Rosemary M. Collyer said the Food and Drug Administration acted appropriately when it found the vaccine to be safe and approved its use. She dismissed a lawsuit by military officials who argued the drug is unproven and the scientific data unsound.

"The court will not substitute its own judgment when the FDA made no clear error of judgment," Collyer wrote.

The dispute has languished in the court system for years. A federal judge suspended the vaccination program in 2004 after faulting the FDA's process for approving the drug. After the FDA redid the process and again found it to be safe, the military announced plans to reinstate mandatory vaccinations.

That prompted this latest lawsuit by eight military members who argued the vaccine should be optional.

The Pentagon continues to require the vaccine, saying the program is necessary to protect soldiers from anthrax attacks.
   Lawsuit continues over military pilots' opposition to anthrax vaccine commentary follows
WTNH.com TV - AP - Tuesday March 04, 2008
Washington (AP) _ A federal judge has kept alive a lawsuit in which two Connecticut Air National Guard pilots said they were forced to resign nine years ago for refusing to be vaccinated against anthrax.

Federal Judge James Robertson in Washington ruled today that an Air Force panel must spell out the reasons for denying the two compensation for back pay and lost promotions.

One of the pilots, Russell Dingle, died in 2005 and he is represented in the lawsuit by the executor of his estate. The other Connecticut Air National Guard pilot is Thomas Rempfer.

The two men were assigned to a unit whose job it was to investigate the Pentagon's anthrax vaccination program in the late 1990s and raised questions about the vaccine's safety.

A federal court blocked the Pentagon's anthrax vaccination program in 2003. It ruled that the vaccine had not been licensed or approved for use against inhalation anthrax. Other courts have since differently.


Commentary:
The research conducted by the late Russ Dingle and Tom Rempfer can be found under the "Pilots' Corner" section of this site. Their assigned research long ago uncovered facts and figures about the experimental anthrax vaccine that the Pentagon didn't want to admit or know; it brougbht up questions the Pentagon couldn't or wouldn't answer; and the punishment has been severe. The ethics and professionalism shown by Dingle and Rempfer has been unsurpassed; and if Russ Dingle were alive today, he would surely feel some small measure of gratification over this news.
   Airman wins anthrax-related lawsuit
by William H. McMichael - Military Times - Monday December 17, 2007
The Pentagon is removing a letter of reprimand given three years ago to a former Air Force staff sergeant who complained to a doctor, and later a newspaper, about migraine headaches he thought might be the result of his anthrax vaccinations  then later sued the Defense Department over his freedom to speak out about the controversial program.

In the settlement, dated Nov. 29, the Defense Department said the letter of reprimand is deemed to be of no effect.

Former Staff Sgt. Jason Adkins made no claim for damages in his lawsuit, and no payments were made; all he wanted was the letter of reprimand removed from his military records.

Still, the Air Force tried for three years to get the case thrown out of court, said Stephen Neuberger, Adkins lawyer.
   Can troops who refused anthrax shots seek redress?
by William H. McMichael - Military Times - Monday December 17, 2007
When a federal judge ruled in 2004 that the Pentagons mandatory anthrax vaccine inoculation program in effect at the time essentially was illegal, it may have opened the door for everyone who had been punished for refusing the shots to get their military records corrected.

That doesnt appear to be the case quite yet, even though Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia reaffirmed his ruling in August in a written opinion on a technicality in the same case.

It is not known if the Defense Department has a stance on whether service members punished for refusing the shots can seek correction of their records; by press time, defense officials did not respond to a Military Times query submitted three days earlier. But the Pentagon continues to argue, according to that August brief, that its 1998-2004 mandatory anthrax vaccine inoculation program was reasonable.

The Pentagon also could not provide a precise number of service members who had refused the shots and been punished, or whether any who had been imprisoned are still in jail.
   Pentagon Settles Free Speech Lawsuit Over Anthrax Vaccine commentary follows
WBOC-TV (Dover, Delaware) - Saturday December 01, 2007
DOVER, Del. (AP) - Attorneys for the Department of Defense and a former Air Force sergeant have agreed to dismiss a free speech lawsuit alleging that the airman was unfairly reprimanded for criticizing the military's anthrax vaccine.

In a settlement reached Thursday, the Pentagon said a letter of reprimand given to Staff Sgt. Jason Adkins after he challenged the mandatory vaccination program in 2004 was "deemed to be of no effect," said Adkins' attorney, Thomas Neuberger.

Neuberger said Adkins, who now works in the landscaping business, was elated with the outcome.

"The case was all about removing the adverse letter of reprimand from his file," Neuberger said Friday. "We got exactly what we asked for."


Commentary:
Further quote: "The lawsuit alleged that on orders from the highest levels of the Pentagon, the Air Force sought to make an example out of Sgt. Adkins to silence dissent in his squadron and ensure that military personnel would immediately cease questioning the safety of the tainted vaccine being administered at the Dover base," Neuberger said in a press release.
   Government: Vaccines threaten up to 44,000 soldiers: 'This really is like Russian roulette. Spin the chamber and take your shot'
World Net Daily - Wednesday October 31, 2007
A U.S. soldier in Iraq is being punished for refusing an anthrax vaccine that has a questionable safety record and apparently will be drummed out of the service.

But such punishments may be of no avail to the military; the word already is out in a government report that up to an estimated 44,000 service members could end up with "severe adverse events (including) disability or death" from such mandatory medicines.

The recent case involves Pfc. Leif Hamre, 22, who reports he's been subjected to threats and intimidation after refusing to take the controversial anthrax vaccine and was given a variety of punishments, including 18-hour work days.

Hamre reports he was given an ultimatum in June to take the vaccine or be punished but couldn't accept the medication, especially after he discovered the military wasn't even handling the vaccines under the rules for storing it at the correct temperature.

In an open letter to friends and family members, he said, "The tactics they have used to coerce me into taking the shot are unregulated, unscrupulous and downright un-American."

He reported he then was given an Article 15  a non-judicial punishment in the military  and his mother reported he was taken off missions, assigned extra duty and had his pay scale lowered.
   Caution flag raised on mandatory anthrax vaccines: Former pilot says neurological reaction has left him disabled
by Ellen Gabler - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Onlin - Sunday October 28, 2007
With his trim runner's build, tight flattop and thin, muscular arms, Stephen DeGuire does not seem like a man who is unable to empty the dishwasher, mow the lawn or throw baseballs to his young sons.

He forgets the names of neighbors he has known for years and grimaces as he pushes himself into a standing position. His torso tilts forward as he walks stiffly through his Mequon home. A wooden cane hangs on a chair in the living room. It is one of a collection that DeGuire keeps around. He frequently forgets where he puts them.

DeGuire is one of possibly thousands of veterans suffering from what some military and civilian doctors believe is a neurological reaction to the anthrax vaccine. The vaccine is controversial, yet now mandatory for many American troops and civilian contractors. About 1.6 million people have received the vaccine since 1998.

Nearly four years ago, DeGuire was stationed in Kuwait as a pilot for the U.S Air Force. Today, the 43-year-old struggles with migraines, memory problems, chronic pain and fatigue as his body slips further from his control.

DeGuire's Air Force physical evaluation in 2006 listed his ailments and noted that they began to occur after he received the vaccine.

While DeGuire's main concern is to keep his body from further deteriorating, he worries about his family's financial future. He said he makes one-third of what he made as a civilian and will likely never work full-time again because of his condition.

Disability linked to reaction from the anthrax vaccine is deemed non-combat-related, meaning veterans like DeGuire are taxed on their disability payments. The anthrax vaccine is also not part of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which allows people who suffered vaccine reactions to collect money for their disability. DeGuire worries about soldiers who will be required to receive the anthrax vaccine in the future. He says the program was "well-intentioned," but that officials in the government did not stop the vaccine when problems arose.
   Emergent BioSolutions Completes First Delivery of BioThrax(R) (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) to The Department of Health and Human Services under New Cont
Yahoo Finance - Tuesday October 02, 2007
ROCKVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE:EBS - News), announced today that on September 28, 2007 it completed an initial delivery of doses of BioThraxᆴ (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for inclusion into the strategic national stockpile (SNS). As a result of this initial delivery of doses into the SNS, the company estimates it will report approximately $42 million in BioThrax revenues for the third quarter of 2007. This initial delivery was made under a three-year agreement with HHS, signed on September 25, 2007, to supply 18.75 million doses of BioThrax for placement into the SNS for a firm fixed-price of $400 million.
   Soldier faces threats from military after refusing anthrax vaccine commentary follows
by Julie Weisberg - RawStory.com - Tuesday October 02, 2007
Note: This story originally ran Sept. 7, 2007, but appears here for the first time.
A soldier serving in Iraq who is stationed in Baghdad says he has faced threats and intimidation from his Army superiors  including the possibility of forced inoculations  after he refused to take the militarys controversial anthrax vaccine.

Private First Class Leif Hamre, 22, is currently serving out a Field Grade Article 15, a non-judicial punishment for disciplinary offenses, for refusing to take the Pentagons anthrax vaccine, BioThrax, earlier this summer.

According to Hamre, 22, the military gave him an ultimatum in late June: Either take the mandated six-shot anthrax series or face military punishment. He was given 24 hours to decide.

After conducting several hours of research into the drug and its history of triggering serious adverse reactions, the Minnesota native concluded that the vaccine was dangerous and should probably still be in a lab right now for further testing.


Commentary:
Update: Leif is hoping to return home in the near future, but does not know his legal discharge status as of yet.
   *Gulf War veteran believes illness related to anthrax vaccine
by Rick Wagner - Kingsport Times News - Tuesday October 02, 2007
Note: Story originally ran Sept. 3, 2007, but is appearing here for the first time.
Todd Sanders says he and thousands of other Gulf War veterans may be running out of time to live. Sanders believes thats because of the mandatory anthrax vaccine he and others received in the Army. Late last year, at age 41, the Kingsport resident had a pacemaker installed to keep his heart rate and blood pressure up, but he still blacks out from low blood pressure from a condition called sinus bradycardia neurocardiogenic syncope. His other medical problems include chronic fatigue, neurological symptoms, muscle deterioration, memory loss, ringing in the ears, double vision, confusion, depression, anxiety, incontinence, sleep apnea, respiratory distress, and extreme muscle and joint pain. [&] Sanders is now seeking letters of support from veterans who have similar symptoms and received the anthrax vaccine. Hes asking that anyone with past military service with similar medical issues fill out a Veterans Affairs Form No. 21-4138  Statement in Support of Claim. The form is available at  
  HHS orders 18 million doses of anthrax vaccine
CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota) - Wednesday September 26, 2007
Sep 26, 2007 (CIDRAP News)  The federal government has awarded a $400 million contract to Emergent BioSolutions for another 18.75 million doses of anthrax vaccine, with a bonus to be paid if the company wins approval for extending the vaccine's shelf life.

The 3-year contract for BioThrax vaccine, also known as Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA), is worth up to $448 million, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The vaccine will go into the Strategic National Stockpile of drugs and medical supplies for civilian use.
   Abusing Volunteers commentary follows
by Unsigned editorial - FROM ISRAEL: Haaretz.com - Friday July 27, 2007
A secret medical experiment that injected soldiers with the anti-anthrax vaccine, run over eight years beginning in 1998, raises alarming questions about the army authorities' conduct.

The army conducted the experiment, code-named Omer 2, under a cloak of secrecy, furtiveness and panic. Now, as details emerge despite the military authorities, it is clear that the soldiers involved have been brushed aside with half-truths and evasion.

The experiment was carried out on obedient, motivated soldiers from elite units. Indeed, they volunteered for the mission, but in such circumstances, what they did cannot be called volunteering in any way. Had not a few of them started suffering from serious after-effects, they themselves would probably be covering up the system's blunders to this day.


Commentary:
Further quote: Both those given the American vaccine and those given the Israeli vaccine are suffering from after-effects today.
   Md. [Maryland] biotech set to ship anthrax vaccine to Defense Department
Baltimore Business Journal - Thursday June 28, 2007
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced that it plans to complete the delivery of 900,000 doses of its anthrax vaccine to the Department of Defense by the end of this month or shortly thereafter. With those deliveries, the Rockville-based company expects its second quarter revenue to reach about $20 million. The deliveries are taking place under an amended contract with the Defense Department that provides for the supply of about 1.05 million doses of the anthrax vaccine, called BioThrax, to the department between January and September of this year, according to Emergent.
   Well-connected drug company obtained anthrax vaccine contracts despite side effects
by Julie Weisberg - RawStory.com - Tuesday May 29, 2007
Two former high-ranking health officials with close ties to the Bush administration helped a Michigan-based pharmaceutical company secure sole-source, multi-million dollar federal contracts for the purchase of its controversial anthrax vaccine, a RAW STORY investigation has found.

Last month, Emergent BioSolutions announced that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) intended to purchase more than 18 million doses of its Biothrax vaccine for the Strategic National Stockpile. The strategic stockpile is set aside for civilian use during a large-scale emergency, such as a bioterrorism attack or natural disaster. Once finalized, the contract will be the largest of its kind for Emergents anthrax vaccine.

BioThrax is the only FDA-licensed vaccine for anthrax in the United States. The Pentagon has used it for the militarys mandatory anthrax vaccination program for the last ten years, though not without problems. Although the military continues to publicly claim the vaccine is safe and effective, thousands of soldiers have suffered adverse reactions, ranging from mild to severe.
   Report: Thousands of Soldiers Sickened by Vaccine commentary follows
NewsMax.com - Monday May 28, 2007
A U.S. military health officer says thousands of U.S. troops have had severe reactions to some of the vaccines they received before going overseas, and the Pentagon is covering up the problem.
Symptoms range from joint aches and pains to death, according to the officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to protect his job.
One victim is former Marine Lance Corporal David Fey of Clermont County, Ohio, TV station WLWT in Cincinnati reported.
Fey said that on Nov. 28, 2005, he was one of a group of Marines who lined up for an undisclosed injection.
After receiving the shot, Fey gained 30 pounds of water, his eyes swelled up, and he developed a rash on his hand, he told WLWT.
He wound up in a hospital back in Ohio, close to death from kidney failure. He survived, but says he is still in pain and awaits a kidney transplant.
Fey's mom Cindy began examining her son's medical records, and she said the shot he received was not listed in the records. The military claimed he never received a shot.
Eleven months later, those records were changed, with a handwritten note stating that the shot was a flu vaccine.
The military health officer said the number of troops who have gotten sick after receiving vaccines is in the thousands, and he believes U.S. troops are receiving experimental vaccines.
The Defense Department insists that the vaccines given to the troops are safe.
But the officer told WLWT: This is the worst cover-up in the history of the military. When the issue of the use of the vaccine comes out, I believe it will make the Walter Reed scandal pale in comparison.


Commentary:
Note: Scroll down for the appropriate headlines
Also see further reports on military vaccines by scrolling down on this page:
http://www.newsmax.com/blaylock/1a.cfm?promo_code=29F5-1
   Israel developed anthrax vaccine over Iraqi threat
by Dan Williams - Reuters via Yahoo! UK & Ireland News - Tuesday May 15, 2007
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel developed its own version of a U.S. anthrax vaccine using soldiers for top-secret experiments that, in several cases, caused permanent side effects, an official involved in the project said on Tuesday.

Giora Martinovich, former chief medical officer for the Israeli military, went public after a television expose alleged that several test subjects had developed illnesses and then been neglected by state health services.

Martinovich told Israel Radio that the programme had been ordered amid fears of an anthrax attack by Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and because foreign-made vaccines were not available.
   Former Marine Claims Illness From Mystery Vaccine commentary follows
WLWT.com TV News (Ohio) - Tuesday May 08, 2007
CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio -- Target 5 has discovered that an alarming number of U.S. troops are having severe reactions to some of the vaccines they receive in preparation for going overseas.

"This is the worst cover-up in the history of the military," said an unidentified military health officer who fears for his job.

A shot from a syringe is leaving some U.S. servicemen and women on the brink of death.

"When the issue, I believe, of the use of the vaccine comes out, I believe it will make the Walter Reed scandal pale in comparison," said the health officer.

Lance Corporal David Fey, 20, has dialysis three days a week. His kidneys are failing, his military career is over, and he feels like his country abandoned him.


Commentary:
Further quote: "I see the way the propaganda and information war is waged against America's sons and daughters and how patients are treated who claim to be injured from a vaccine," said the unidentified health officer. "That's troubling. That should trouble America." The officer said those who have claimed to have had adverse reactions to shots are treated like it is all in their heads.

Asked whether servicemen and women are receiving experimental vaccines, the officer said, "I would hope to God not. But from what I've seen, I would have to say yes."
   "Anthrax Shots Must Become Priority" commentary follows
by Jimmy Norris - Stars and Stripes - Tuesday May 01, 2007
"U.S. Forces Korea, saying it is 'not even close' to having its people up to date with mandatory anthrax vaccinations, continues to push its message to get up to par& Part of the problem, [USFK spokesman Dave Oten] said, is a high turnover rate of personnel on the peninsula...The vaccination is required for all servicemembers, designated emergency essential civilian personnel and contractors scheduled to spend 15 days or more in South Korea - total of about 29,000 people. In an effort to help bring USFK up to speed on its requirements, medical personnel have been holding open shot clinics.


Commentary:
It's really interesting they consider anthrax to be so much of a threat, given Dr. Winkenwerder's admission last fall, in announcing the resumption of the anthrax program, that there was actually no increased threat at all - not for years.
   Anthrax Vaccine the Killer?
CBS News - Sunday April 15, 2007
This video news segment profiles the anthrax vaccine, starting with a service member currently in the process of refusing, talking with a veteran who is ill from the vaccine, and - to the cynical amusement of some of us - noting the fact that the anthrax vaccine package insert notes that there have been deaths resulting from the vaccine, while the Pentagon, blithe as ever, says there have been none. (There have been 21.)

This video has also been posted on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zT-OnlYVpds
   After small-scale anthrax attack: vaccinate, treat commentary follows
Reuters - Tuesday April 10, 2007
In planning for the possibility of a small-scale bioterrorist anthrax attack like the one perpetrated via the US mail in 2001, the most cost-effective response is to vaccinate exposed persons and treat them with antibiotics, new research hints. By contrast, pre-attack vaccination of postal workers in all mail distribution centers is more costly and less effective, according to the report in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Dr. Brian Schmitt, from the Hines VA Hospital in Illinois, and colleagues used Monte Carlo simulation over a 10-year time frame from a societal perspective to assess the most cost-effective response to an anthrax attack through US mail distribution centers in a large metropolitan area. They compared three responses: pre-attack vaccination, post-attack antibiotic therapy with vaccination of exposed personnel, and post-attack antibiotic therapy without vaccination. They used published data and opinions from bioterrorist experts to estimate the likelihood of infection after anthrax exposure, vaccine and antibiotic benefits/risks/costs, and associated outcomes.


Commentary:
May we repeat?
"By contrast, pre-attack vaccination of postal workers in all mail distribution centers is more costly and less effective, according to the report in the Archives of Internal Medicine."
   Sex assault at Walter Reed
by Ron Martz - Atlanta Journal Constitution - Saturday April 07, 2007
In the spring of 2004, Cpl. Matt Burgess of Dallas was sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington for a series of tests to determine what was causing him to vomit nearly a dozen times a day, stop breathing while he slept and suffer excruciating pain in his joints.

The Georgia Army National Guard soldier already felt victimized. He said the Army medical system questioned his honesty and integrity, telling him his problems were of his own making after he became ill in Iraq. Then after 2 1/2 years on medical hold, doctors diagnosed his numerous health problems that now require him to take 21 pills a day and sleep with a special breathing machine, all the result of a series of mandatory anthrax shots he was given in 2003.

While at Walter Reed, Burgess was victimized again.
   Sex assault at Walter Reed
by Ron Martz - Atlanta Journal Constitution - Saturday April 07, 2007
In the spring of 2004, Cpl. Matt Burgess of Dallas was sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington for a series of tests to determine what was causing him to vomit nearly a dozen times a day, stop breathing while he slept and suffer excruciating pain in his joints.

The Georgia Army National Guard soldier already felt victimized. He said the Army medical system questioned his honesty and integrity, telling him his problems were of his own making after he became ill in Iraq. Then after 2 1/2 years on medical hold, doctors diagnosed his numerous health problems that now require him to take 21 pills a day and sleep with a special breathing machine, all the result of a series of mandatory anthrax shots he was given in 2003.

While at Walter Reed, Burgess was victimized again.
   Pentagon conducting research into adverse effects of anthrax vaccine while maintaining it is safe
by Julie Weisberg - The Raw Story - Tuesday March 27, 2007
The Pentagon resumed its controversial mandatory anthrax vaccinations program for selected troops last week despite the fact that its own doctors are quietly conducting research into adverse effects of the vaccine, a RAW STORY investigation has found.

While the Defense Department maintains that the anthrax vaccine is safe and poses no long-term risks to recipients, a little-known program at Walter Reed  the National Vaccine Healthcare Center  seems to contradict the militarys assertions.

Documents obtained by RAW STORY, including a participants agreement, case history and government documents, show that military medical personnel have known since at least 1998 that there are genetic triggers between illnesses and some required immunizations, including the anthrax vaccine. They also reveal the military knew and did not implement routine pre-screening which could help reduce vaccine-related illnesses.
   Refusing anthrax shot means disobeying order commentary follows
by Allison Batdorff and David Allen - Stars and Stripes - Sunday March 25, 2007
NOTE: Story originally ran 3/22/2007:
Since the military instituted the anthrax vaccination program in 1998, several servicemembers have refused to take the vaccine.

Then - and now, with the resumption of the policy mandating the shots - a refusal officially becomes a commander's decision regarding failure to obey a lawful order, according to the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program.

In early 2001 on Okinawa, three servicemembers were convicted of refusing direct orders to begin the series of six anthrax vaccinations mandated by the Department of Defense. Heres a brief rundown of their cases:


Commentary:
Please see the "If you are refusing a direct order to take a vaccine" section of this web site in the menu to the left.
   [Marine] Corps outlines who gets anthrax shots
by John Hoellwarth - Marine Corps Times - Friday March 23, 2007
Theres another needle on the pre-deployment medical checklist for Marines headed to Iraq, Afghanistan or Korea. Everyone heading to the Middle East or Pacific regions is getting the anthrax vaccine, according to a March 19 Corps-wide message. In February 2006, based on the findings of a Food and Drug Administration analysis of the vaccine, a U.S. Appeals Court dissolved a U.S. District Court injunction that had halted mandatory anthrax vaccinations throughout the military in late 2004. In October, the Defense Department authorized the services to restart immunizations, according to MarAdmin 190/07. The anthrax vaccine is mandatory for nearly all Marines serving in U.S. Central and Pacific commands for more than 15 days. Pregnant Marines get a deferment, and some other medical conditions require exemption, according to the message.
   Lansing-made vaccine helps boost Emergent profit 17%
by Jeremy W. Steele - Lansing State Journal - Friday March 23, 2007
Delivery of more than 6 million doses of its Lansing-made anthrax vaccine helped boost Emergent BioSolutions Inc.'s bottom line.

In its first earnings report as a publicly traded company, Rockville, Md.-based Emergent reported Thursday it earned $22.8 million, or 99 cents a share, in 2006. That was a 44 percent increase from a profit of $15.8 million, or 77 cents a share, in 2005. Emergent, which went public last year, said revenue grew 17 percent to $152.7 million, up from $130.7 million in 2005.

The BioThrax anthrax vaccine doses were delivered to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Defense Department.
   Air Force begins giving mandatory anthrax shots in Korea commentary follows
by Franklin Fisher - Stars and Stripes - Friday March 09, 2007
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea  The U.S. Air Force in South Korea resumed mandatory anthrax shots for its airmen Wednesday, officials said.

Osan Air Base began mass vaccinations, said Lt. Col. Michael E. Shavers, spokesman for 7th Air Force at Osan. About 4,000 airmen are slated for the shots there, he said.

At Kunsan Air Base, the 8th Fighter Wing was to begin shots Friday for the wings 1,600 airmen, said Capt. James P. Lage, a wing spokesman.


Commentary:
Further quote: Airmen who say they need to be exempted from the shots on medical grounds will be sent to the base hospital for checks to determine whether an exemption is warranted, Harvis said.

Airmen have received medical briefings at their units about the upcoming immunizations, and also are given an informational pamphlet, Harvis said.

Should airmen decline the shot, a medical official will talk with them about their reluctance. If they still decline, their names are to be noted and they are to discuss their refusal with their squadron commander, said Harvis.
   No anthrax vaccine for Afghanistan troops, Canada says commentary follows
by Dene Moore - Canoe News - Monday March 05, 2007
MONTREAL (CP) - Canadian military officials say they're not considering a mandatory anthrax vaccination campaign even though the U.S. military has made the controversial inoculation mandatory for its soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

As of April 30, all U.S. soldiers heading to Afghanistan will have to be immunized against anthrax.


Commentary:
Dr. Ron Wojtyk, of Canadian Forces health services, said the threat of anthrax exposure in Afghanistan is not sufficient enough to make the vaccine mandatory.
   Millions Wasted on Anthrax Vaccine Search?
CBS Evening News - Sunday March 04, 2007
CBS) The California company VaxGen was the first to get a government BioShield contract in 2004  a huge one worth $877 million dollars  to develop a better anthrax vaccine.

"They were given milestone to meet  production schedules," said Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "They didn't meet one of them. Not one of them."

Things were so bad, that recently the government decided to pull the plug on the whole project. VaxGen ends up with only $1.5 million tax dollars. But CBS News discovered taxpayers are actually on the hook for a much larger bill than that.
   Rockville biotech seeks to start human tests for anthrax drug commentary follows
Washington Business Journal - Friday March 02, 2007
Emergent BioSolutions has filed an investigational new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration for the company's treatment for anthrax.

Pending a 30-day FDA review period, the Rockville-based biopharmaceutical company expects to begin a human clinical trial sometime this year to evaluate the safety and pharmacokinetics in 105 healthy volunteers its treatment for patients with symptoms of anthrax disease resulting from the release of anthrax toxins into the body.

Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE: EBS) currently sells BioThrax, the only FDA-licensed vaccine against anthrax infection.


Commentary:
Are we missing something here? Describing health volunteers as volunteers with symptoms of anthrax disease? And, um, how are they going to exhibit those symptoms of aerosolized anthrax, if they aren't deliberately sprayed with anthrax. Otherwise, folks, you're just talking cutaneous anthrax - and we already know the original vaccine, the one before the Army started tinkering with its configuration resulting in a new vaccine - that origianl one worked.
   Anthrax immunization program changes
by Lt. Col. Brad S Winterton - Hilltop Times (Hill AFB, Ogden, UT) - Thursday March 01, 2007
75th Aerospace Medicine SquadronBase leaders and medical personnel have received new guidance about changes to the Department of Defense Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program. Under the AVIP changes, immunization is mandatory for personnel (servicemembers, emergency-essential civilians, and contractors performing emergency-essential duties) assigned to either Central Command or the Korean Peninsula for 15 or more consecutive days.
   USFK: Mandatory anthrax shots to resume in March
by Teri Weaver, and Jennifer Svan - Stars and Stripes - Sunday February 25, 2007
Mandatory anthrax vaccinations for servicemembers in South Korea could begin in late March, a U.S. Forces Korea spokesman said Friday.

Over the next few weeks, USFK will review the plans submitted from each military branch that define how the shots will be distributed, spokesman David Oten said.

So far, USFK estimates the vaccine distribution will begin in late March, he said.

The vaccine is required as well for Department of Defense essential civilians and contractors in South Korea and in the U.S. Central Command.
   Emergent BioSolutions Delivers Approximately 1 Million Doses of BioThrax(R) Ahead of Schedule
Red Nova - Friday February 23, 2007
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS) announced that yesterday it delivered just under one million doses of BioThraxᆴ (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed), the only FDA licensed anthrax vaccine, to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for placement into the nation's strategic national stockpile (SNS). This delivery represents revenue of approximately $22 million generated during 1Q 2007. These doses were provided to HHS ahead of schedule under a May 2006 modified contract that required the company to deliver five million doses to HHS before May 31, 2007. Since May 2005, the company has supplied 10 million doses of BioThrax to HHS for inclusion in the SNS.
   Federal contract decision deals blow to Emergent BioSolutions
by Vandana Sinha - Washington Business Journal - Thursday February 22, 2007
A federal contract that Emergent BioSolutions was competing to win for development of a third-generation anthrax vaccine has been canceled, news that sent the company's share price tumbling by nearly 8 percent.

After issuing a request for proposals in June for the vaccine and then amending it five times, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases halted the project because of "programmatic considerations," the Gaithersburg company says.

"This cancellation from NIAID does not diminish that commitment" to develop biodefense products, says company Chairman and CEO Fuad El-Hibri. "We expect to continue to pursue one or more of the enhancements sought under the RFP."

Emergent BioSolutions relies heavily on government contracts, which supplied 97 percent of its revenue in 2005. In the last two years, the company sold a total 10 million doses of its BioThrax vaccine product for a combined $243 million to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its national stockpile.

It also sold an additional 8 million doses to the Defense Department, which has indicated that it may purchase 11 million more in the next year or so.
   In This Case, A Soldier Was Treated Beautifully at Walter Reed - but for her silence?
by Sheila Weller - The Huffington Post - Wednesday February 21, 2007
. . .But there was a case -- in 2000 -- in which Walter Reed Hospital went out of its way to give a catastrophically ill servicewoman -- a beautiful 27-year-old Navy lieutenant with a radiant smile and blazing red hair -- expensive, state-of-the-art care, including a round the clock private nurse. The young woman had acquired (right after receiving her fourth -- mandatory -- anthrax shot) a shockingly precipitous mystery disease, eventually diagnosed as a bizarrely speeded-up form of ametropic lateral sclerosis -- she lost in three months the amount of muscle function a middle aged ALS sufferer would lose in four years. During one of the rare moments that the round-the-clock nurse wasn't at her bedside, the patient whispered to a confidante the opinion she dared not reveal more widely: "The anthrax vaccine did this to me."

. . .When the young woman died, no one at her funeral (which I attended) talked of her belief that the vaccine had made her sick. No one mentioned that people close to her strongly believed that the level of extraordinary medical care and the personal attention of official's wife at Walter Reed might have been a subtle quid pro quo for her keeping quiet about her fear about the source of her terminal illness.
   FDA gives boost to anthrax vaccine commentary follows
by Vandana Sinha - Washington Business Journal - Friday February 16, 2007
Federal regulators have put Emergent BioSolutions' anthrax vaccine on the fast track to develop a treatment that can be used after exposure to the disease.

The Rockville company won the designation, which the Food and Drug Administration awards to drugs that address serious conditions with an unmet need, to develop its BioThrax product as a post-exposure treatment.


Commentary:
AFTER exposure???? AFTER??? While are troops are once again being forced to take the vaccine before exposure?
And an unmet need? Hardly. The threat of an anthrax attack has not increased in years, and the only growing need is to stop the anthrax program entirely so it will stop making our service members extremely ill, and stop the growing number of deaths from the vaccine.
   Docs: Drugs worked in '01 Daschle anthrax attack commentary follows
Arizona Daily Star - Friday January 05, 2007
Anthrax was probably prevented by drugs given in response to the October 2001 attack on U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle's office, a study found.

Doctors at the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Md., also found that more people were exposed to infection than predicted when a letter containing spores of Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes the deadly disease, was opened in Daschle's office at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

The study, led by Denise Doolan and Daniel Freilich, detected an immune response to the bacterium in people in or near the Daschle office as well as those elsewhere in the Hart building and even outside. The finding, published online in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, suggests people were exposed to traces of the pathogen over a wider area.

"The significance of low-level exposure should not be underestimated," the authors wrote. Powdered anthrax sent to destinations including U.S. congressional offices and media outlets infected 22 people, killing five.

Anthrax most commonly occurs in wild and domestic animals including cattle, sheep, goats, camels and antelopes. It can occur in humans when they are exposed to infected animals or when anthrax spores are used as a weapon. Those in or near Daschle's office judged likely to have been exposed received antibiotics or a vaccine, as did others within or outside the building, the Naval Medical Research Center doctors said.

The study was based on an analysis of symptoms and immune responses in 123 people out of more than 6,000 screened in the weeks after the attack, they said.


Commentary:
Emphasis in first sentence added by editor: it's very important to note that these drugs or vaccines (the article doesn't specify which) worked in response to the attack. This is so contrary to the military's insistence on 6 shots over 18 months, with annual boosters, prior to an attack - regardless of the fact that there is no greater threat of an anthrax attack now than there has been for at least 10 years for our military; and regardless of what it does to the health of our service members, not to mention their rights.
   Anthrax vaccinations expected to resume in late January
by Jeff Schogol - Stars and Stripes - Sunday December 31, 2006
Mandatory anthrax vaccinations for some [U.S.] troops are expected to resume in late January, said Defense Department spokesman Maj. Stewart Upton on Friday. Meanwhile, an attorney representing six Defense Department employees who refuse to take the vaccine has vowed that he will try to stop the mandatory vaccination program.
   Distrust dogs resumption of anthrax shots commentary follows
by Greg Gordon - Kansas City Star - Tuesday December 26, 2006
Although the Pentagon says the vaccine is safe, many public health experts think otherwise.
WASHINGTON | On his way home from the Persian Gulf on a military supply ship in 2003, merchant seaman James Francis and his mates got an ultimatum:
Take anthrax and smallpox vaccinations, or lose your jobs.

Francis Seattle attorney, Russell Williams, described the shipboard scene the next day off the isle of Crete as: Wham, bam. Get in line. Take your shots.

Within days of taking the two shots, Francis feet began to tingle and burn. When he later took the second in a series of six anthrax shots, his health slid downhill. Since then, the 45-year-old messmate from Las Vegas has fought a rare nervous system disease known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome, along with chronic pain, pneumonia and a life-threatening blood clot.


Commentary:
Gullain-Barre Syndrome, chronic pain, pneumonia and blooc clots are all known side-effects of the anthrax vaccine.
   Quest for Anthrax Vaccine Lengthens Questions Surface After Deal Is Voided
by Renae Merle - Washington Post - Thursday December 21, 2006
The cancellation of a high-profile contract to produce 75 million doses of a new anthrax vaccine leaves federal health officials years away from a replacement for the version now in use but could raise the prospects for an alternative being developed by a British competitor. VaxGen of Brisbane, Calif., was scheduled to begin delivering a new anthrax vaccine this year, but after delays and technical problems, the Department of Health and Human Services voided the $877.5 million contract Tuesday. The department has not announced plans to replace it, but an alternative version being developed by Avecia of Manchester, England, is being tested, and the National Institutes of Health is expected to award contracts next year for research into advanced vaccines.

The VaxGen contract was the largest piece of the Bush administration's $5.6 billion Project BioShield, which seeks to develop modern vaccines and drugs to counter chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear threats.

"The first thing to do, on HHS's part, is to explain why this failed," said Tara O'Toole, director of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "All of the companies are wondering, does this mean that HHS is an unreliable partner, or that this was just kind of bad luck?"
   U.S. dumps VaxGen after firm misses vaccine deadline
by Steve Johnson - Contra Cost Times - Thursday December 21, 2006
In a major setback for the nation's efforts to counter bioterrorism, federal officials on Tuesday canceled their $877.5 million contract with Brisbane-based VaxGen for an improved anthrax vaccine because the company was behind schedule developing it.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent VaxGen a letter terminating the contract, awarded in March 2004, citing the company's failure to meet a deadline Monday for beginning a key test of the vaccine in people.

The contract had been the largest issued under President Bush's Project BioShield, a $5.6 billion program to counter bioterrorism during 10 years. Under the contract, VaxGen was to have provided 75 million doses of the vaccine, which were to be stockpiled for civilians in case of an anthrax attack on the country.

VaxGen had conducted several tests of the vaccine earlier. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had refused to let the one scheduled for Monday begin. The FDA feared the vaccine was proving unstable and might lose its potency, rendering the study results unreliable.
   What demise of anthrax vaccine contract means for VaxGen, U.S.
by Steve Johnson - San Jose Mercury News - Thursday December 21, 2006
The termination of VaxGen's $877.5 million contract for an improved anthrax vaccine may force the company to severely cut costs and leaves the government's ability to develop the vaccine in the near future uncertain, several industry experts said Wednesday.

The most immediate impact of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services's decision Tuesday to cancel the contract -- the biggest yet under President Bush's Project BioShield anti-terror effort -- will be felt by Brisbane-based VaxGen.

VaxGen's stock price rose 2 cents to $1.47 at the close of trading Wednesday on the Pink Sheets, a private listing service. But the company's future prospects appear troubled in light of the canceled contract, which called for it to deliver 75 million doses of the vaccine. Although VaxGen spokesman Lance Ignon declined to comment on how VaxGen plans to respond to the government's action, one option would be to exercise its right to appeal the contract termination. However, based on his experience helping companies with federal contracts, ``I think the probability is low of a successful appeal,' said David Hoffmeister, a partner with law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
   VaxGen's fall could be Avecia's rise
by MATTHEW PERRONE - AP/Yahoo News - Wednesday December 20, 2006
WASHINGTON - The U.S. government's decision to terminate an $877 million contract with VaxGen Inc. to develop a new anthrax vaccine could prove a windfall for Avecia Biotechnology, a private UK-based company which has already received funding to develop an alternative.

The government canceled VaxGen's contract Tuesday after the company failed to begin clinical trials of the vaccine by a Monday deadline. It was the latest in a series of delays for VaxGen, which was originally scheduled to deliver the vaccine by November 2005.

A new, improved anthrax vaccine is the centerpiece of Project Bioshield, the government's $5.6 billion initiative to stockpile drugs in the event of a bioterrorist attack. The government hopes to develop an alternative to the currently used Biothrax treatment, made by Emergent BioSolutions, which requires six shots administered over 18 months. The VaxGen vaccine was supposed to require no more than three injections.
   Anthrax vaccine opponents file new lawsuit
by Gayle S. Putrich - Army Times - Thursday December 14, 2006
The legal battle over the militarys mandatory anthrax immunization program has been revived, with six unnamed plaintiffs filing a class-action lawsuit against the government Wednesday.

According to court documents, the basic premise of the lawsuit is the plaintiffs claim that the vaccine is unapproved for its applied/intended use.

The lawsuit says that plaintiffs will suffer substantial and irreparable injury if they are forced to take the vaccine, which the suit says has not been properly approved by the government, despite the Food and Drug Administration issuing its final rule on the vaccine a year ago.

The suit also says the Defense Department has failed to follow presidential orders and federal laws that require the government to obtain informed consent before giving an unapproved and experimental vaccine to anyone.

FDAs certification of the vaccine, which is based on slipshod statistical analysis and improper use of testing data, as well as DoDs alteration of the vaccine dosing schedule, render the vaccine a drug unapproved for its applied use under current federal law, said Chicago lawyer John J. Michels, Jr., co-counsel in the lawsuit. Under these circumstances, the vaccine may not be administered to service members without their informed consent. It is patently illegal.
   Defense Employees Set For Another Suit to Halt Mandatory Anthrax Shots
by Josh White - Washington Post - Wednesday December 13, 2006
Six unnamed Defense Department employees are renewing their legal battle to stop Pentagon officials from administering mandatory anthrax vaccinations, claiming that the Food and Drug Administration's approval of the shot was flawed and puts people at risk.

The employees, who are either in the military or are civilian defense workers, argue that they should not be forced to take the vaccine because there is no scientific proof that it is effective for humans and it has potentially lethal side effects, said Mark S. Zaid, a Washington lawyer who plans to file the lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The class-action lawsuit asks the court to block the Pentagon from inoculating the plaintiffs and to declare that the vaccine was improperly licensed, according to the 22-page filing.

The case is the latest chapter in a dispute that has lasted several years. It follows a lawsuit by the same group, which led a federal judge to order the mandatory vaccinations stopped in October 2004 on the grounds that an FDA review of the vaccine was insufficient. The anthrax vaccine was then administered on a voluntary basis.
   Combatting Anthrax commentary follows
by William Thornton - Birmingham News - Monday November 27, 2006
[A study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham], through the Centers for Disease Control, is being conducted nationwide at five separate centers and is helping to determine just how much of the anthrax vaccine the body needs to develop immunity. Soldiers, for example, get a course of eight vaccines over 3ᄑ years. But transfers to far-off stations or even combat sometimes means skipping an injection. The study, among other things, is trying to find out if a person can get by with four injections.
Researchers also will use the results to determine the side effects from injecting the shot into the muscles of the upper arm rather than the fatty tissue farther down.


Commentary:
It's more than a little interesting to note that the original protocol for the military's anthrax vaccine called for just 3 injections, and that this was changed to 6 injections with no rationale or science to back it up. In fact, in 1985, the FDA called for the label to be corrected to the original 3 shots; it never was.
See the chronology of the anthrax vaccine development here:
http://www.mvrd.org/pdf/chrono.pdf
   Experts Warn of Potential Adverse Health Effects From AVA Anthrax Vaccine
by Byron HOlcomb - Byron Holcomb, attorney/PR Newswire - Wednesday November 01, 2006
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- As the Defense Department (DoD) prepares to resume mandatory AVA (Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed) vaccinations for military overseas, medical experts and military personnel warned of adverse health effects they claim were caused by the vaccine, while victims' attorneys strategized about stopping the vaccinations and discussed securing compensation for victims. The discussions occurred at an October 28 Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar organized by Byron Holcomb, a leading attorney for victims of the AVA anthrax vaccine and a retired Navy judge advocate general.

Various military personnel recounted how they believe the AVA anthrax vaccine harmed their health and hurt their careers. U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate Captain Kelli Donley developed Idiopathic Spinal Cerebellar Ataxia after receiving the AVA anthrax vaccine. The disease impaired her brain function and motor skills, a U.S. Air Force Medical Evaluation Board ("Board") found. She retired in April of 2006 after the Board granted her a 100 percent disability because she could not practice law or perform tasks requiring high cognitive function or demanding speech.

"Before receiving the anthrax vaccine, I was perfectly healthy and in good shape. Now, I talk with slurred speech, I have trouble walking, and I stopped seeing those seeking legal assistance because their legal issues paled in comparison to mine," said Donley.
   Federal Court Upholds First Amendment Claim of Air Force Sgt. Punished for Speaking Out About Tainted Vaccine commentary follows
by Nisha N. Mohammed - The Rutherford Institute - Saturday October 28, 2006
WILMINGTON, Del.: Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have successfully thwarted attempts by the U.S. government to dismiss the First Amendment lawsuit of Air Force Sergeant Jason Adkins. The U.S. District Court in Delaware denied a motion by the Department of Defense to dismiss the entire case of an Air Force officer who was sanctioned after voicing concerns that he could be suffering the ill effects of a tainted anthrax vaccine.

In allowing the First Amendment claim of Sgt. Adkins to move forward, the district court rejected the Defense Department's arguments that the government was immune from suit and that Sgt. Adkins did not have the right to seek relief for the alleged retaliation.


Commentary:
"The military is not above the law in our system of government," stated John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. "Furthermore, this confirms that military personnel do have basic constitutional rights."
   Lawyer: New anthrax rules may face resistance
by Joe Beck - North Country Times (San Diego and Riverside) - Thursday October 26, 2006
NORTH COUNTY ---- The Defense Department's decision to revive mandatory anthrax vaccinations for parts of the military has failed to quiet critics of an earlier round of vaccinations in which some service members cited health risks in refusing to be inoculated.

Mark Zaid, a lawyer who represented about a dozen members of the military in court cases involving their refusal to submit to vaccinations, predicted a new wave of resistance to the Pentagon's latest anthrax vaccinations at Camp Pendleton and Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. Several of his clients have come from Miramar and the Marine base at Twentynine Palms.

"I wouldn't doubt if Pendleton and Miramar are going to get some refusals, especially among the younger kids," said Zaid in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C.
   Seminar opposing anthrax program set for Saturday
by Gayle S. Putrich - Army Times - Wednesday October 25, 2006
Opponents of the Pentagons plan to resume mandatory anthrax vaccinations are acting fast to get the word out on the drug by hosting a day-long seminar in Washington on Saturday.

The Anthrax Continuing Legal Education Seminar will be hosted by Byron Holcomb, a retired Navy judge advocate general and one of the attorneys representing anthrax victims. The seminar will be held at the offices of Holcombs law firm, Garvey, Schubert and Barer, in Georgetowns Flour Mill Building, 1000 Potomac St. NW.

Lawyers who have worked on three key cases in the battle over the mandatory vaccination program will speak, including Mark Zaid, who represented the six anonymous plaintiffs in the federal Doe v. Rumsfeld case.

But the seminar will not be limited to legal questions. Also speaking will be former service members who say they suffered adverse effects from the anthrax shots and medical professionals, including Dr. Mark Geier, of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, and anthrax expert Dr. Meryl Nass.

For more information or to attend the conference, contact Kathryn Coulter at (202) 419-3257.
   Feedback requested about the anthrax vaccine
Air Force Times - Friday October 20, 2006
In the next few weeks, the U.S. will again become the only nation in the world that forces its military personnel to take anthrax vaccine, which the DoD says is safe and effective. Email us with your comments, concerns and questions about the Pentagon's mandatory program.
   Poisoning U.S. Troops: Anthrax, Lies and Vaccines, notes Heather Wokusch
by Heather Wokusch - UNobserver.com - Thursday October 19, 2006
2006-10-19 | The U.S. Defense Department quietly announced on Monday that mandatory anthrax vaccinations would resume for military personnel and civilians deploying to 28 countries across the globe and even for some based in the US. The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs said, Time and again (this vaccine) has been looked at by experts & and each time the conclusion is the vaccine is safe and it is effective.

Tell that to the family of Jesse Lusian. The 24-year-old Northern Californian died last month from complications resulting from an anthrax vaccine he received while serving our country as a Merchant Marine on a cargo ship in Diego Garcia, a Navy Support facility in the Middle East.

And tell it to Senior Airman Tom Colosimo, who suffered from fatigue, headaches and painful cysts after first being vaccinated in February 1998. Colosimo soon lost 50 pounds, had dangerous fainting spells and was diagnosed with anthrax intoxication, yet faced a retaliatory military when he tried to get medical care for his increasingly debilitating condition.

Tragic cases such as those of Lusian and Colosimo will become more commonplace when potentially hundreds of thousands of military personnel and civilians are soon forced to take the anthrax vaccine. Theres no excuse.

PLEASE CONTINUE.
http://www.heatherwokusch.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=84
   Anthrax Vaccine For Soldiers Serving In Iraq, Afghanistan And South Korea To Resume
Medical News Today - Tuesday October 17, 2006
The US Defense Department said compulsory anthrax vaccination of military personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and South Korea will resume within the next 30 to 60 days. Anthrax immunization is said to raise the risk of infertility, multiple sclerosis and lupus. Although people have died following a vaccination, the Pentagon says the link between anthrax immunization and death is not evident.

Anthrax immunization has been a controversial subject - it has even been halted by a federal court.

As well as military personnel, defense contractors in those three countries will also be immunized.
   Anthrax shots back on go after 2-year hiatus commentary follows
by Gayle S. Putrich - Air Force Times - Monday October 16, 2006
After a nearly two-year, court-ordered hiatus, the Defense Department will resume mandatory anthrax vaccinations for troops in the next 30 to 60 days.

Anyone deploying to locations the Pentagon considers high risk  those serving in Korea and those assigned to Central Command in the war zones  will be required to take the vaccine. Civilian Defense Department employees and contractors who are considered mission essential in specified areas or with specified commands will also be included.

Members of the military who had already started the series of six shots before the program was shut down in 2004 and those in need of the annual booster shot will also be able continue their vaccinations if they so choose, said Dr. William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.


Commentary:
Further quote:
Those who filed suit to stop the mandatory anthrax vaccine injections years ago say the drug is not as safe as the Pentagon declares it is, and that they will fight the latest iteration of the vaccine program as well.

We are planning a legal challenge to the fundamentals of the entire program, said Mark Zaid, one of the attorneys for the six anonymous plaintiffs in the anthrax case in federal civilian court. The program is no better than it was before. DoD continues to manufacture justification for a program that is likely the worst medical program they have ever implemented. It is not proven to be effective. It is potentially unsafe. And it is not even the same originally licensed vaccine.
   Military to resume mandatory Anthrax inoculations commentary follows
by Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press - AP/San Diego Union-Tribune - Monday October 16, 2006
WASHINGTON  The Pentagon said Monday it will once again begin requiring anthrax vaccinations for troops heading into dangerous regions, reinstating a program that has been challenged repeatedly over possible health risks.
Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said the vaccinations will begin in 30 to 60 days, and will involve troops and civilian Defense Department personnel and contractors who are serving in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Korean Peninsula.


Commentary:
Further quote:
Opponents of the program promised a fresh challenge. Mark S. Zaid, one of the lawyers who previously sued to stop the mandatory program, said he would file a new lawsuit as soon as needles start going into arms. Other groups who have opposed the program also criticized the new requirements.

This is a vaccine that is unproven, unnecessary and has the potential to jeopardize the health of a service member where little benefit will be derived, Zaid said. It's always been a public relations program and nothing more.
   Alert to all Service Members: Failed Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program to again become mandatory commentary follows
by Kathryn D. Hubbell - Military Vaccine Resource Directory - Sunday October 15, 2006
On Monday, October 16, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. EST Dr. William Winkenwerder, the Dod's Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, will discuss the department's resumption of the mandatory Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program (AVIP). Concerned citizens and members of the media who would like to ask questions should call: 1 866 866-2244. The pass code is 9120436.

It perplexes The Military Vaccine Resource Directory and other grassroots groups of concerned citizens and professionals that The Dod would make such a move in light of the yet unresolved questions about the safety, efficacy and legality of the current anthrax vaccine.

It is important that facts uncovered over the past eight years continue to be held up to the light as members of the media and Congressional staffers assess the DoD's re-launch of this previously failed program. Private citizens, members of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Federal Courts have all detailed a deceitful and discouraging history regarding the development and use of the anthrax vaccine. Key findings and reports are listed below.


Commentary:
Clearly our country has been down this road too often. On this web site, under the link titled "History of Human Experimentation," you'll read more about the medical experimentation conducted upon out troops since WW II.
Does Congress know? Yes. In a 1994 document known as the Rockerfeller report, Congress strongly criticized the Pentagon for such experiments - then did nothing.
From radiation testing to Agent Orange to Gulf War Illness, the DoD has followed a predictable problem: it first denies there is a problem, then delays accountability, and disparages (and, in the case of active-duty troops, punishes) those who question and criticize the DoD studies and policies. Service members who question or refuse these policies can loose their careers - and, too often, their health.

America's private citizens, the media, Congress and Courts are not subjected to such injustice. At least not yet. Become educated; think for yourself; and always think twice.

Sincerely,
Kathy Hubbell, Director MVRD
   FBI Denies Overestimating Anthrax [Bacillus anthracis] Power
by Michael J. Sniffen - ABC News - Saturday October 07, 2006
Story originally ran Sept. 28, 2006:
The FBI denied Thursday that it ever overestimated the potency of the anthrax spores used in mailings that killed five people in 2001. The bureau also rejected a request for a classified briefing on the case from Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J. Citing media reports, Holt said Wednesday that the FBI should have determined in days, not years, that the anthrax was less sophisticated than initially believed. Bureau officials say the early reports of weaponized anthrax were misconceptions, and the more recent reports misunderstood how early the FBI was able to accurately analyze the spores.
   Anthrax Dispute Suggests Bioshield Woes
by Paul Elias, AP - Washington Post - Friday October 06, 2006
By now, millions of anthrax vaccine shots developed through cutting-edge genetic engineering were supposed to be filling a new national stockpile of biodefense drugs. Instead, five years after anthrax attacks left five dead, sickened 17 and panicked the country, the nearly $1 billion contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to a tiny and struggling San Francisco Bay Area biotechnology company is plagued with misfortune and delays. Delivery has been put off until at least 2008--and maybe later--while the government and VaxGen Inc. trade barbs over who is at fault. The dispute has further tarnished Project Bioshield, a government program that has alienated many potential biodefense contractors.
   Fiscal 2007 Defense Appropriations Bill Dedicates $2.6 Million to Ongoing Development of AVANT's Oral Anthrax/Plague Combination Vaccine
Yahoo Finance/Business Wire - Monday October 02, 2006
NEEDHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AVANT Immunotherapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: AVAN - News) today announced that the Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2007 passed by Congress last week provides $2.6 million for the Defense Department's continued development of an oral combination vaccine to protect against anthrax and plague, a project being carried out by AVANT. The dedicated funding supports continued development of this advanced technology vaccine begun by AVANT in January 2003. This financial support will help fund the research and clinical development phase of this combination vaccine, being carried out at AVANT's research facility in Overland, Missouri, as well as vaccine production at AVANT's Fall River, Massachusetts facility.
   In Memoriam commentary follows
SFgate.com - Friday September 15, 2006
LUSIAN, Jesse

Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Jesse Lusian Age 24, died Saturday, September 2, 2006 from complications resulting from an anthrax vaccine he received while serving our country as a Merchant Marine on a cargo ship in Diego Garcia, a Navy Support Facility in the Middle East. Jesse is survived by his father Robert Lusian of Hemet; mother, Colleen Lusian-Halbohm and stepfather, Bruce Halbohm of Cloverdale; grandmothers, Dorothy Lusian of Hemet and Shirley Evelyn Smyth of Hillsborough; brother, Ralph Lusian of Tuscaloosa, AL; aunts, Kerry Taylor of Santa Rosa and Eileen Gordon and her husband Bob of Daly City; uncle, Gerald Lusian; "Uncle Fred" Spencer and his wife Sharon; Aunt Nancy and Uncle Geno Franconi; Shelly Pedersen; cousins, Kelly Gordon, Billy Spencer, Debbie Gallegos, Karla and Frank Bobadilla, Jason Russel, Marcus Ryan, Mikey Taylor; step-brothers, Ron and Ryan Flanders, Justin Halbohm; and step-sister, Heather Stasulat; and many, many more cousins, uncles and aunts. He is also survived by the entire Irish clan of Smyth's from Galway, Ireland and the Peter's family, originally from the Azores in Portugal. The number of people who loved Jesse is very long, because Jesse was such a lovable guy. Jesse will also be missed by his many friends and classmates from Barrington, RI, and Piney Point, MD, at the Paul Hall Academy for Merchant Marines. Jesse, my dear son, you will suffer no more. Our lives were forever changed by your love and we will never be the same without you. Friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. at SNEIDER & SULLIVAN & O'CONNELL'S FUNERAL HOME, 977 So. El Camino Real in San Mateo. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to Jesse Lusian Anthrax Vaccine Victims Fund for Merchant Marines, c/o The Law Offices of Jeanne Levin, 2455 Bennett Valley Road, Suite C107, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.


Commentary:
Emphasis added.
   Researchers Seek to Counteract Bioengineered Anthrax commentary follows
by Chris Schneidmiller, Global Security Newswire - Global Security Newswire - Tuesday September 05, 2006
WASHINGTON  Researchers from Canada and the United States have developed a drug that could someday be used to treat people exposed to anthrax bacteria specifically engineered to overcome antibiotics (see GSN, July 31).

The inhibitor in animal testing prevented anthrax bacteria from using a cellular protein to enter and infect the cell, according to scientists from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and the University of Toronto.

There is & an increasing concern that therapeutics developed for bioterrorism agents may be rendered ineffective if the microbial target is altered intentionally. This problem could be overcome, however, by designing inhibitors that block host proteins used by the pathogen or its toxins to cause disease, they wrote in an article published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Commentary:
Further interesting quote: The main course of treatment today for exposure to anthrax  either in nature or through intentional acts, such as the 2001 U.S. mailings that killed five people  is with antibiotics. Experts interviewed for this article said they had no knowledge of development of a weaponized form of the pathogen designed to overcome antibiotics.

So you really have to wonder about the military's insistence, for so many years, on vaccinating our service members with an experimental anthrax vaccine; and why, now that the vaccine is finally voluntary, the Pentagon is doing everything it can to make it mandatory again.
   BioPort's parent may go public commentary follows
by Jeremy W. Steele - Lansing (MI) State Journal - Wednesday August 23, 2006
The parent company of anthrax vaccine maker BioPort Corp. might go public in an effort to raise cash for its $75 million Lansing expansion and clinical trials of new products.

Gaithersburg, Md.-based Emergent BioSolutions Inc. has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of common stock.


Commentary:
Further quote:
However, Emergent cautioned in SEC filings that it remains reliant on its one product line for sales - the anthrax vaccine. And 99 percent of those sales are to U.S. government sources.

Several other companies are nipping at Emergent's heals with new anthrax products.

Vaccine maker VaxGen Inc. was awarded an $877 million U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contract in 2004 for the anthrax vaccine it's working on. California's VaxGen has yet to ship any product.

In June, HHS bought 20,000 doses of an anthrax treatment from Maryland's Human Genome Sciences Inc. for about $165 million.
   Emergent BioSolutions flaunts $75m anthrax vaccine production facility
by Gregory Roumeliotis - Pharmatechnologist.com - Tuesday August 22, 2006
Buoyed by lucrative biodefense contracts, Emergent BioSolutions has showcased a new large-scale vaccine production facility in Michigan which it will use to make Biothrax, the only vaccine approved in the US for the prevention of anthrax infection.

Construction of the 50,000-square-foot facility in Lansing is expected to finish next year, with manufacturing operations starting in 2008 and supporting the company's other two manufacturing plants in Frederick. In an age of widespread terrorism fears, anthrax is considered by the US government to be one of the top biothreat agents, resulting in booming business for Emergent BioSolutions, which gets 97 per cent of its revenues from government contracts, primarily the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Defense. Last week the company announced it will sell shares of stock in an initial public offering (IPO) that could raise as much as $86m (ᆲ65m), making it an attractive proposition for investors not just because of its past performance  few biotech companies have been profitable for three years in a row  but also because of its prospects. Emergent BioSolutions already has guaranteed income for 2007 after signing a $120m deal to deliver 5m doses of BioThrax vaccine to the US government, all it needs now is capacity, hence the new facility.
   Fight against anthrax is in trouble
by Steve Johnson - Contra Costa Times/San Jose Mercury News - Friday August 18, 2006
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Almost five years after a deadly series of mailed anthrax attacks prompted warnings that a new anthrax vaccine was "urgently needed," the nation's nearly $1 billion effort to develop the drug is in trouble.

The company, VaxGen, is about a year behind schedule on its latest contract, the first and biggest under the federal anti-terror program Project BioShield. And the delay could grow by at least another year because of a dispute with the government over how the vaccine should be tested.

Although federal officials consider VaxGen's vaccine promising, critics have questioned why the small Brisbane, Calif., company won the contract. It has no commercial products, flopped at making an AIDS vaccine and has been delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market since 2004 because of its fouled-up financial records. Yet the government had little choice, because major vaccine manufacturers declined to bid.
   Anthrax Hearing Delayed Again commentary follows
by Gayle S. Putrich - Army Times - Wednesday August 09, 2006
The second delay of an anthrax vaccination hearing will keep the question of mandatory shots for members of the military up in the air for at least another month.

An Aug. 9 status hearing on the Doe vs. Rumsfeld case has been pushed back to Sept. 7, this time at the request of the judge. The hearing, in which the judge would ask questions and hear arguments from both sides without rendering a decision, was originally scheduled for June 27, but moved back at the request of the government without explanation.

Mark Zaid, an attorney for the six anonymous military and federal civilian plaintiffs in the suit, said he had no details on the reason for either of the delays.

The anthrax vaccine became voluntary in late 2004 when U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan shut down the mandatory program, ruling that the Food and Drug Administration had failed to properly license the vaccine.


Commentary:
Further quotes: The FDA issued a final rule certifying the vaccine for all types of anthrax, including inhaled, last December. The Pentagon then appealed not only to have Sullivan's injunction lifted, but to have the courts certify that the mandatory program had been legal all along. Editor's note: The anthrax vaccine program most definitely has not been legal all along. Please read the full chronology of the development of the anthrax vaccine here: http://www.mvrd.org/pdf/chrono.pdf

In February, an appeals court dissolved the injunction but sent the case back to Sullivan to decide whether the mandatory program was legal. Editor's Note: The anthrax vaccine was neither safe nor legal. The FDA certification for its use on inhaled anthrax cannot, obviously, be tested on human beings; nor have adequate safety and efficacy tests - peer-reviewed and published - ever been run on the current vaccine. The ONLY safety test that passed muster was passed on an anthrax vaccine BEFORE the Army changed its formulation for mass inoculation - thus turning it into a different vaccine. Please do read the chronology.
   HollisterStier Adds Second Shift: Firm Hires 21 Technicians to Meet Demand commentary follows
Red Orbit.com/Spokesman Review - Thursday August 03, 2006
Aug. 3--Increasing workloads at Spokane's HollisterStier Laboratories will force the North side manufacturer to add a second production shift this fall -- the first extra shift in the company's long history.

Company officials Wednesday said they've hired 21 technicians to start a second production shift beginning in September. That shift, from 4 p.m. to midnight, will include about 10 packagers, said Communication Manager Janelle Jovick.


Commentary:
HollisterStier is also the contract filling company for the U.S. government's ongoing distribution of millions of vials of anthrax vaccine used by the military.
   Pentagon weighs options in anthrax vaccine suit
by Gayle S. Putrich - Army Times Publishing Co. - Monday July 10, 2006
The question of whether the Defense Department will be allowed to resume ordering service members to take the controversial anthrax vaccine continues to drag on in court. A status hearing, in which the judge would ask questions and hear arguments from both sides without rendering a decision, was scheduled for June 27. But that was pushed back indefinitely, sources say, at the request of the government for reasons that are unclear. Were just waiting, said Mark Zaid, an attorney for the six anonymous military and federal civilian plaintiffs in the suit, Doe v. Rumsfeld. DoD needs to decide what theyre going to do. The vaccine program became voluntary in early 2004 after a federal judge halted mandatory shots because he said the vaccine was being used in an unapproved way. After nearly two years of further study, the Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule in December 2005 that the anthrax vaccine is safe and effective as protection against both the skin and inhalation forms of the disease. Defense officials hoped the FDAs decision would force a reversal of the earlier court order that made the shots voluntary. The Defense Department also wanted an appellate court to rule that the government was within its rights all along to order troops to take the vaccine. That request, however, was turned down. The injunction that made the shots voluntary ended with the FDAs Dec. 19 licensing of the drug against inhalation anthrax. A three-judge panel of the D.C. District Court of Appeals agreed in a Feb. 9 decision that the injunction is dissolved and this case no longer presents a live controversy on which we may pass judgment. However, instead of saying that forcing troops to take the vaccine was legal all along, the panel kicked the case back to the original judge, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, with instructions to the district court to consider that request. Sullivans decision could have an impact on hundreds, perhaps thousands, of service members who were punished for refusing an order to take the vaccine when the shots were mandatory. If Sullivan rules that the Pentagon was within its rights to order people to take the anthrax vaccine even though it had not yet been properly licensed by the FDA, then the punishments meted out to those who refused the inoculations will stand. If, however, it is ultimately determined that the Pentagon was wrong to have forced the shots on troops, those punished for refusing the drugs will be able to petition for the correction of their service records. Service members are responsible for their own records; the Defense Department will not offer to update them, even if they are inaccurate. And there is a six-year statute of limitations on changing records in situations involving disciplinary action. The Pentagons top health affairs official, Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., had his own take on the situation when he spoke with Air Force Times editors and reporters June 12. He indicated the Defense Department got what it wanted from the appellate court, though he said the program will remain voluntary for now. The DoD appeal was not rejected, Winkenwerder insisted. The FDA made a final decision after the federal judge had placed an injunction on the program. And the final decision from the FDA, the final rule, allows the department to use the vaccine as we would see fit. And we are reviewing our program. He said the Pentagon has made no decision whether to continue the existing voluntary approach indefinitely or return to a mandatory approach or & change the target population that we would seek to protect. Zaid said the plaintiffs will file a challenge if the Pentagon moves to reinstate a mandatory program, but we have no complaints with a voluntary program  we never have. The issue, he said, has been that up until the FDA properly approved the drug in 2005, it was illegal to administer it, which means the order to take it was unlawful and troops should not have been punished for refusing to obey. At that time, the vaccine was unlawful, he said. We have very strict rules, and if you are not in compliance with the FDA, it is unlawful to administer a drug, whether its a DoD drug or a Merck drug. And that is what this case has always been about. When the status hearing finally takes place, it will be the latest step in a long legal journey that began in 1998, when the Pentagon required shots to protect troops against the possible use of anthrax as a biological weapon. The case, which has become a tangled web of arguments about scientific research methods, complex statistics and drug safety, boils down to two questions: Is the anthrax vaccine safe, and does it work? Government officials contend that scientific data show the series of six shots to be safe, and that they protect against all forms of anthrax, including airborne spores  the most probable form of anthrax that terrorists would use. But opponents say the vaccine, made by a Michigan company that over the years has endured numerous financial problems and health code issues at its plant, risks making service members ill. Hundreds of troops have complained of health problems they believe are linked to the vaccine. Despite congressional requirements that the Pentagon track the potential health risks of anthrax shots, the Daily Press of Newport News, Va., reported in December that defense officials had kept from public view reports of the hospitalization of more than 20,000 service members following anthrax vaccinations. Defense officials contend there is no evidence that any of those hospitalizations are linked to the vaccine.
   Time to end anthrax suit
by Editorial - Army Times Publishing Co. - Monday July 10, 2006
A lawsuit that challenges the militarys anthrax vaccine program is now well into its fourth year in court. Its time for the Pentagon to reach out and settle the case. The vaccine became voluntary in late 2004 when U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan shut down the mandatory program, ruling that the Food and Drug Administration had failed to properly license the vaccine for use against the inhalation form of anthrax. The FDA issued a final rule certifying the vaccine for such use last December. The Pentagon then appealed not only to have Sullivans injunction lifted, but to have the courts certify that the mandatory program had been legal all along. Thats a crucial point  if the courts rule that the old program was illegal, any troops who were punished for refusing an order to take the vaccine could petition to have their records corrected. In February, an appeals court dissolved the injunction but sent the case back to Sullivan to decide whether the mandatory program was legal. A hearing on that issue was scheduled in Sullivans court June 27 but was pushed back indefinitely at the governments request, without explanation. Meanwhile, Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., the Pentagons top health affairs official, seems downright blas← about when, or even if, the Pentagon might reinstate mandatory shots. We are reviewing our program, is all he would say June 12. No final decisions & have been made. This is a curious lack of urgency coming from an agency that, until recently, issued strong and repeated assertions about the dire nature of the anthrax threat facing U.S. troops. Many service members, both past and present, deserve resolution to this long, tired saga. Indeed, the Defense Department itself needs to move ahead one way or another  to settle on how such matters should be handled in the future. Its time to stop the foot-dragging and resolve this issue, once and for all.
   Bio-Weapons: Creating the Next Generation of Anthrax Vaccine
by Jim Kouri, fifth vice-president of National Assoc. - The Voice.com - Friday July 07, 2006
Commentary piece: The threat of bio-terrorism has long been recognized in the United States and abroad. The Department of Defense considers inhalation anthrax to be the greatest biological warfare threat to US military forces.

The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases has been conducting basic and applied research on biological threats since 1969, in order to develop medical countermeasures -- prophylactics, vaccines, medical diagnostics -- to protect US military personnel in the midst of combat.

. . .Despite the many recommendations the General Accountability Office has made over the past few years regarding problems related to the anthrax vaccine's safety and effectiveness and the reliability of anthrax detection, deficiencies remain. While agencies have taken steps in the right direction, the government still lacks a strategic plan outlining how individual agency would respond to a bio-attack.
   Feds demand VaxGen conduct more anthrax vaccine tests
RGJ.com/AP - Sunday May 28, 2006
advertisement Toyota's quarterly profit jumps 39 percent; fiscal-year profit hits record Gold climbs to 25-year highs Whirlpool cutting 4,500 jobs, three plants Stocks mixed after Fed lifts key rate Yahoo, Telemundo launch Web portal Federated posts Q1 loss on May acquisition costs Related news from the Web Biotech HIV/AIDS VaxGen Medicine Health Healthcare Industry Powered by Topix.net advertisement SAN FRANCISCO -- The struggling biotechnology company VaxGen Inc. said Wednesday that the federal government is demanding it conduct more human tests before delivering a new anthrax vaccine, imperiling its $877.5 million contract.

The government made the costly requirements "unilaterally" and doesn't intend to cover the added cost, the financially troubled company said. Further, the government will not pay VaxGen until it begins delivering the 75 million shots ordered, which are now expected in 2008, the second delay since the company won the contract in 2004.
   Fishing: The Best Medicine
by John O'Connell - Pocatello Idaho State Journal - Friday May 19, 2006
For Vance Wasden, a local disabled veteran, wet flies and tapered leaders have been the best therapy for coping with health problems incurred in the line of duty.

And he's found no more therapeutic waters than the Smith River in Montana - one of the few rivers anglers must vie for hard-to-get permits to fish.

He returned from a float trip offered free to disabled veterans last Friday.
   Researcher studies old anthrax release for hypotheticals
Stanford Report - Wednesday May 17, 2006
In 1979, anthrax was accidentally released in the city of Sverdlovsk (pop. 1,200,000) in the former Soviet Union, infecting about 80 to 100 people and killing at least 70. Russian officials claimed at the time that tainted meat sold on the black market was responsible; American officials argued that a nearby biological weapons facility released the killer spores. In the early 1990s, Harvard researchers visited the city to piece together the epidemiology of the outbreak.
   Leavitt holds VaxGen to contract
by Michael McKee and Duncan Moore - Bloomberg News - Friday May 12, 2006
Michael Leavitt, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, reinforced the government's position that VaxGen Inc. must live up to the terms of its original contract to produce an anthrax vaccine. "VaxGen is discouragingly behind in producing on their original contract, so we have laid out some very significant benchmarks they need to meet," Leavitt said Thursday in an interview from the White House.
   U.S. Wants More Tests of VaxGen's Anthrax Vaccine
The Associated Press - Thursday May 11, 2006
Financially struggling VaxGen Inc. said Wednesday that the federal government was demanding that the biotechnology company conduct more human tests before delivering a new anthrax vaccine. The government made the costly requirements unilaterally and doesn't intend to cover the added cost, the Brisbane, Calif.-based company said.
   HHS Statement concerning the rPA Anthrax Vaccine Contract Modification
Washington Post - Thursday May 11, 2006
Marc Wolfson, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, issued this statement to The Post Wednesday night in relation to the VaxGen dispute, asking that it be attributed to Noreen Hynes, director of research and development coordination in the HHS office responsible for biodefense. The requirements established in the November 2004 contract with VaxGen for rPA anthrax vaccine remain unchanged.
   New anthrax vaccine for US stockpile to be delayed
CIDRAP - Thursday May 11, 2006
VaxGen Inc., maker of a new anthrax vaccine for the US civilian stockpile, announced yesterday that delivery of the first doses will be delayed at least a year beyond the original target date of November 2006. The Brisbane, Calif., company cited new government-imposed requirements as factors in the delay. The announcement came a few weeks after a newspaper report that testing last year had shown the vaccine was unstable, slowing the project. The company said at the time the problem had already been corrected.
   HHS Issues Contract Modification Confirming Commitment to Buy 75M Doses of VaxGen's Anthrax Vaccine; Modification Imposes New Requirements that Delay
VaxGen, Inc. - Wednesday May 10, 2006
BRISBANE, Calif., May 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VaxGen, Inc. (Pink Sheets: VXGN.PK - News) announced today that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has confirmed its commitment to purchase 75 million doses of the company's recombinant anthrax vaccine candidate for $877.5 million by issuing a unilateral modification to the company's November 2004 anthrax vaccine contract.
   Production of Anthrax Vaccine Delayed Again
Washington Post - Wednesday May 10, 2006
A troubled government program to produce a new anthrax vaccine has fallen at least another year behind schedule, and sources said last night that tensions between the government and its main contractor have become so severe the future of the program could be in doubt.
   DoD to extend anthrax contract through 09
Air Force Times - Wednesday May 10, 2006
The Defense Department plans to extend its contract with the company that produces the anthrax vaccine through 2009 while waiting for a new vaccine to be developed and licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, said officials testifying before a congressional committee Tuesday. While the Pentagon has antibiotics on hand in the event military personnel are exposed to anthrax, preventative vaccinations remain the preferred method of dealing with potential anthrax threats, said Ellen P. Embry, deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for force health protection and readiness.
   Panacea completes phase II Anthrax vaccine trials, plans to supply to US
Pharmabiz.com - Monday May 08, 2006
Panacea Biotech, the only Indian vaccine manufacturer developing a recombinant Anthrax vaccine, has completed Phase II(a) human trials at two centres in India.
   Anthrax vaccine contract awarded
The Associated Press - Sunday May 07, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Lansing company is making five (m) million more doses of anthrax vaccine to bolster the government's antidote stockpile. BioPort is the nation's only licensed anthrax vaccine maker. It will receive 120 (m) million dollars for the work. . . .The contract was awarded under Project BioShield.
   Vaccine plus antibiotic protects against anthrax
by Maggie Fox - Reuters - Monday May 01, 2006
Combining an anthrax vaccine with a short course of antibiotics completely protected monkeys who inhaled spores of the often-deadly bacteria, offering perhaps a more realistic way to protect people in case of a biological attack, researchers said on Monday. The finding suggests it may be possible to vaccinate people who have been exposed to anthrax spores, and give them a short, two-week course of antibiotics to provide extra protection while their immune system gears up, the researchers report in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
   Anthrax Inhibitor Counteracts Toxin, May Lead To New Therapeutics
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Sunday April 23, 2006
Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Toronto have designed a nanoscale assembly of molecules that successfully counteracts and inhibits anthrax toxin in animal and laboratory experiments. The novel approach used to neutralize anthrax toxin could be applied in designing potent therapeutics for a variety of pathogens and toxins, according to the researchers.
   Newly Discovered Protein Kills Anthrax Bacteria By Exploding Their Cell Walls
Rockefeller University - Friday April 21, 2006
Not all biological weapons are created equal. They are separated into categories A through C, category A biological agents being the scariest: They are easy to spread, kill effectively and call for special actions by the pubic health system. One of these worrisome organisms is anthrax, which has already received its fair share of media attention. But work in Vince Fischettis laboratory at Rockefeller University suggests that a newly discovered protein could be used to fight anthrax infections and even decontaminate areas in which anthrax spores have been released.
   Report Finds Anthrax Contamination at U.S. Institute
The Associated Press - Wednesday April 19, 2006
A new report has indicated that there were multiple incidents of anthrax contamination outside biocontainment areas in 2001 and 2002 at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Maryland, the Associated Press reported today (see GSN, Oct. 14, 2004). The report exposed careless practices by workers at the site as they dealt with an influx of samples submitted for testing. The contamination did not cause any infections, AP reported. The Army tightened security at the facility after acknowledging an accidental release in April 2002. No additional leaks have been reported since.
   Contract delay hurts Lansing vaccine firm commentary follows
by Faith Bremner/Gannett - Detroit Free Press - Saturday April 15, 2006
WASHINGTON -- A Lansing-based vaccine manufacturer could be out of business soon if the federal government fails to follow through with a commitment to buy 5 million doses of its anthrax vaccine, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers said last week.

For a year, Rogers said, officials at the Department of Health and Human Services have been telling him a contract with BioPort Corp. is imminent. As of Friday, no contract had been signed.


Commentary:
We can only consider this good news. This is the company that once manufactured - and used - contaminated vaccine; that falsified the expiration date on lots of the vaccine; that changed the filtering and fermenting equipment used to make the vaccine resulting in a 100-fold increase in its potency - without notifying the FDA.

This is why the company was shut down for four years by the FDA - not because of a shortage of the anthrax vaccine, but because the rules were so flagrantly and so carelessly being violated. They now say they have their act together. However, to our knowledge, the ownership and management of BioPort have not changed, and it's always at the top that you can find the attitudes that create problems in any given company.

No tears will be shed by the hundreds and thousands of service members and veterans who have become disabled because of the BioPort vaccine; no tears will be shed by the family members of those who have died because of this vaccine.
   At Odds over Anthrax
by Thomas D. Williams - Hartford Courant, Connecticut/Sun-Sentinel, Florida - Monday April 10, 2006
Weaponized anthrax killed five Americans in 2001, yet the federal government is coming under criticism for its pursuit of vaccines to protect the United States from future attacks.

The government has committed to investing more than $1 billion to develop, buy and stockpile anthrax vaccines - fully one-quarter of a special fund created by President Bush for medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack on the United States.

Some critics, however, insist that the investment is misguided at best. There is no evidence that foreign terrorists are capable of a large-scale anthrax assault, they say, and there are other biological agents terrorists might find as easy to use. In any case, anthrax disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics. Some suggest the spending has more to do with politics than with actual threats.

Concerns over the military's use of the only currently licensed vaccine led to a halt, at least temporarily, to mandatory inoculations there. And although new vaccines are being commissioned, some people have warned that the government needs to better supervise its entire anthrax program or risk wasting money, making flawed decisions, and possibly putting the public in danger.

The issue is far from academic. In the event of a national emergency, the government has the power to order vaccination of civilians, regardless of whether the medications are licensed or experimental.
   Congressman calls for probe of VaxGen anthrax contract
Yahoo Finance - Thursday April 06, 2006
A congressman from the Michigan district where a competitor to VaxGen Inc. is located called for an investigation of VaxGen's $877 million government anthrax vaccine contract.

Representative Mike Rogers said Brisbane-based VaxGen (OTCBB: VXGN - News) has exaggerated the effectiveness of its anthrax vaccine and hasn't delivered it on time to the U.S. government, which agreed in November to buy 75 million doses of it for protection against a biological terror attack.

Rogers represents the district of Michigan where BioPort Corp., which also makes anthrax vaccine, is based.
   FDA Warns Maker of Anthrax Vaccine
by Justin GIllis - Washington Post - Wednesday April 05, 2006
Federal drug regulators have accused a California company of breaking the law by making exaggerated claims about the purity and effectiveness of a new vaccine for anthrax, a fresh blow for a troubled $1 billion program at the center of the government's plans to counter bioterrorism.

In a letter made public yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration accused VaxGen Inc. of making "false or misleading statements" about the vaccine, essentially by offering rosy interpretations of the handful of scientific studies that have been completed on the product.
   VaxGen Responds To Congressman Mike Rogers Call For Investigation Into Anthrax Vaccine Contract - Quick Facts
www.tradingmarkets.com - Wednesday April 05, 2006
Wednesday, VaxGen, Inc. (VXGN.PK) stated that it's President and Chief Executive Lance K. Gordon released a statement in response to the proposed investigation into the company's anthrax vaccine contract by Congressman Mike Rogers.

The President revealed that he was surprised by the call for an investigation into the Project BioShield anthrax vaccine contract as he feels that the contract bagged by the company from the Department of Health and Human Service - HHS was a resultant of an open, competitive and fair solicitation, which was extensive and also were in line with all applicable laws, rules and regulations.
   No Hope for Stockpile of New Anthrax Vaccine by November
by Justin GIllis - Washington Times - Friday March 17, 2006
The government's $1 billion effort to develop a new anthrax vaccine has run into difficulty, with the company in charge of the project reporting failure in a major human test and falling at least a year behind schedule.

Officers at VaxGen Inc. of Brisbane, Calif., said in interviews that they believe they have isolated the problem with their vaccine and are well on their way to fixing it. But they acknowledged that they have no hope of meeting a deadline to deliver 25 million doses of the vaccine into a national stockpile by November and will default on their contract with the government unless it grants an extension they have requested.

The difficulties appear to confirm predictions on Capitol Hill two years ago that a small company like VaxGen wouldn't be able to meet an aggressive schedule for stockpiling millions of doses of a new anthrax vaccine. Until the full stockpile of 75 million doses is ready, the United States would depend on antibiotics to treat a large-scale anthrax attack, a strategy that terrorists could overcome by creating antibiotic-resistant anthrax.
   Anthrax vaccine comes into question once again commentary follows
KOTV News, Tulsa, Oklahoma - Tuesday March 14, 2006
Story first broadcast 2/25/2006: When Spc. Kent Steward came home from Iraq, his health inexplicably failed. After seeing a long line of doctors who could do nothing for him, an infectious disease specialist finally diagnosed his problems as related to the series of anthrax shots he was forced to take. The military, disbelieving, is working at denying him disability benefits.


Commentary:
Lt. Col. Tom Heemstra, author of Anthrax - A Deadly Shot in the Dark is also interviewed in this story, and says, as we all have come to expect, that the military simply doesn't want to take responsibility for the illnesses caused by this vaccine.
   Is the US government making anthax bombs in Utah?
by Ted McDonough - Salt Lake City Weekly - Thursday February 23, 2006
. . .Much of the job of destroying Americas WMD stockpile took place in Utahs west desert at the Deseret Chemical Depot, 12 miles south of Tooele. In March 2005, the depot celebrated its milestone destruction of the millionth VX-filled munition.
. . .But something else was going on that March in the west desert that has some questioning the United States dedication to nonproliferation. Over at the U.S. Armys Dugway Proving Groundsthe chemical depots Tooele County neighborprocurement officers quietly placed orders for a system of bacteria-growing fermentors that would have made Saddam salivate.
According to government solicitation, the order called for four fermentors with a total capacity of producing nearly 3,500 liters of bacteria and the possibility of another five fermentors in the future. That is enough bacteria-making equipment to cook up about three-fourths the 8,400 liters of anthrax Iraq admitted to having produced for Saddams biowar program.
The order didnt detail what Dugway wanted to grow, but at the same time, the secretive Army base put out feelers for a second set of fermentors and contractors willing to make 1,500-liter batches of a benign strain of anthrax called Sterne.
. . .Dugway isnt saying why it wanted large volumes of the nonlethal Sterne anthrax, except that it was acting on orders from the U.S. Army Developmental Test Command. The particular solicitation that alarmed watchdogs was canceled when no contractor responded, said Dugway spokeswoman Paula Nicholson. Base commanders did not respond to questions about whether the order had been filled in another way. Dugway has been growing small amounts of its own Sterne-strain anthrax since 2002, according to Nicholson. Its used as a substitute for the real thing when testing battlefield detectors that sniff out biowar agents and other defense equipment.
Hammond thinks the only explanation for the Armys need for thousands of liters of non-lethal anthrax would be outdoor testing. . .
   High school senior discovers ironing deactivates anthrax
CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News - Monday February 20, 2006
Through a project for a statewide science competition, Central Catholic High School senior Marc Roberge discovered truth in the urban legend that ironing can kill anthrax spores in contaminated mail. His findings will appear in the June edition of the Journal of Medical Toxicology, which publishes peer-reviewed research papers. &[H]e substituted a more heat-resistant but harmless bacterial spore from the anthrax family that scientists often use as a surrogate. Marc Roberge placed paper strips laden with millions of spores inside standard envelopes, and then ironed the mail at various dry heat settings for up to 15 minutes.
   Over half of troops have taken anthrax vaccine since April 05 commentary follows
by Jeff Schogol - Stars and Stripes - Sunday January 29, 2006
ARLINGTON, Va.  Since the anthrax shot became optional in April 2005, slightly more than half of servicemembers have agreed to take it, Army Col. John D. Grabenstein, director of the Military Vaccine Agency said Friday.

In 2004, a federal judge temporarily barred the Defense Department from administering the inoculation after finding the Food and Drug Administration had made mistakes in determining the drug was safe.

In April 2005, the judge allowed the military to administer the anthrax vaccinations on an emergency use basis, but also gave servicemembers the right to refuse the shots.


Commentary:
Further quote: "He said 81,000 Defense Department personnel received more than 106,000 doses of anthrax vaccine from April 2005 until Jan. 14, when the Emergency Use Authorization expired."

This amounts to 1.3 shots per person, out of the total regimen of 6 shots. So the headline and intent of the story are a bit misleading; over half may have taken one shot, but given the DoD's insistance that this is the only way to protect troops against inhaled anthrax - why are people not taking the full 6-shot regimen? Could it be they don't want to risk further side effects?
   Mandatory anthrax inoculations should resume, court told
by Gordon Trowbridge - Army Times - Thursday December 22, 2005
A government agencys ruling that the controversial anthrax vaccine is safe should clear the way for resumption of mandatory shots for military personnel, government attorneys argue in a new court filing.

A Dec. 19 ruling by the Food and Drug Administration that the vaccine is safe and effective against all forms of anthrax should lead to either reversing a federal judges ruling halting the vaccinations, or tossing the case out as moot, Justice Department lawyers argue in a request to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

That court is considering the governments appeal of a lower-court ruling that halted the Pentagons mandatory anthrax vaccinations. The case involves six anonymous plaintiffs who argued the government was violating the law by requiring military personnel to take the shots or face legal punishment.
   Service members must OK anthrax inoculation, court told
by Gordon Trowbridge - Army Times - Tuesday December 20, 2005
Attorneys for six military members fighting the Pentagons anthrax vaccination program argued Monday that a law designed to protect service members from experimental drugs should apply to the controversial vaccine.

The arguments, in a legal brief filed Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, are the latest step in a long battle over the vaccine. The court earlier this month asked both the government and the anonymous plaintiffs in the case to file briefs on whether a 1998 law, passed in response to concerns over Gulf War illness, requires the Pentagon to seek permission before injecting those in uniform with the vaccine. The law applies to any drug being used in any application not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Earlier, government attorneys had argued that law doesnt apply to the anthrax shots because the vaccine was licensed by the National Institutes of Health in the 1970s under an earlier system. Several years ago, the FDA took over vaccine licensing from the NIH.
   Military may not change anthrax shot rules commentary follows
by Bob Evans - Daily Press; Newport News, VA - Sunday December 18, 2005
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has once again decided that the anthrax vaccine used by the military meets safety and effectiveness standards, paving the way for the return of the controversial mandatory shot program.

But that doesn't mean the "take the shot or take a court-martial approach" will resume soon - or for very long.

The FDA ruling, announced late Thursday, means the military could bypass a court injunction and resume putting needles into troops' arms without their consent, says Mark Zaid. He's one of the lawyers who has helped six unnamed members of the military and Department of Defense employees win a series of rulings in federal court that stopped the mandatory vaccination program in October 2004.

For the time being, the Department of Defense will continue the voluntary program put in place in May while it mulls its options, defense spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said Friday. She declined comment on the legal issues involved.


Commentary:
Further quote: Zaid said he and his colleagues anticipated the FDA decision and have prepared a lawsuit that would attempt to block any mandatory vaccination program on other grounds.
   Veterans' groups criticize anthrax shots for troops
by Joyce Price - Washington Times - Sunday December 18, 2005
Three groups representing military veterans and their families sent a letter to President Bush Friday, criticizing his administration's "push to reinstate mandatory anthrax vaccinations" of troops and its effort to shield vaccine manufacturers.

"Subjecting service members to dangerous vaccines while giving protection to vaccine manufacturers is not only a threat to the health of our troops, it is a threat to the ability of our armed services to recruit and keep soldiers," the groups said.

Their letter and an advertisement came one day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final order that reaffirmed its previous finding that the anthrax vaccine prevents anthrax contamination.

The groups are the National Gulf War Resource Center, the Military Vaccine Action Committee and For Those Who Served: Justice for Veterans.
   FDA Rules Anthrax Vaccine Safe, Effective commentary follows
AP via Yahoo News - Friday December 16, 2005
WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday confirmed its previous finding that the anthrax vaccine being given to members of the U.S. military is safe and effective.

The drug has been at the center of a multiyear lawsuit that began when six members of the military challenged the Pentagon's use of a mandatory vaccination against anthrax in some military troops


Commentary:
Remember when we were asked what "is" is? If "safe" means up to a 35% adverse systemic reaction rate, as the anthrax vaccine label itself states - with the possibility of grand mal seizures, autoimmune illnesses, short-term memory loss, severe bone and joint pain, tumors and cysts -- sure, if that's the definition of safe, and "only" a third of our service members are at risk, then that must be safe, surely. Isn't that acceptable to everyone? Isn't it?

Effective? It's impossible to test this vaccine for inhalational anthrax effectiveness, because we have yet to spray our service members and see if the vaccine holds. Most reports advise antibiotics in the event someone is found to have anthrax. They don't seem to advise simply depending on this highly reactive, dangerous vaccine. Effective? Was there a human test we weren't told about?

Safe and effective? Only if you don't have to take the shots.
   Court asked to allow mandatory inoculations commentary follows
by Gordon Trowbridge - Marine Corps Times - Wednesday December 14, 2005
A law banning the Pentagons use of experimental drugs without troops consent does not preclude mandatory anthrax vaccinations, government lawyers contend in their latest court filing in the long-running legal battle over the vaccine.

The government brief, filed this week with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, argues that the controversial vaccines licensing under a law governing biological products trumps a 1998 law in which Congress required troops to consent before the military administered investigational drugs.

Applying the 1998 law  passed in response to widespread concerns about the use of experimental drugs and the emergence of Gulf War Syndrome  would preclude the military from requiring the administration of any vaccine, the government contends. No basis for such a reading exists in law or logic.

The Pentagon is seeking to overturn a federal court ruling last year that halted mandatory anthrax vaccinations. That ruling was a victory for the six anonymous military and Defense Department civilian plaintiffs who contend the Pentagon was requiring vaccinations using a drug unapproved for use against airborne anthrax spores  the kind of anthrax most likely to be used by an enemy in battle.


Commentary:
Lawyers for the plaintiffs in this suit are scheduled to respond by Dec. 19.
   APPEALS COURT PURSUES UNEXPECTED INQUIRY IN DOD ANTHRAX SHOTS CASE
Inside the Pentagon - Thursday December 08, 2005
A federal appeals court considering a Bush administration request to restart mandatory anthrax inoculations for selected military personnel this week ordered both sides in the case to submit written arguments on a point of law neither party has emphasized to date. The government appeal seeks to reverse a 2004 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who declared the Pentagon anthrax inoculation program illegal because the Food and Drug Administration had not properly approved the vaccine for protection against inhaled spores. On Monday (Dec. 5), the DC Circuit Court directed the government to submit a brief by Dec. 12 on the question of whether the anthrax vaccine is a drug unapproved for its applied use under the law governing the armed services, because the vaccine was originally licensed in a manner unrecognized by Title 10 of the U.S. Code.
   'I'd known that kid ... That wasn't him'
by Bob Evans - Daily Press - Monday December 05, 2005
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Bill Noel was a Navy man and a family man, happy to serve his country as a senior chief petty officer supervising the USS Abraham Lincoln's defense systems and eager to help his kids with their math homework - often by telephone a continent or more away.

That's the Bill Noel everyone knew before March 5, 2003 - the day when he got his second anthrax shot.

The Bill Noel afterward was physically sick and mentally ill, eventually so depressed and confused that he lit a cigarette after spilling gasoline on his pants, engulfing himself in flames and burning 80 percent of his body.

He died from those burns and their complications nearly a year later, his autopsy report reads.
   'Young' men got Lou Gehrig's disease
by Bob Evans - Daily Press - Monday December 05, 2005
For Navy Capt. Denis Army, the first clue came Sept. 21, 1998, when he stumbled while running the bases in a shipboard softball game. It was the day before the former college baseball player turned 45 and three days after his first anthrax shot.

Lt. Cmdr. Brody Prieto's problems began about a year after his only anthrax shot, at 31. His voice became too slurred to understand over a radio while flying missions as an F-14 radar-intercept officer in the Middle East.

Both Navy men from Virginia Beach were eventually diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Both died thinking that their anthrax shots triggered - or caused - this always-fatal illness, despite military doctors' refusal to consider the possibility, their widows say. Some scientists say there might be good reasons to think that the two men were right.
   "We Wish It Didn't Happen at All" commentary follows
by Bob Evans - Daily Press - Monday December 05, 2005
Senior Airman Tom Colosimo loved the Air Force, especially the travel. While at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton and Hill Air Force Base, Utah, he made eight trips to the Middle East during nearly 10 years in uniform.

That life ended after he became one of the first military members required to take the anthrax vaccine under a new "force protection program" in February 1998.


Commentary:
Sub-headline reads: "An Air Force veteran's life was wrecked by anthrax shots, in one of few cases that the Pentagon will acknowledge as related to the vaccine."
   'I'll just stay on it as long as I can ...' commentary follows
by Bob Evans - Daily Press - Monday December 05, 2005
Patrick Kelly was a rising star in the Navy, a junior-grade lieutenant who rose from entry-level seaman the hard way - working his way up without benefit of college or special programs.

. . . Kelly's 19-year career was studded with commendations for his ability to understand, enact and explain to others the ever-expanding use of computers on modern warships - a skill highly prized by admirals.

But his last three years in uniform, after inoculation with anthrax vaccine, were also marked with a series of ailments: chronic joint pain, impotence, rapidly deteriorating eyesight, sudden onset of asthma, chronic fatigue and then broken bones in his back - just from rolling over in bed.

Doctors finally figured out that Kelly had multiple myeloma, a rare form of cancer. It's an autoimmune disease in which the body produces too many plasma cells, destroying the person's healthy cells and bones in the process. Military doctors and other people told Kelly that his illness wasn't related to his anthrax shots.

But several medical experts say there's good evidence that the naysayers are wrong. That evidence includes blood from retirees at the nation's key chemical and biological warfare lab, where nearly all workers are vaccinated for anthrax. Those samples show signs of a condition that precedes multiple myeloma.

It includes vials of vaccine contaminated with a controversial additive that causes severe autoimmune illnesses in lab animals. Several prominent vaccine researchers died from multiple myeloma after injecting themselves with similar additives.


Commentary:
That "controversial additive" would be squalene.
   Pentagon withheld data on more than 20,000 anthrax vaccine cases commentary follows
by Bob Evans - Daily Press - Sunday December 04, 2005
The Pentagon never told Congress about more than 20,000 hospitalizations involving troops who'd taken the anthrax vaccine, despite repeated promises that such cases would be publicly disclosed.

Instead, a parade of generals and Defense Department officials told Congress and the public that fewer than 100 people were hospitalized or became seriously ill after receiving the shot from 1998 through 2000.

They also showed Congress written policies that required public reports to be filed for hospitalizations, serious illnesses and cases where someone missed 24 hours or more of duty.

But only a sliver of those cases were reported, while the rest were withheld from Congress and the public, records obtained by the Daily Press show.

Critics of the vaccine, veterans' advocates and congressional staffers say the Pentagon's deliberate low-balling of hospitalizations helped persuade Congress and the public that the vaccine was safe.


Commentary:
This is Part 1 of a 4-part series
   Return of mandatory anthrax inoculations sought commentary follows
by Gordon Trowbridge - Army Times - Friday December 02, 2005
Service members could learn in as little as three months whether the federal courts will allow the Pentagon to resume mandatory anthrax vaccinations.

A federal appeals court panel heard arguments Thursday on whether the government has the authority to force troops to take the controversial vaccine. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is considering the governments appeal of an October 2004 ruling that the mandatory vaccine program was illegal, and that the military could administer it only on a voluntary basis.

John Michaels, who argued Thursday for the six plaintiffs, said he hoped for a ruling in as little as 90 days.

The six plaintiffs contend that the anthrax vaccine is unproven against inhaled airborne spores of the deadly disease  the threat most likely to face U.S. troops.


Commentary:
All active-duty service personnel -- and their families and friends -- are going to have to become involved if this is to be stopped. Further information to come.
   The vaccine issue
Daily Press - Tuesday November 29, 2005
For members of the military and their loved ones, deployment can mean deciding whether or not to take the anthrax vaccine. If you're trying to decide, the Daily Press wants to help. In early December, a series of stories about the military's vaccine program will explore the truth about the shot and how it's been presented to service men and women.
   Ky. Air Guardsmen Say Anthrax Vaccine Caused Ongoing Health Problems commentary follows
Wave 3 TV - Louisville, KY - Wednesday November 23, 2005
There are serious accusations against the military, and they're coming from within ranks. Two Kentucky Air National Guardsmen claim a required vaccine has caused them major health problems. As WAVE 3 Investigator Eric Flack reports, this is not the first time the anthrax vaccine has been the center of controversy.

Kentucky Air National Guardsman Lucas Coffey used to dream of becoming a pilot. Now he just dreams of being healthy again.

On April 24, 2003, Coffey was sitting in his room at Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, when according to medical records obtained by WAVE 3, he suffered what is known as a "Grand Mal" seizure.


Commentary:
The rest of this article goes on to say that Coffey continues to have seizures, and the military is, of course, denying that it has anything to do with the anthrax vaccine - claiming the vaccine is safe (do you suppose anyone in the military ever reads the vaccine's own label?) - and denying him a medical discharge and disability benefits. Stay tuned.
   Anthrax Vaccine Possibly Linked to 21 Deaths
Global Security Newswire - Monday November 21, 2005
The existing anthrax vaccine could be linked to 21 deaths and more than 4,100 illnesses, Newsday reported yesterday (see GSN, Nov. 2).

Experts also questioned whether the vaccine now being stockpiled or those being developed could protect people who inhale the pathogen during a terrorist attack.

BioPort Corp. has received orders worth nearly $250 million from the federal government for 10 million doses of its existing anthrax vaccine, while VaxGen Inc. of California is being paid at least $877 to produce 75 million doses of a new vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration in December 2004 said that BioPorts vaccine could be linked to 16 deaths. When questioned by Newsday, that number rose to 21.

The agency also noted 347 serious illnesses among the 4,100 adverse reactions possibly linked to the treatment since 1990.
   A shot in the dark?
Newsday.com - Sunday November 20, 2005
America's homeland defense program is spending more than $1 billion on anthrax vaccines earmarked for wide civilian use despite uncertainty about their effectiveness and an ongoing debate about potential health problems, Newsday has found. The vaccine stockpiling is a key element of the federal Project BioShield program, which was awarded $5.6 billion in funding in 2004 to develop drugs and vaccines to protect Americans against biological and chemical attacks. It constitutes the largest federal effort ever to protect civilians from an anthrax attack.
   Anthrax treatment may be deadly commentary follows
by Steve Mitchell - UPI International - Friday October 28, 2005
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Preliminary studies obtained by United Press International show serious and potential life-threatening problems with a potential anthrax treatment the U.S. government is developing.

Anthrax immune globulin, which the government is developing as a possible treatment in the event of a bioterror attack, protects animals from death if given prior to exposure to toxins from Bacillus anthracis, the anthrax bacterium, but if the compound is formulated incorrectly it can be fatal and it did not prevent death when given after exposure.

Some anthrax immune globulin, or AIG, already may have been placed in the Strategic National Stockpile for emergency use, but at least one expert warned that the research data show the compound does not appear to be effective and actually could kill people.


Commentary:
Now the DoD is worried about killing people with an anthrax treatment? Little slow on the uptake, aren't you?
   Court Allows Anthrax Libel Suit to Proceed
Globe Gazette - Mason City, Iowa - Wednesday October 19, 2005
Former U.S. Army scientist Steven Hatfill can move forward with his libel lawsuit charging the New York Times with wrongly connecting him to the 2001 anthrax mailings, a U.S. appeals court ruled yesterday (see GSN, Sept. 19).

Hatfill sued the Times for columns written in 2002 by Nicholas Kristof critical of the FBI's investigation of the attacks. Hatfill, whom federal authorities called a "person of interest" in the case, was identified by name in the columns once he denied involvement.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not produce a majority decision, which affirms an earlier decision by a three-judge court panel to let the case move forward. A court in Alexandria, Va., will now hear the case unless the Times appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.
   USAF Wants Sergeant Silenced; But Court Affirms Soldier's Free-Speech Rights commentary follows
by Chad Groening - Agape Press - Wednesday September 28, 2005
(AgapePress) - A spokesman for a law firm dedicated to the defense of civil liberties and human rights says his organization is pleased that a judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of an Air Force sergeant who was punished for speaking out about tainted anthrax vaccine.

The Rutherford Institute is representing Sergeant Jason Adkins, a C-5 aircraft flight engineer who served on the first C-5 flown into Baghdad during the Iraq war. The Institute's chief counsel, John Whitehead, says Adkins was required to take a series of anthrax vaccinations in order to be deployed overseas. Unfortunately, however, the sergeant began developing headaches and also suffered from memory loss.

Adkins went to an Air Force physician and reported the symptoms he was experiencing, including the memory loss, "which is a signal of problems with the anthrax vaccinations," Whitehead notes, and "which the Air Force is very skittish about." As a result, the attorney says, the aircraft flight engineer "was basically given a desk job and a reprimand for not flying."

However, the Rutherford Institute spokesman believes Adkins actually got into trouble with the Air Force by speaking out about what he believed was tainted anthrax vaccine. "That's when we filed our lawsuit," the chief counsel notes. "At that point, Adkins had made some statements to the press that we felt were appropriate, and he was disciplined for that."


Commentary:
This case is critical, because many service members have been assigned extra or hardship duty, been demoted, or been punished in other ways for speaking out about the anthrax vaccine. Specifically, read the case of Conntecticut Air National Guard member, the late Lt. Col. Russ Dingel and Major Tom Rempfer, who were grounded from flying because of the questions they raised in their investigation into the anthrax vaccine.
   US army plans to bulk-buy anthrax commentary follows
by David Hambling - New Scientist.com - Saturday September 24, 2005
The controversial move is likely to raise questions over US commitment to treaties designed to limit the spread of biological weapons.

THE US military wants to buy large quantities of anthrax, in a controversial move that is likely to raise questions over its commitment to treaties designed to limit the spread of biological weapons.

A series of contracts have been uncovered that relate to the US army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. They ask companies to tender for the production of bulk quantities of a non-virulent strain of anthrax, and for equipment to produce significant volumes of other biological agents. Issued earlier this year, the contracts were discovered by Edward Hammond, director of the Sunshine Project, a US-German organisation that campaigns against the use of biological and chemical weapons.

One "biological services" contract specifies: "The company must have the ability and be willing to grow Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain at 1500-litre quantities." Other contracts are for fermentation equipment for producing 3000-litre batches of an unspecified biological agent, and sheep carcasses to ...


Commentary:
You need to subscribe to read the entire article; but more news sources are likely to pick this up.
   Judge Allows Anthrax Lawsuit to Continue
by Sean O'Sullivan - Delaware News Journal - Tuesday September 20, 2005
WILMINGTON -- A whistleblower lawsuit filed by a Dover Air Force Base sergeant has survived a crucial federal court hurdle.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Joseph J. Farnan Jr. turned down a request by government and military officials to have the lawsuit filed by Staff Sgt. Jason A. Adkins dismissed.

Adkins, a decorated 14-year veteran who flew on C-5s into Baghdad, sued Air Force officials and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld last year, charging he suffered retaliation after speaking out against the military's anthrax vaccination program.

The lawsuit and Farnan's opinion mention a series of articles by The News Journal in October 2004 about the anthrax program. Adkins alleges commanders "were angered and displeased by the media scrutiny" and shortly thereafter, when he complained to a flight surgeon about headaches he thought were linked to the vaccine, he was reprimanded and grounded, ending his career, as an example to others.
   Dingle, opponent of anthrax program, dies
by Deborah Funk - Air Force Times - Monday September 19, 2005
Retired Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Russell Dingle, a longtime opponent of the militarys anthrax vaccination program, died Sept. 4 at age 49 of cancer. The East Hartford, Conn., resident was a major in the Connecticut Air National Guard in 1998 when he and another officer in his unit were tasked to provide higher headquarters with information on concerns service members had about the shots.

However, their research of government documents raised questions about the manufacturer as well as the vaccines effectiveness and intended purpose, and led them to conclude the vaccine was not licensed to protect against inhaled anthrax.

Dingle was forced out of the Guard but joined the Air Force Reserve.

Russ Dingle was one of the earliest and most thoughtful ... officers to question the anthrax vaccine program, said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., chairman of the House Government Reform Committees national security panel.

He was a witness before my subcommittee and a leader in the effort to protect service members from the avoidable health risks posed by the Pentagons force-wide, mandatory use of an old vaccine never approved for mass prophylaxis against aerosolized bioweapons agents, Shays said. Connecticut and the nation have lost a talented pilot and a dedicated patriot.

Even after anthrax was sent through the mail to members of the media and politicians in fall 2001, Dingle continued to fight the Pentagons program, often using the governments own documents.

He did not oppose the need for a vaccine to protect against anthrax  just the use of this one.

This vaccine is the benchmark of how not to do it right, he said in a 2001 interview with Air Force Times.
   Medics reminded: Shots for anthrax are voluntary
by Deborah Funk - Air Force Times - Monday September 19, 2005
A federal judge has ordered the Pentagon to redouble its efforts to prevent involuntary anthrax vaccinations after a military medic injected someone who did not volunteer for the shot.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, whose ruling last year shut down the Pentagons mandatory anthrax vaccination program, ordered military medical officials to issue recent clarifying instructions by Sept. 15 to all medical staff administering vaccines.

Those instructions had been written by the commander of a medical unit in Iraq for his personnel two days after the commander learned a medic in the unit mistakenly vaccinated a soldier against anthrax.

They read: If administering anthrax vaccination, ensure the patient has signed in, received training and trifold [brochure], understands the right to refuse, and states they want to receive the anthrax vaccine. Immediately prior to administration of the anthrax vaccination (once site and vaccine are prepared) ask the patient, Do you want to receive the anthrax vaccination? If the patient confirms, administer.
   Anti-Vaccine Activist Memorialized commentary follows
by Thomas "Dennie" Williams - Hartford Courant, Connecticut - Tuesday September 13, 2005
MANCHESTER -- Retired Air Force Reserves Lt. Col. Russell E. Dingle, a fierce opponent of mandatory anthrax inoculations in the military, was remembered Monday at a memorial service featuring a jet fly-over.

Dingle, 49, died Sept. 4 after battling cancer.

His family, military colleagues and friends nearly filled the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to pray, sing and celebrate Dingle's life. Afterward, four A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthog planes - the kind Dingle piloted - flew over the church, with one plane veering off and up into the hazy blue sky.

"I was reminded all over again of how powerful and passionate he was in his beliefs about integrity and public service, and how deeply inspiring he was to people who he came into contact with him as I did," said Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

It was Dingle and his friend, Air Force Reserve Maj. Thomas "Buzz" Rempfer, who persuaded Blumenthal to join their anti-inoculation effort five years ago. Since then Blumenthal has lobbied federal and state officials to halt the mandatory inoculations of those in the armed forces. U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, R-4th District, also became an anti-anthrax vaccine "warrior" and a Dingle admirer.

Dingle "was a leader in the effort to protect service members from the avoidable health risks posed by the Pentagon's mandatory use" of the anthrax vaccine, Shays said. "Connecticut and the nation have lost a talented pilot and a dedicated patriot."

Dingle, an East Hartford resident, never took the anthrax vaccine. In late 1997, the then-commander of the Connecticut Air National Guard, Col. Walter Burns, asked Rempfer and Dingle to investigate the vaccine. Their investigation found it was "unsafe" and "ineffective" and they demanded appropriate action. They were asked to resign instead.

They joined the Air Force Reserves and continued what many have described as a relentless effort to stop the Pentagon from using the vaccine.

Dingle's research led him to serve as an expert for the U.S. General Accountability Office, and induced mention of his name in a federal court in Washington's initial ruling against the vaccine.

"Over and over again, Russ provided the factual basis necessary to validate the legal arguments that prevailed in court," said Lou Michels, one of the lawyers involved in representing six anonymous military employees in the court challenge.

"His efforts provided an incalculable benefit to his fellow servicemen and women. Not a bad legacy for a Warthog pilot."

"The Pentagon's illegal experimentation on service members has gone on for decades," said retired Lt. Col. John Richardson, a gulf war veteran and fellow fighter pilot.

"Due to Col. Dingle's analysis of the military's anthrax vaccine policy, for the first time the Defense Department was caught in the act - and stopped by a federal court judge."

As an Air Force officer and fighter pilot, Dingle flew over 2,000 hours in the A-10 Thunderbolt II on active duty, and served as an instructor pilot and a flight commander for the Connecticut Air National Guard.

Dingle won multiple Air National Guard "Top Gun" flying awards, and was chosen to lead a flight of A-10s in the U.S. Air Force Gunsmoke competition in 1993.

After retiring from the military, Dingle was a pilot for American Airlines for 16 years.

Dingle is survived by his wife, Jane; daughters Megan and Emma; three brothers; one sister; and his mother.


Commentary:
"I was reminded all over again of how powerful and passionate he was in his beliefs about integrity and public service, and how deeply inspiring he was to people who he came into contact with him as I did," said Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

"Over and over again, Russ provided the factual basis necessary to validate the legal arguments that prevailed in court," said Lou Michels, one of the lawyers involved in representing six anonymous military employees in the court challenge.
   R. Dingle Dies; Fought Anthrax-Vaccine Policy commentary follows
by Thomas "Dennie" Williams - Hartford Courant, Connecticut - Friday September 09, 2005
Retired Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Russell E. Dingle, who for the past eight years opposed the Pentagon's mandatory use of the controversial anthrax vaccine, died Sunday of cancer.

Dingle had been appointed by the Connecticut Air National Guard to investigate the vaccine. He concluded that the vaccine was unsafe and ineffective against biological airborne anthrax spores and that cost him his job in the Connecticut Air National Guard.

He immediately, however, joined the Air Force Reserve, was promoted, and ultimately was considered an expert on the vaccine by fellow pilots and crew members who sought his advice.

Dingle, 49, of East Hartford, flew more than 2,000 hours in the A-10 Thunderbolt II on active duty, and served as an instructor pilot and a flight commander for the Connecticut Air National Guard. He retired as a recruiter for the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2003, culminating more than 21 years of military service. His double career included more than 16 years of service as a pilot and captain for American Airlines in the Boeing 767, 737, and the McDonnell-Douglas S-80.


Commentary:
Further quote: "His family, as well as his fellow citizens and soldiers, will miss Russell dearly, but will eternally benefit from his life's accomplishments, courage, service, leadership, and most importantly, his honor," said Air Force Reserve Major Thomas "Buzz" Rempfer. He was Dingle's close friend and likewise fought against the mandatory vaccine. He served with Dingle as a military pilot for 11 years in the Guard and the Reserve.

The full body of Lt. Col. Dingle's work with Major Thomas Rempfer can be seen by clicking on the Pilots' Corner section of this web site. A full, interactive data base of references and sources for their research will be posted soon.
   COURT ORDERS DETAILED ANTHRAX SHOT PROCEDURE AFTER ERROR IN IRAQ
Homeland Defense Watch - Friday September 02, 2005
Note: you have to register on this site to get the full story.

A federal judge who last year banned the Defense Department from giving service members involuntary anthrax vaccines has ordered the Pentagon to circulate detailed instructions to medics around the globe to ensure they have obtained a patient's permission before administering a shot.

The new directive follows a report the Bush administration delivered to the U.S. District Court saying "that an involuntary anthrax vaccination was administered at a U.S. military medical clinic in Iraq, in violation of this Court's injunction," in the words of a "minute order" Judge Emmet Sullivan issued Aug. 30.

After a seven-month hiatus, the Pentagon resumed giving anthrax vaccines under "emergency" authority -- strictly on a voluntary basis -- beginning in May (Inside the Pentagon, May 5, p5).

The Defense Department is the lead defendant named in a lawsuit filed in March 2003 by six anonymous DOD employees who were subject to then-mandatory shots. Following summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs that resulted in a permanent injunction against the involuntary shots program, the administration has appealed to a higher court, where the case is now pending (ITP, May 19, p1).

However, Sullivan retains the ability to compel compliance with his ruling, as reflected by the new minute order.

In it, he notes that following the errant injection, the commanding officer of the medical unit in Iraq issued a memorandum to his subordinates on how to avoid additional involuntary shots. The Pentagon detailed the commander's memo in a July 22 filing to the court.
   Potentially Fatal Shot Comes From Syringe, Not a Rifle commentary follows
by Helen Barrett - Alva Review Courier, Oklahoma - Monday August 29, 2005
Note: Story originally ran 8/28/2005:

He had a choice.
Take the anthrax vaccine as ordered by his commanders or face Court Martial.
Despite reservations, E-4 Kent Stewart of the Oklahoma National Guard, HHB 45th, Field Artillery Brigade rolled up his sleeve and obeyed.
. . .Dizziness, tingling on the left side of his face, in his hands and legs, and attitude changes manifested themselves. . . .Vomiting, weight loss, insomnia, and other symptoms started. . . .During the summer of 2004, Stewart suffered a pancreatic attack.. . .His condition worsened until he was hospitalized Nov. 22, and placed on intravenous antibiotics for a week. Two days after his release the condition returned.


Commentary:
Further quote: Stewart's records were sent to a physician at Vance Air Force Base who referred him to a hematologist.
To date government sources have not offered any solutions or assistance.
The family contacted a JAG officer. They were told the State of Oklahoma had approved help but the Surgeon General's office denied the request.
Unable to work because of his compromised immune system and continual illness, the Stewart family faces foreclosure on their home in addition to mounting medical costs.
   The Missing Link: FDA Memo, anthrax vaccine commentary follows
by Nick Schwellenbach: nick@pogo.org - Project on Government Oversight blog - Sunday August 28, 2005
Yesterday POGO learned that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pulled down a link to a FDA memo on adverse effects from the military's anthrax vaccine. The memo is still there, it's just very hard to find now.
Marguerite Armistead, president of Protecting Our Guardians, a group of National Guard spouses critical of the anthrax vaccine, discovered the change. Originally this page contained a link to the memo. According to Armistead, after a lengthy piece by David Goldstein in the Kansas City Star (registration req'd) referenced the memo which lists 16 reported deaths after injection of the vaccine from 1990 to 2004 (note: this doesn't necessarily mean the deaths were caused by the vaccine), the page which had the link to the memo was taken down. The article appeared on July 25, 2005. Prior to the article, only 11 reported deaths were publicly known to have occurred after injection of the vaccine.
POGO was able to find an archived version of the page which was found via Googles cache feature. Also, the Office of the Secretary of Defenses (OSD) anthrax vaccine website contains a link to the same report on that website. Just in case, POGO has in turn also saved the cached page and the FDA memo.
Since May, half of the military and civilian personnel at the Department of Defense offered the vaccine have refused it under the current voluntary program, Global Security Newswire reported this summer.


Commentary:
Editor's note: This memo also clearly outlines the limitations of relying on the VAERS reports for data as to how many service members have become ill from taking the anthrax vaccine. But for years, in public statements, DoD has quoted the VAERS reports as if they were an accurate listing and accounting of the ill.
   Camp Pendleton Marines Volunteering at High Rate for Anthrax Shots
by Rick rogers - Copley News Service - Tuesday August 23, 2005
According to Navy Capt. And 1st Marine Expeditionary Force surgeon Eric McDonald, 85 percent of Camp Pendleton troops are agreeing to the anthrax vaccination, which is higher than the just over 50 percent of troops nationwide who agree to the vaccine. Getting the vaccine was mandatory between 1998 and 2003, but after a lawsuit that accused the military of using the vaccine to protect against inhalation anthrax rather than skin anthrax for which it is approved. The FDA recently approved the vaccine for inhalation anthrax, and a federal judge allowed the federal government to offer it to troops on a voluntary basis.
   Army Studies Vaccine Effects commentary follows
AP/Carroll County Times (Maryland) - Sunday August 21, 2005
FREDERICK Researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases are studying the long-term effects of repeated administration of multiple vaccines, including an anthrax vaccine, Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed.

Soldiers and employees of Fort Detrick who were immunized from 1970 to 2002 as part of the Armys Special Immunization Program or its predecessor the Special Procedure Program, were eligible to participate.

While similar studies of the effects of receiving multiple vaccines have been performed at Fort Detrick through the years, the latest will be the first to study the health of those who have received multiple vaccines and the AVA.


Commentary:
This is an effort to be commended, although it is long overdue. Army spc. Rachel Lacey died over two years ago after receiving multiple vaccines in one day; and the anthrax vaccine has been known, by the Army's own admission, to be highly reactive (see the anthrax vaccine chronology under the anthrax portion of this web site). With more vaccines in the pipeline (see the "Vaccines in Development" section of this web site), the Army - and the entire DoD - must look at how they are overwheleming the human immune system with vaccines, to where they often destroy the health and lives of the very people whose health they actually hoped to protect. The DoD is not in the business of practicing medicine, and should leave medical issues up to qualified medical professionals rather than to the commanders.
   State seeks to uphold mandatory anthrax-inoculaton ban
by Deborah Funk - Army Times - Thursday August 18, 2005
Connecticuts top attorney is asking a federal appeals court to uphold a ban on the Pentagons mandatory anthrax vaccination program, arguing that the vaccine is not licensed to protect against inhalational anthrax.
Fundamentally this is a very simple case, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal wrote in court papers filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Blumentahl said federal law clearly prohibits giving service members experimental drugs without their consent or without the president waiving that consent.
Before the federal government decided to cut corners and violate the requirements of [federal law], everyone agreed there was insufficient data on the safety and efficacy of the anthrax vaccine with respect to inhalation anthrax, he said.
   Family questions soldier's illness, anthrax shots commentary follows
by Lucy Dukes, Hagadone News Network - Bonner County Daily Bee (Idaho) - Tuesday August 16, 2005
Note: Story originally ran Aug. 13, 2005. If you click on the above link, search the paper's archives.
BONNERS FERRY - Dusty Rhoades came back sick from serving the Army in Kuwait four years ago.
THe 28-year-old Bonners Ferry High School graduate had sores on his body and swollen joints. His weight swindled and his eyes swelled shut. Dusty had arthritis. The illness puzzles everyone.
"He said it felt like glass. When he walked, he felt like he was going to shatter," said his wife, Brianna Rhoades.
He was ill until he died June 29, leaving behind Brianna and their two young children.


Commentary:
Brianna was told by the military, of course, that the anthrax vaccine was as safe as any other; the article goes on to quote the flawed Institute of Medicine study. Had she had access to the vaccine's package insert, and known about the information available on this site, she might have been able to force the military's hand in getting care for her husband. We found out about her case from a family member who lives near her, and are contacting her today.
   Blumenthal Joins Battle Over Anthrax Vaccine commentary follows
by Thomas "Dennie" Williams - Hartford Courant, Connecticut - Friday August 12, 2005
Saying the controversy over the legalities of the anthrax vaccine is critical to Connecticut National Guardsmen forced out of the service for refusing to take it, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has joined the fight over the vaccine in U.S. District Court.
He is the sole state attorney general to enter that legal battle, one that he has been involved with since May 2000, when he asked the state Consumer Protection Department to investigate the vaccine.
In his arguments, Blumenthal says the vaccine has never been properly licensed because it has not been proved safe or effective for humans through at least two human trials.
The legal challenge to the vaccine was brought in federal District Court on behalf of six anonymous military employees, including civilians.


Commentary:
Quote and note: The outcome of the lawsuit would probably affect two of the leading opponents of the vaccine, U.S. Air Force Majs. Thomas L. Rempfer, 40, and Russ Dingle, 48, who were forced to resign from Connecticut's Air National Guard in 1998 in a dispute within the Guard over the vaccine.

Editor's note: For the full scope of work produced by Major Rempfer and Lt. Col. Dingle, please see the "Pilots' Corner" section of this web site.
   Iraq's anthrax source traced back to Britain commentary follows
by Karen Barlow - ABC Online - The World Today - Wednesday August 10, 2005
ELEANOR HALL: Scientific research in the UK is today ringing warning bells about the adequacy of international controls over the movements of deadly biological materials.

A British researcher has sourced the oft-cited Iraqi anthrax threat under Saddam Hussein's regime to pre-World War Two Britain.

A United States congressional hearing had previously found that anthrax samples were exported to Iraq from the United States in the 1980s. Now, Iraq's anthrax's source has been tracked further back to the ears of a cow, which died in south Oxfordshire in 1937, as Karen Barlow reports.


Commentary:
Further quote: The International Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention came into effect in 1975, well before Britain handed the anthrax to the United States, but researcher Geoffrey Holland says the United States' anthrax export to Iraq should be further investigated.

GEOFFREY HOLLAND: The fact that it was then transferred to Iraq does seem to me to indicate that it was in breach of the Convention. Other people would perhaps argue that that's not the case, but I'd like really to& I think we deserve to hear from them why that's not the case.
(emphasis added - editor)
   Drugs firm seeks guinea pigs for anthrax vaccine commentary follows
by Nick Capehorn - IC Berkshire.Co.Uk - Thursday August 04, 2005
A BRACKNELL-based medicine company is looking out for guinea pigs in its quest for a new vaccine against the deadly anthrax infection. Quintiles, which has offices by Bracknell railway station and on Skimped Hill Lane, runs vaccine tests on a range of infections and viruses on behalf of sponsors. Avecia Biotechnology is currently updating the 1950s anthrax jab BioThrax, so now Quintiles is on the lookout for 400 guinea pigs to volunteer for the programme.


Commentary:
The story continues: Volunteers will need to go to Guy's Hospital, London, for 11 visits over several weeks, and will be paid for time taken off work. They will then be monitored over a 19-month period. But those worried about having anthrax injected into them should not worry - the jab is filled with a protein designed to trigger the body's immune system into action against any later infection. It is purified to a far greater extent than the original vaccine, and is designed to kick in after a three-dose cycle lasting a matter of weeks, rather than the 18-month six-dose cycle of the 1950s version.
   Pentagon Employees Ask for Continued Hold on Mandatory Anthrax Vaccination Program
by David Francis - Global Security Newswire - Tuesday August 02, 2005
WASHINGTON - Six U.S. Defense Department employees have asked a U.S. appeals court not to lift an injunction blocking mandatory anthrax vaccinations because the vaccine used in the program has never been formally found safe or approved for use against inhalation anthrax (see GSN, May 23).
In a brief filed July 29 in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia . . .

See the story directly preceding this one, as well as the "Legal Issues" section of this web site to read this brief.
   Brief filed in John Doe #1, et al., v. Donald H. Rumsfeld, et al. commentary follows
Mark Zaid, Esq., John J. Michels, Jr. - Monday August 01, 2005
On Friday, July 29, 2005, a brief to dismiss the defendants' appeal was filed in the ongoing case of John Doe #1, et al., v. Donald H. Rumsfeld, et al., the case which effectively brought to a halt the use of the anthrax vaccine in 2004, and then forced it into voluntary status. Portions of the brief have been posted in the legal section of this site. The entire brief is available at the link with this news article.


Commentary:
These are the concluding remarks in the brief itself:
CONCLUSION
The undisputed facts in this case, contained and drawn exclusively from the Defendants' own documents, show that AVA has never been considered formally licensed to encompass inhalation anthrax exposure until after the District Court's injunction in December 2003. It is undisputed that FDA's own advisory panel found the vaccine to be safe, effective and not misbranded only as it applied to cutaneous anthrax in a limited industrial setting. It is undisputed that FDA's proposed order adopted this language verbatim, and that FDA did not move to reverse its advisory panel's finding until the District Court issued its injunction. It is also undisputed that FDA's overwhelming reliance on materials submitted after the public comment period closed vitiated the public's right to assess and comment on the final order published by FDA in 2004. These facts lead to the inescapable conclusion that AVA was and remains a drug unapproved for its applied/intended use within the context of 10 U.S.C. ᄃ 1107. The District Court's decision granting summary judgment to Plaintiffs, and all those affected by the AVA's status, is correct as a matter of undisputed fact and law. Accordingly, Plaintiffs respectfully ask this Court to dismiss Defendants' appeal.
Date: July 29, 2005
Respectfully submitted,
   Anthrax Vaccine Under Fire commentary follows
by David Goldstein - Kansas City Star - Monday July 25, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Shonya McBride remembers very clearly the night she rolled over in her sleep and her hand fell across her husband's chest. She awoke with a start.

"His heart was just pounding out of his chest," she said. That was in 1999, after Travis McBride, a 22-year-old Marine Corps sergeant, had received the second of six mandatory inoculations of the anthrax vaccine.

By the fourth shot, he had developed serious heart problems, chronic fatigue and severe joint pain. McBride never made it to the fifth. Within a year, he was medically discharged.

He had been ordered to take the shots, like probably hundreds of military men and women who believe the vaccine boomeranged and made them seriously ill.

"If I had had the option, I wouldn't have taken it," said McBride, now 28 and an Atchison County sheriffs deputy.

For the past two months, however, incoming military personnel have had the option of not taking the anthrax vaccine, as a result of a federal lawsuit won last year by some military personnel who objected.


Commentary:
This outstanding article interviews several people who have had adverse reactions to the vaccine, outlines a partial history of the anthrax vaccine, and includes information about adverse reactions. You have to sign up with the Kansas City Star to read the entire article, but it's free and it's worth it.
   Troops divided on getting voluntary vaccine shots commentary follows
by Deborah Funk - Air Force Times - Sunday July 24, 2005
About half of the service members and civilian workers offered anthrax vaccinations under the Pentagon's temporary, voluntary program are accepting the shots - and the other half are saying, "No, thanks."

. . . Roughly 20,000 military members have been offered the vaccine since the government launched its voluntary program May 19. Of those, about half accepted vaccination.

. . . Some people already have been vaccinated more than once under the voluntary program, Grabenstein said. The anthrax vaccine license requires six shots over 18 months, with the first three administered two weeks apart. Annual booster shots also are given.

To avoid identifying areas of vulnerability, defense officials would not provide data by service, occupation or other breakdowns on who is accepting or declining vaccination.


Commentary:
Further quote: Some may decline it because they dislike the idea of getting the shots or have no experience with the anthrax vaccine, he said.
Editor's comment: And some may decline it precisely because they do have experience with this vaccine, or know someone who became severely ill after taking the shots. Browse through the Data Base of the Ill or look up the symptoms list in the anthrax section of this web site for a sampling of what can happen if you take the anthrax vaccine.
   Emory researchers discover novel mechanism of how anthrax impairs immunity
Medical News Today - Sunday July 17, 2005
In the first study of its kind, researchers led by Bali Pulendran, PhD, at the Emory Vaccine Center and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center have shown that anthrax lethal factor (LF) impairs the function of dendritic cells and thereby compromises the immune system's ability to fight the microbe. The findings, which appear in the July 17 issue of Nature, have implications for developing more effective anthrax therapies and guiding researchers in better controlling detrimental immune responses, such as in autoimmune diseases and organ rejection following transplant surgeries. . . . . .Dendritic cells are widely recognized as the most efficient antigen-presenting cells, making them pivotal in initiating and modulating any immune response against microbes.
   Experts Paint Dire Picture of Bioterrorism Threat
by Joe Fiorill - Global Security Newswire - Thursday July 14, 2005
. . . Brent said terrorists faced with a U.S. stockpile of the antibiotic Ciproflaxin, for example, would be certain, if mounting an anthrax attack, to employ a variety of the bacteria that was resistant to Ciproflaxin.

Programs to protect against known threats are not "bad things," Brent added, but "what's going to come at you is impossible to predict."

The threat is underscored by the wide dissemination of biological-engineering knowledge around the globe, Brent said.

"There are now tens of thousands of people who could engineer drug-resistant anthrax," said the scientist, who as a consultant to the U.S. government has received numerous briefings on U.S. and Soviet biological weapon programs.
emphasis added
   Guard Veteran Wants Old Job; Major Was Ousted For Opposing Vaccine commentary follows
by Thomas D. Williams - Hartford Courant, Connecticut - Saturday July 09, 2005
Story originally ran July 3, 2005:
Gov. M. Jodi Rell, commander in chief of the Connecticut National Guard, says she doesn't have the authority to reinstate an Air Force major who was forced to resign six years ago after work he conducted revealed flaws in the anthrax vaccine, then mandated for all service members.

It's the federal authorities who have that power, Rell said through two spokesmen and two lawyers. Maj. Thomas L. Rempfer, a Suffield resident, has asked both the governor and the federal court of claims for Guard reinstatement.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, inspired in part to oppose the vaccine by the efforts of Rempfer, says he is not sure whether the governor without federal sanction can legally reinstate Rempfer. Blumenthal says he is continuing to investigate and believes Rempfer "deserves very strong consideration for reinstatement."
"Major Rempfer has performed an extraordinary public service," said the attorney general, "a very noble and significant service in alerting the nation to the dangers of the anthrax vaccine at a time of tremendous stress on our military. He has selflessly stepped forward and volunteered to serve his country. ... He has unquestioned expertise and skill as well as impressive dedication and patriotism."


Commentary:
Further quote: Rempfer's reinstatement could set a precedent for hundreds of other service members punished or forced out of the military for refusal to take the vaccine. Their status is uncertain after a federal judge ruled in the spring that the mandatory vaccination program is illegal.

Rempfer, 40, said he believes the reinstatement decision is clear-cut. He quotes from the Air National Guard Commander's Legal Desk Notebook: "Members of the Air National Guard are part of the State militia. While the unit is organized, armed, and equipped wholly or partly at federal expense and is federally recognized, it remains a State organization under the command and control of state authorities, except when federalized." The Air Guard was not federalized when he was forced out in 1999, said Rempfer.
   Half of U.S. Military Personnel Refuse Anthrax Shot
by David Ruppe - Global Security Newswire - Friday July 08, 2005
WASHINGTON  Half of U.S. military and civilian personnel offered anthrax vaccinations under a voluntary program that began in May have refused the inoculation, according to figures released yesterday to Global Security Newswire by a Defense Department agency (see GSN, May 6).

Since May 19, the vaccine has been offered to about 14,000 personnel, and roughly 7,000 of them have refused to take it, according to Col. John Grabenstein, director of the Military Vaccine Agency.

No explanation was given for the high number of refusals. We cant speculate on individual decisions, he said.

The current pace of vaccinations is expected to increase, he said, as additional clinic workers are certified to give the vaccine and additional military units offer treatments to personnel.

The high refusal rate comes amid persisting complaints by some service people and nongovernmental experts that the U.S. military has been reluctant to acknowledge a connection between the vaccine and uncommon but potentially debilitating side effects, which they say has hindered access to medical benefits and compensation (see GSN, Nov. 16, 2004).
   Critics Blast Anthrax Vaccine Test commentary follows
by Thomas D. Williams - Hartford Courant, Connecticut - Thursday June 23, 2005
The National Institutes of Health is under fire from critics over a plan to test two anthrax vaccines on children.

The trial will test and compare the reactions in humans to the vaccine manufactured by BioPort Corp. of Lansing, Mich., and another being developed by NIH. Bob Bock, an NIH spokesman, said the trial planned for 100 children in first and second grade will not occur until the vaccines are fully tested on 350 adults and shown to be safe for them.

. . ."I don't understand how they can do efficacy tests with children at the same time that we are discovering more and more U.S. soldiers who have been harmed by the vaccine," said Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center for service members and veterans. "[NIH officials] want parents to want their children to be vaccinated against the anthrax terrorist attacks that have not happened." (italics added)


Commentary:
As we said earlier, when posting this news under the "Vaccines In Development" section, it is difficult to believe that any thinking parent would read of the vaccine's severe adverse reactions on this or other websites, and still subject their children to this test. If they are educated about this vaccine and still subject their children to this testing, then we have to question their role as parents.
   Critics Blast Anthrax Vaccine Test commentary follows
by Thomas "Dennie" Williams - Hartford Courant, Connecticut - Thursday June 23, 2005
The National Institutes of Health is under fire from critics over a plan to test two anthrax vaccines on children.

The trial will test and compare the reactions in humans to the vaccine manufactured by BioPort Corp. of Lansing, Mich., and another being developed by NIH. Bob Bock, an NIH spokesman, said the trial planned for 100 children in first and second grade will not occur until the vaccines are fully tested on 350 adults and shown to be safe for them.


Commentary:
Quote: "I don't understand how they can do efficacy tests with children at the same time that we are discovering more and more U.S. soldiers who have been harmed by the vaccine," said Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center for service members and veterans. "[NIH officials] want parents to want their children to be vaccinated against the anthrax terrorist attacks that have not happened."
   Newly Identified Inhibitor of Anthrax Toxin May Contribute to Safer Vaccine and Offer Postexposure Therapy commentary follows
Medical News Today - Saturday June 18, 2005
A newly identified inhibitor of the anthrax toxin may be used to develop a safer and more effective vaccine and act as a therapeutic agent after exposure say researchers from Massachusetts and Germany. Their findings appear in the June 2005 issue of the journal Infection and Immunity.

Anthrax is a highly contagious and toxic disease that results from infection with the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. If not caught immediately, those infected may die within a matter of days. Anthrax poses a deadly threat as a potential biological weapon placing added emphasis on the need for a safe and effective vaccine. The vaccine currently available doesn't protect against the bacilli and may be hazardous to its host when used immediately after exposure.


Commentary:
Editor's note: Normally, this story belongs in the "Vaccines in Development" section of this site. But the last sentence in the second paragraph certainly caught our attention, and deserves repeat notice here: The vaccine currently available doesn't protect against the bacilli and may be hazardous to its host when used immediately after exposure.

As the stories on this site show, the current vaccine may also be hazardous to its host even if there is no exposure to anthrax.
   U.S. Health and Human Services Retracts Statement on New Anthrax Vaccine after Inquiry by Senator commentary follows
by David Francis - Global Security Newswire - Friday June 17, 2005
WASHINGTON: An inquiry from a U.S. senator prompted the Health and Human Services Department last month to retract a statement about the advantages of a new anthrax vaccine being developed to replace the existing licensed vaccine (see GSN, May 6).

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), in a series of letters obtained by Global Security Newswire, questioned whether a statement in a March 2004 press release about VaxGens recombinant anthrax vaccine was true. The HHS press release said the treatment, being developed under a Project Bioshield contract, "has already been shown to be stronger and more effective than the vaccine being used today."

. . . Department officials believe the new vaccine will prove superior to BioPort's vaccine because the recombinant DNA technology used to produce the drug is expected to result in more consistent immunity from batch to batch. It would be administered in a three-shot cycle, as opposed to BioPort's vaccine, which requires six shots. In addition, BioPort's vaccine is manufactured using a decades-old process, and questions have been raised by Defense Department personnel about the vaccine's safety and effectiveness (see GSN, May 6).


Commentary:
Further quote: According to the source, Representative Chris Shays (R-Conn.) plans to ask questions about the use of Bioshield's emergency use authorization authority. This power allows the Health and Human Services Department at the request of the Pentagon to approve the use of unlicensed countermeasures.

The authority has been granted once, when the Food and Drug Administration last year approved BioPort's anthrax vaccine to combat inhalation anthrax, an approved indication. The move prompted a series of letters from Shays to Leavitt and Central Intelligence Agency chief Porter Goss, questioning the legality of the request and whether the application of this power was intended under Bioshield (see GSN, Dec. 17, 2004).
   More than 1,200 who had anthrax vaccine now sick commentary follows
by Jeff Donaldson - Las Vegas Sun - Thursday June 16, 2005
More than 1,200 military personnel who received the anthrax vaccine before going to Iraq have developed serious illnesses, according to an Army report released last month, though local military officials contend the shots still are safe and necessary.

Since 1991 and the first Gulf War, the Defense Department has required service members to be immunized against such childhood diseases as Typhoid and Hepatitis A as well as against biological agents such as anthrax, when deploying to Korea or the Middle East.

But with Army officials reporting 1,200 illnesses and several thousand more queries about potential side effects, the Defense Department has started allowing troops deploying overseas to opt out of receiving the anthrax vaccine without penalty, according to the Army and Air Force.


Commentary:
The Defense Department is mandated by law to allow troops to opt out of this vaccine; see the legal section of this web site. This article goes on to talk about the illnesses not being that widespread, and not being that serious, in the same breath that it acknowledges the military's Vaccine Healthcare Centers around the country, whose purpose is to handle these adverse reactions. Specialized centers, the need for more of them, and the fact that the anthrax vaccine label itself admits there may be up to a 35% systemic adverse reaction rate in those who take the vaccine -- but the problem just isn't that big?
   U.S. Armed Services Outline Implementation of Voluntary Anthrax Vaccinations Programs commentary follows
by David Francis - Global Security Newswire - Friday June 10, 2005
WASHINGTON - The attorney representing six anonymous Defense Department employees in a suit that stopped a U.S. Defense Department's mandatory anthrax vaccination program is praising implementation plans outlined by the Armed Services last month for a voluntary inoculation program (see GSN, May 23).

However, John Michels, counsel for the Pentagon employees who requested and received an injunction against the mandatory program last October, questioned why the guidance does not require soldiers to give consent to receive the actual vaccination. Instead, under the new practice, vaccine candidates are asked to acknowledge that they have received a brochure outlining the risks associated with the vaccine.

"They don't actually have the guys signing for consent," Michels said. "They have to sign, 'Yes, I've gotten the brochure,' but they don't give consent to be vaccinated. I don't understand why."

"Why not say I certified that I received the brochure and I consent to be vaccinated?" Michels asked.

. . .Despite his confusion over consent, Michels is pleased with the implementation plans. He said many of the requirements for vaccinations, allowed under emergency use authority granted to the Pentagon by the Food and Drug Administration, mirror what he has been asking the Pentagon for since the original suit was filed.


Commentary:
Further quote: Despite his confusion over consent, Michels is pleased with the implementation plans. He said many of the requirements for vaccinations, allowed under emergency use authority granted to the Pentagon by the Food and Drug Administration, mirror what he has been asking the Pentagon for since the original suit was filed.

The EUA, which allows for voluntary inoculations, took effect at the beginning of May and expires at the end of June. It can be extended by the Food and Drug Administration. Throughout May, military branches gave instructions to commanders on how to implement the voluntary program. The Pentagon has appealed the original ruling that stopped the program in hopes of resuming mandatory vaccinations.
   Anthrax vaccinations resume at Bolling, Air Force-wide commentary follows
by Maj. Elizabeth Ortiz, 11th Wing Public Affairs - The Beam: Bolling Air Force Base - Friday June 10, 2005
The Air Force has resumed its anthrax vaccination immunization program, and the vaccine is now available at the Bolling Clinic for eligible members.

The program was placed on hold indefinitely in October 2004 due to an injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The ruling was based on the lack of a 90-day public comment period when the FDA approved the vaccine for inhalation anthrax. Safety was not a factor in the legal decision.

. . .While the EUA is in effect, personnel may refuse the anthrax vaccination without punishment, disciplinary action, adverse personnel action or loss of entitlement. Commanders will not discipline anyone for refusing to be vaccinated. (emphasis added)


Commentary:
Further quote: However, people will still be deployable, essentially accepting the risk of potential exposure without the protective benefit the vaccine offers against anthrax if they get tasked to deploy.

Editor's comment: While it is possible to cure anthrax, it remains impossible to cure the various immune-system and neurological-system illnesses caused by the anthrax vaccine. The better question is why more sophisticated detection methods are not in place, since they are available; and why medical experts have long said the vaccine is the least efficient method of protection against anthrax. See the Dec., 2004 news archives under the anthrax listing on this web site.
   After a Shower of Anthrax, an Illness and a Mystery commentary follows
by Scott Shane - New York TImes - Wednesday June 08, 2005
Story originally ran 6/7/2005:
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - During the anthrax mail attacks in 2001, Bill Paliscak, a gung-ho, hockey-playing postal investigator who had missed 3 days of work in 11 years, removed a filthy filter above a mail-sorting machine to preserve it as evidence. Anthrax-laden dust showered down on him.

Four days later he began to feel feverish. Soon he was in intensive care. After spending the next three years in and out of the hospital, Mr. Paliscak, 41, now needs a wheelchair to move about, sleeps with a breathing device to get enough oxygen and takes dozens of pills a day.

. . .Yet Mr. Paliscak (pronounced PAL-uh-sack) remains a medical puzzle. Blood tests never detected the bacteria that cause anthrax or the antibodies the immune system should produce in response. As a result, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention never classified his disease with the 11 confirmed cases of inhalational anthrax, 5 of them fatal.

. . . "I think we can still learn something from Bill's case," said Dr. Gary J. Kerkvliet, an internist at Sinai who has cared for Mr. Paliscak since 2001. Dr. Kerkvliet says he fears the C.D.C. "has its head in the sand." A colleague, Dr. Tyler C. Cymet, who spent months talking to the confirmed anthrax survivors and their doctors, said, "I come down strongly on the side that this is anthrax." Few diseases cause "whole-body symptoms" as does the toxin produced by anthrax, said Dr. Cymet, who, like Dr. Kerkvliet, is an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins medical school.

The variety of symptoms Mr. Paliscak suffers would be enough for a hospital ward full of patients. His limbs swell with fluid, pushing his previous weight of 185 pounds as high as 310. His hormone-producing glands have shut down, setting off a cascade of secondary effects.

He experiences spells of overwhelming fatigue that can last for several days. His legs regularly are gripped by painful convulsions, the thigh muscles shaking as he struggles to hold them still.


Commentary:
Further quote: One key to the mystery may be the paucity of data on the inhalational form of anthrax. "Historically, there haven't been a lot of survivors to study," said Dr. Philip S. Brachman, who studied five cases at a New Hampshire mill in 1957 - the largest cluster in the United States before 2001.
   Avanir presents data on antibody treatment for anthrax commentary follows
San Diego Daily Transcript/Yahoo News - Monday June 06, 2005
Data presented Monday at the 105th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) described activity of San Diego-based Avanir Pharmaceuticals' (AMEX: AVN) fully human monoclonal antibody treatment against inhalation anthrax.

According to the company, the data demonstrates that one dose (lowest dose tested was 1 mg/kg) of Avanir's antibody, AVP 21D9, completely protected rabbits challenged with 100xLD50 dose of B. anthracis administered nasally. All animals, re-challenged three weeks later with anthrax but without additional antibody treatment, survived re-challenge as well. The presentation also said the data showed that AVP 21D9 worked synergistically with the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin to protect mice and guinea pigs.


Commentary:
Further quote:
"These data demonstrate that Avanir's anti-PA human monoclonal antibody is very effective in protecting rabbits against anthrax spore challenge," Dr. Peterson said. "The rabbit model is one of the recognized models for determining efficacy of anti-anthrax antibodies. These data indicate that AVP 21D9 may provide the necessary immediate protection following anthrax exposure." (emphasis added)
   Why did he die?
by JULIE BIRKEDAL - Globe Gazette - Mason City, Iowa - Sunday June 05, 2005
Did a former member of North Iowa's 1133rd Transportation Co. die as a result of an experimental anthrax vaccine?

"The only thing I ever wanted is to find out what happened to my son," says Scott Siefken's mother, Ardie Siefken of Waverly. "Why did he die?"

Because of Gary Matsumoto's book, "Vaccine A," which alleges a new anthrax vaccine has harmful effects on service personnel, Ardie said she now believes she knows.
   Anthrax takes a stand against vaccinations commentary follows
by CHRIS JORDAN, Gannett New Jersey - Asbury Park Press - Friday June 03, 2005
Speed-metal legends Anthrax have brought the noise.

Now, they band is bringing the warning.
An experimental vaccine designed to protect against inhalation anthrax given to soldiers by the Pentagon potentially can be hazardous to your health, Anthrax says.

"People were getting court-martialed out because of not wanting to take it," said Anthrax lead singer Joey Belladonna. "You're put in a trap that you have to take it and you don't know any of the drawbacks at all. We just wanted to lend our name to the cause of having a right to say no."


Commentary:
Further quote: "Heavy-metal music was born out of nonconformity to the socially accepted structure," said Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian in a press release. "(We must) stay true to the core belief and challenge Project BioShield - a legislative act that authorizes the mandated use of untested and unapproved vaccines on our soldiers making them, in essence, first-line guinea pigs for the biopharmaceutical industry."
   Mayo Vaccine Expert Going National commentary follows
WCCO TV, Minneapolis - Friday May 27, 2005
Rochester, Minn. (AP) Mayo Clinic vaccine expert Dr. Greg Poland has been asked to take his expertise to the national level.

The director of the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research group has been appointed president of the U.S. Armed Forces Epidemiological Board. The board is part of the Department of Defense and advises the president, Joint Chiefs of Staff and other government officials about bioterrorism and infectious diseases.

The board consists of about 70 people, one-third of them appointed civilians. Members of the military and individuals from various areas of interests make up the other two-thirds.


Commentary:
We have a long memory. For years, Dr. Poland has been a so-called independent, outside advisor to the Board; and was known as a staunch advocate of the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program (AVIP), working directly with the DoD. He quietly "disappeared" from the scene after Congress started investigating the AVIP program in more depth. Poland has long protected the use of the anthrax vaccine over the health and safety of the troops.
   DoD appeals judge's ban on mandatory anthrax shots
by Robert Roos - Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy, University of Minnesota (CIDRAP) - Wednesday May 25, 2005
May 25, 2005 (CIDRAP News)  The Department of Defense (DoD) is seeking a federal appeals court's permission to revive its mandatory anthrax vaccination program, which was stopped by a lower court's ruling in October 2004.

In an appeal filed May 16, DoD is arguing that the lower court judge overrode the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) scientific judgment on the vaccine and that the injunction is endangering "countless" service personnel for the sake of the six people who sued to stop the vaccination program.

US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington, DC, ruled late in 2003 that the FDA had never specifically approved use of the vaccine for preventing inhalational anthrax. The FDA then affirmed that the vaccine could be used for that purpose, but in October 2004, Sullivan ruled that the agency had ignored its own rules in making that affirmation without inviting public comments.

Last January, the FDA issued an emergency authorization for DoD to resume giving anthrax shots, but only on a voluntary basis. After getting Sullivan's approval of the emergency authorization, DoD announced earlier this month that the voluntary program would go forward. But officials said they would continue to seek authority to restore the mandatory program.
   Spore Wars commentary follows
by Elizabeth MacDonald, Robert Langreth - Forbes - Sunday May 22, 2005
The anthrax attacks of 2001 were brutal and deadly. The next attack could be even worse. Are we prepared?

The short-lived anthrax attacks that started a week after Sept. 11 are still shrouded in mystery. Innocuous white envelopes arrived by mail at big media companies and Capitol Hill. Twenty-two people were sickened and five died. "This is next," the letter-writer warned. To date no one has been charged.

The next attack could be far more horrific. Two hundred and twenty pounds of aerosolized anthrax spores sprayed from a nondescript truck in any U.S. city would wipe out anywhere from 130,000 to 3 million people, the equivalent of a hydrogen bomb. The scenario is considered one of the gravest bioterror threats to the U.S. Victims would be utterly clueless. Anthrax is odorless and tasteless and produces early symptoms that can dupe people into thinking they have the common flu. The inhaled version is usually fatal. But a vaccine, given postexposure in combination with antibiotics, could arrest it.


Commentary:
Further quotes:
The government has continued to buy BioThrax, even though in 2001 the FDA stuck a warning in the drug's packaging about potential side effects, including lymphoma, lupus, multiple sclerosis, seizures and even death. "Any other vaccine in the civilian market with such a comparably bad track record would have been yanked in minutes," says John Michels, Jr., a lead attorney for soldiers suing the military.

VaxGen has a rocky track record, too. (Editor's note: VaxGen is he chief competitor to BioPort, the company which makes BioThrax.) . . . But in February 2003 VaxGen announced that its AIDS vaccine failed its first big trial. A later trial confirmed it was a flop. Investors sued, alleging executives knew things were going badly and had tried to inflate VaxGen's stock price. One suit has been dismissed, and VaxGen has agreed to settle a derivative action for $500,000 to cover attorneys' fees.
   Pentagon Appeals Decision Halting Anthrax Inoculations
by Deborah Funk - Army Times - Wednesday May 18, 2005
Government lawyers representing the Pentagon and Department of Health and Human Services want to convince a federal appeals court that a U.S. District Court judge erred in halting the militarys mandatory anthrax vaccination program late last year.

In documents filed May 16 in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, government attorneys said the district court judges conclusion that the vaccine has never been licensed for to protect against anthrax exposure through inhalation is without basis.

When the National Institutes of Health licensed the vaccine in 1970, it did not differentiate the possible routes of exposure of the disease nor the possible uses of the vaccine, according to the governments written argument.

The license remains in effect and the Food and Drug Administration has said repeatedly that the vaccine is effective against all forms of anthrax, to include contracting it through the skin.

But instead of relying on the original license and the FDAs review, the court based its decision on a 1985 advisory panel that said the vaccines efficacy against inhalation anthrax is not well documented, stated the governments written argument.
   Services told to start voluntary anthrax shots
by Deborah Funk - Air Force Times - Tuesday May 10, 2005
U.S. troops serving in Central Asia, the Middle East and South Korea once again can receive anthrax vaccinations - but only if they choose to get the shots.

The Pentagon has told the services to begin anthrax inoculations under an "emergency use authority" granted by the Food and Drug Administration, which can be employed only if the shots are given voluntarily.

Troops deploying to the Central Command's area of operations or Korea for at least 15 consecutive days are eligible for the shots.

Special-mission units and units with jobs related to bio-warfare or bioterrorism also will be offered the vaccinations, as will any adult family members living in the Central Command area of operations and South Korea.

The significant difference between this program and the Pentagon's original vaccination plan is that this time, service members are not required to take the shots, cannot be coerced into doing so and cannot be punished in any way if they decline. Refusal cannot harm a career nor cause legal troubles under the conditions of the emergency use authority.
   DOD Switches Policy on Voluntary Vaccinations
by David Ruppe - Global Security Newswire - Monday May 09, 2005
Story originally ran May 6, 2005:
WASHINGTON  In announcing the resumption of anthrax vaccinations for military personnel this week, the U.S. Defense Department abandoned a fiercely defended policy against voluntary vaccinations (see GSN, April 1).

The reversal of that policy, however, coincides with relaxed requirements for informing and obtaining the consent of potential recipients before administering such investigational drugs, which are in effect because senior Bush administration officials have declared a potential emergency. (emphasis added)

. . . The drug has been licensed for skin-contracted anthrax since 1970, and used by textile workers, but not for inhalation anthrax, the type that would be expected in an attack on U.S. forces.
   400 wanted for trials of anthrax vaccine
by Nic Fleming - news.telegraph (UK) - Monday May 09, 2005
Volunteers are being offered $3,000 each to take part in clinical trials of a new vaccine to protect people from anthrax.

Scientists want to recruit 400 healthy people aged 18 to 55 willing to be given four injections and to visit Guy's Hospital in London 12 times during the 19-month trial.

Avencia, a British medical biotechnology company, is carrying out the trial as part of a $38 million contract to provide 500,000 doses of the vaccine for the US government's Project BioShield, a scheme to counter bio-terrorism.
   Congressman Thompson: Three and One-Half Years Is Too Long for America to Wait for Anthrax Vaccines commentary follows
Yahoo/PR Newswire - Monday May 09, 2005
WASHINGTON, May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member on the House Committee on Homeland Security sent the following letters to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services today to question the reasoning behind the shortage of anthrax vaccines in America's Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). Congressman Thompson stated:
"It is alarming to learn that during the three and one-half years since the 2001 anthrax letter attacks, not a single anthrax vaccine dose was added to the SNS until a contract was signed last Friday. An anthrax attack is a real risk, and we must take practical steps to prepare for it. I want to know why it has taken so long to prepare the SNS. In the event of another domestic terror attack, America must be fully ready to defend herself and her citizens."


Commentary:
The good Congressman does not seem to realize that the vaccine in use was never licensed for aerosolized anthrax; that, by the Army's own admission, it is highly reactive, causing such symptoms and illnesses as grand mal seizures, chronic bone and joint pain, tumors and cysts, autoimmune illnesses, and more. Nor does he realize that the anthrax vaccine is not recommended as the most cost-efficient, effect method for fighting anthrax. Nor does he realize that the current 6-dose regimen should have been corrected to 3 doses years ago, as recommended by a 1985 advisory panel to the FDA. Fear and hurry can lead to incredibly dangerous decisions.
   Feds buy controversial anthrax vaccine
Washington Times - Saturday May 07, 2005
Washington, DC, May. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. government will buy 5 million doses of a controversial anthrax vaccine from Bioport of Lansing, Mich., for the nation's emergency stockpile.

The $122.5 million contract is for Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed or AVA. Bioport will begin delivery of the initial doses within a few weeks and have 18 months to complete the task.

The contract also contains an option to discuss purchase of an additional 5 million doses, said Department of Homeland Security spokesman Kirk Whitworth.

Though licensed for anthrax-caused skin infections the vaccine is not yet fully licensed for the far more dangerous infections of the lungs that can be caused by anthrax spores. The Food and Drug Administration is in the process of reviewing public comments submitted on the proposed license. A military program of mandatory shots was halted twice over licensing concerns.(emphasis added)

The vaccine could be used in an emergency, however, said Whitworth, adding that it could be used in conjunction with antibiotics to treat people already exposed.
   DoD to Resume Anthrax Vaccinations
Defense Link - Tuesday May 03, 2005
The Department of Defense announced today a resumption of its Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program (AVIP) under the conditions set forth in the emergency use authorization (EUA) issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Jan. 27, 2005. ... The implementing program requires commanders to follow EUA conditions very carefully, providing members of the armed services both education on the program and an option to refuse the vaccination without penalty.
   Anthrax Inoculations to Resume for Some commentary follows
by Deborah Funk - Air Force Times - Tuesday May 03, 2005
Service members serving in the U.S. Central Command area of operations and in South Korea for at least 15 consecutive days will soon be offered anthrax vaccine under a modified, voluntary Pentagon program.
Top defense officials have directed the services to resume giving anthrax shots, but this time its under a voluntary program as prescribed by the Food and Drug Administrations emergency use conditions. Those conditions allow service members to refuse vaccination without any adverse personnel or legal actions.

It is unclear exactly when the services will begin administering the vaccine. But before anyone takes the shots, they must be educated on the risks and benefits, and their right to refuse.
That information comes in the form of a tri-fold brochure, which can be viewed online.
Special-mission units also will be offered the vaccinations, as will adult family members living in Central Commands area of operations and South Korea.
The Pentagon sought emergency-use authority allowed under federal law after a federal judge ruled that it was illegal to force service members to submit to the vaccinations. The judge found that the vaccine was not licensed to protect against inhalation anthrax, the form of the disease that the Pentagon says could be used as a germ weapon against U.S. troops.


Commentary:
For those who are offered the anthrax vaccine, please see the Anthrax Vaccine section of this web site, as well as the Data Base of the Ill, for more information about possible side effects and conditions resulting from the vaccine.
   Anthrax testing: look to NASA? commentary follows
by John Dudley Miller - BiomedCentral.com/ The Scientist - Monday May 02, 2005
Story originally ran April 26, 2005:
Although federal administrators told Congress earlier this month that they didn't find all the anthrax that contaminated post offices in 2001 because no validated testing procedure existed at the time, a NASA researcher who helped create a highly accurate procedure that the agency has used to test spacecraft for bacteria since the 1970s said there's no reason it couldn't have been used to find anthrax in 2001. Similarly, three other methods are being tested by federal agencies, all of which require validation before they can be considered reliable.

The NASA methodwhich was most recently used before the two Mars rovers left Earthinvolves streaking a wet swab made of cotton or soft plastic over a 25-square-centimeter surface. "The NASA standard assay technique is a well defined and reproducible technique for the recovery of [bacterial] spores from solid surfaces," Larry Kirschner, a NASA researcher who did much of the 1970s work, told The Scientist. The technique should therefore work well for anthrax bacterial spores, although he recommended testing it on indoor surfaces first to make certain.


Commentary:
Further quote:
But more research is underway, some begun as long as 2 years ago. The Department of Homeland Security is paying for the CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to collaborate on validating three standard sampling methods at the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, Popovic said. The CDC and EPA will validate the same three methods at the US Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, she said, not only for anthrax, but also for additional biothreat agents.
   Anthrax Vaccine Purchase for National Stockpile Is Imminent, Says Top U.S. Health Emergency Official commentary follows
by Joe Fiorill - Global Security Newswire - Sunday May 01, 2005
WASHINGTON  The U.S. Health and Human Services Department expects within days to complete talks on a 5 million-dose purchase of anthrax vaccine for the Strategic National Stockpile, the official in charge of the effort said yesterday (see GSN, April 6).

My office will complete negotiations for 5 million doses of the currently licensed anthrax vaccine in the next few days to support immediate requirements, Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Stewart Simonson said in testimony submitted to the Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee.

When asked last evening by Global Security Newswire to elaborate on that projection, department spokesman Marc Wolfson said Simonsons office is down to the final negotiations with drug maker BioPort.


Commentary:
The department in November announced its intention to buy the vaccine from BioPort, which makes the only existing U.S.-licensed vaccine. The United States has contracted with a second company, VaxGen, to provide 75 million doses of a newly developed vaccine within two years.
   ANTHRAX, the Heavy Metal band and Chicago Lawmen meet at high noon commentary follows
by Scott Pearlman - The Anthrax Band - Friday April 29, 2005
Press Conference
Saturday, April 30th
House of Blues
329 Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois
3:00 to 3:45 House of Blues Foundation Dining room
Photo Op: 2:00PM House of Blues Cafe:
Heavy Metal Band "ANTHRAX" arrives from airport in stretch limousine with unlikely bedfellows - five men in dark suits.

ANTHRAX, the Heavy Metal band and Chicago Lawmen meet at high noon
The news is spreading - not the disease. Anthrax, the Heavy Metal band has reunited with a serious purpose. Having had a very well attended press conference at Sirius Satellite in New York City a few weeks ago, ANTHRAX, the band, continues to lead the Heavy Metal industry into taking up social causes. ANTHRAX is beating the drum about the forced vaccination of our soldiers with experimental drugs. The Anthrax vaccine is allegedly one of the major causes of the mysterious GULF WAR SYNDROME.

Click on link above for full (and fun!) press release.


Commentary:
Contact: Scott Pearlman Showmix2004@aol.com 239-248-9305
Publicist: Maria@adrenalinepr.com
   Chicago attorney wants anthrax vaccines stopped
by Molly Brown, Medill News Service - Northwest Indiana Times - Friday April 29, 2005
In 2000, an Air Force captain stationed in Oklahoma received three anthrax vaccinations. She soon began experiencing numbness and tingling in her arm, hand and fingers. When she called the medical center, she was told the problems would go away.
Months later, however, she had trouble using stairs and riding a bicycle. She said she was "generally clumsy" and her speech was slurred and slowed.
After undergoing medical tests, her doctor said her cerebellum, which controls motor functions, had shrunk and the damage was permanent.
In her early 30s, the woman -- who asked not to be identified -- said she never had any health problems before the vaccinations. Though she admits there is no proof her condition resulted from the anthrax vaccine, she said there is no other explanation. Her neurologists have found no other logical cause either. Still enlisted, she fears she'll be discharged within the year because of her condition.
"I've hardly told anyone," the woman said. "I only broke down and told my parents when I needed a driver to and from the spinal tap a year ago."

The captain is one of many military service people -- more than 1,000 -- who attribute their deteriorating health to the anthrax vaccine, according to Chicago attorney John Michels. Michels, a former Air Force general, has been investigating the military's use of the anthrax vaccine for six years.

In 2003, Michels filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to ban mandatory anthrax vaccinations for service people.
The lawsuit also accuses the FDA of failing to prove the vaccine is safe.
   Former Guard Pilots Seek To Clear Military Records
by Thomas D. Williams - Hartford Courant, Connecticut - Thursday April 28, 2005
Two former Connecticut Air National Guard pilots, saying they were illegally forced out of the Guard after their investigation 6? years ago showed the anthrax vaccine is illegal, are asking a federal court to clear their military records.

Thomas Rempfer and Russell Dingle's appeals to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims could set a precedent for hundreds of other service members punished for refusing to take the anthrax vaccine, which was mandatory at that time.

Since the vaccinations began six years ago, nearly 500 active-duty service members have refused the vaccine and more than 100 have been court-martialed, according to data filed in federal court in Washington more than four years ago. About 500 to 1,000 pilots and flight crew members have retired or transferred from the Air National Guard or reserves rather than take the vaccine, government statistics as of early 2004 show.

Rempfer and Dingle argue that the U.S. Department of Defense must clear their names and compensate them for any loss of wages because on Oct. 27 a federal judge in Washington entered a permanent injunction against mandatory vaccinations by the military. They also claim that they were "coerced" out of the Guard in January 1999 by Col. Walter Burns, a former Air National Guard commander, after their vaccine inquiry that Burns had requested showed the vaccine was improperly licensed.

At the time, Burns insisted Rempfer, Dingle and six other pilots resigned on their own with "no bad blood." But Rempfer has produced a transcript of Burns' comments saying "traitor" came to mind when he thought about their resistance to taking the vaccine, but nonetheless admitted the vaccine had its problems.
   Anthrax vaccine treatment funding remains uncertain
by David Ruppe, Global Security Newswire - GovExec.com - Monday April 25, 2005
A Senate effort to ensure full funding of special U.S. military centers for treating soldiers suffering side effects from anthrax and other vaccinations failed last week, leaving open the question of whether the clinics will be fully funded in this fiscal year.

Senate leaders negotiated away an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill for fiscal 2005 that would have provided $6 million for four regional Vaccine Healthcare Centers in the United States that offer treatment and advice on rare but serious side effects from the vaccine.
   Judge Demands Update on Anthrax Vaccination
by Thomas "Dennie" Williams - Hartford Courant, Connecticut - Saturday April 23, 2005
Note: Story ran April 22, 2005
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan asked Pentagon officials in Washington, D.C., Thursday why they should not be held in contempt for violating court orders to keep him apprised of anthrax vaccinations in the military.

On April 1, Sullivan ordered the U.S. Department of Defense to file weekly reports regarding inoculations of service members in violation of his Oct. 27 injunction halting mandatory use of the vaccine. The judge set a Monday noon deadline for the department's answer. The department had told Sullivan the violations were inadvertent.

In the injunction, Sullivan said the law requires that service members be told about the unlicensed drug's possible side effects and that they must consent to be vaccinated. Without consent, the military would need a presidential waiver to force use of the drug.

Weeks after his order, Sullivan asked the Pentagon for reports on any illegal vaccinations. Pentagon officials first acknowledged that approximately 700 service members were illegally inoculated. Later, officials revealed some inoculations had been given as recently as March 7, when nine U.S. Marine reservists were vaccinated in Cincinnati. The Pentagon reportedly sent out letters weeks ago to advise those vaccinated that the court had prohibited the practice.
   New Anthrax Vaccine Protects Animals
Global Security Newswire - Friday April 22, 2005
Story originally ran 4/21/2005:
An anthrax vaccine being developed for the United States through Project Bioshield protected all animals exposed to the pathogen during testing, the CanWest News Service reported today (see GSN, Nov. 5, 2004).

All the animals subjected to the vaccine and then anthrax spores became immunized and survived, said Lance Gordon, president of U.S. biopharmaceutical company VaxGen, which received the $877 million order to produce 75 million doses of the treatment.
   Vaccine opponents tell FDA of medical problems
by Deborah Funk - Air Force Times - Wednesday April 20, 2005
NOTE: Story is in April 25 edition of Air Force Times.
The Food and Drug Administration has closed the public comment period on its plans to classify the anthrax vaccine safe and effective for use against the inhalation form of the disease.

A random review of about 20 percent of the roughly 300 comments received shows strong opposition to the military's mandatory program. Some deem the vaccine unsafe, ineffective and mislabeled; others say troops should be given the choice of whether to take the shot; some say more study is needed.
   Post exposure vaccine, drugs make most sense if event of anthrax attack: study
by Helen Branswell - Yahoo Health - Canadian Press - Tuesday April 19, 2005
TORONTO (CP) - Post-exposure use of vaccine and antibiotics makes more economic sense as a means of protecting a large urban centre against an anthrax attack than vaccinating an entire city's population in anticipation of an attack, a new study suggests.

The paper, by Canadian and U.S. researchers, said preventive vaccination against anthrax in a city of five million people would cost between $500 million and $1 billion without appreciable health benefits.
   Fort Campbell veteran who claims anthrax disability told to report for war duty
by Kimberly Hefling - AP Wire - Saturday April 16, 2005
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. - Former Army Capt. Jason Cordova receives a $110 monthly check from the government for a disability he blames on the anthrax vaccine.

That has not stopped the Army from calling him back to duty. He has papers ordering him to report next month to Fort Jackson, S.C., to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom - the war in Afghanistan.

The Army has rejected his appeals for a medical exemption - despite his submission of letters from doctors describing debilitating attacks in his groin area possibly caused by the anthrax vaccine.
   Editorial: Voluntary inoculations
Air Force Times - Wednesday April 13, 2005
April 18, 2005 (edition)
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan finally has agreed to let the Pentagon resume anthrax vaccinations  but only on a strictly voluntary basis. This is an interim step while a court case over the now-suspended mandatory program grinds on.

Now comes the hard part: making sure that those who get the shots are really doing so voluntarily, and are not being coerced.

Sullivan has expressed consistent concern about ensuring service members are made fully aware that they cannot  at least for now  be forced to take the vaccine.

To that end, the judge refused the vague language favored by the Pentagon for the informational brochure that will be given to service members under the voluntary inoculation program. Instead, he required this pointed statement: You have the right to refuse to take the vaccine without fear of retaliation.

Still, the potential for coercion within an institution that reveres uniformity should not be taken lightly.

Picture a unit formation in which a commander stands up and bellows: The military is resuming anthrax vaccinations on a voluntary basis. The anthrax vaccine will protect the lives of you and your buddies. Those who do not want to protect the lives of their buddies, step to the rear.

Many troops would find it hard to stand up to that kind of public pressure, which could earn them ill will from some of their peers. But heres the rock-solid bottom line: Until further notice, you cannot be forced to take the anthrax vaccine, nor can you be punished for refusing.

This is the policy of every other military in the world, as well as the U.S. State Department.

It is the way the Pentagon should have run its program from the beginning  and the way it should stay in the future.
   Veteran who claims anthrax disability told to report for war duty
by Kimberly Hefling - AP - Wednesday April 13, 2005
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. - Former Army Capt. Jason Cordova receives a $110 monthly check from the government for a disability he blames on the anthrax vaccine.

That has not stopped the Army from calling him back to duty. He has papers ordering him to report next month to Fort Jackson, S.C., to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom - the war in Afghanistan.

The Army has rejected his appeals for a medical exemption - despite his submission of letters from doctors describing debilitating attacks in his groin area possibly caused by the anthrax vaccine. Cordova, 30, said he has no choice but to ask a federal judge later this week to let him stay home.
   Soldiers shouldn't be guinea pigs
by Col. David Hackworth - World Net Daily.com - Tuesday April 12, 2005
The presidential commission looking into the cluelessness of U.S. intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq recently issued its report to banner headlines that should cause every member of the American military to take a long second look at the need for  not to mention the safety of  the big-bucks "emergency" anthrax vaccination program still being pushed by the Department Of Defense. Because the acknowledgment of this disastrous intelligence failure rips the guts right out of DOD's rationale for a controversial vaccination effort that was changed late last year  by a court order now being appealed by the Pentagon  from mandatory to voluntary.

Meanwhile, since 9-11 and the start of the Global War on Terror, the only American deaths that have occurred from any anthrax attack have been five civilians in the USA during the fall of 2001 from exposure to a strain of anthrax widely believed to have been domestically produced. But while zero service personnel have been killed in action from Saddam Hussein's alleged stockpile of anthrax and other Iraqi WMD that have mysteriously gone walkabout  or anthrax from any other source  six Americans have died after receiving DOD's anthrax vaccine!
   No anthrax vaccines at Eustis
by Ward Sanderson - Newport News - Saturday April 09, 2005
NEWPORT NEWS -- No soldiers at Fort Eustis have received anthrax vaccinations after a ruling this week allowing the military to resume giving the shots to willing troops.

As of Friday, there were no plans to begin.

"We have not been given any guidance to reinstate, so obviously we're not giving shots," said Hope Kujawski, a spokeswoman for McDonald Army Community Hospital at the post. Kujawski said the hospital did have a supply of the vaccine, but that it had been stored on another part of Fort Eustis outside the medical facility.
"It's basically as if we don't have any, because it's been suspended," Kujawski said.
   Judge Emmet Sullivan's April 6, 2005 Court Ruling commentary follows
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia - Thursday April 07, 2005
Actual ruling:
Without ruling on the lawfulness or merits of any EUA, upon consideration of the defendants' motion, the opposition and replies thereto, the amicus curiae brief, the arguments heard in open court on March 21, 2005, and the draft language jointly submitted by the parties in this case, it is hereby ORDERED that the defendants' Motion to Modify the Injunction is GRANTED; it is further ORDERED that the Court's injunction of October 27, 2004, is modified by the addition of the following language:
"This injunction, however, shall not preclude defendants from administering AVA, on a voluntary basis, pursuant to the terms of a lawful emergency use authorization ("EUA") pursuant to section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, without prejudice to a future challenge to the validity of any such EUA.

The Court expressly makes no finding as to the lawfulness of any specific EUA that has been or may be approved by the Department of Health and Human Services."


Commentary:
See also full ruling and history under "Legal Issues" section of this web site.
   Judge eases anthrax vaccine order
Washington Times - Wednesday April 06, 2005
Washington, DC, Apr. 6 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Washington Wednesday ruled the military can administer anthrax vaccine on a voluntary basis to service members under certain conditions.

In October, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order permanently barring the Pentagon's anthrax vaccine program. He ruled the vaccine had not been classified by the Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective for that use -- unless the president waived that requirement for the vaccine.

The Pentagon filed a new motion insisting there were other conditions under which the program could proceed, and the judge agreed, modifying his earlier order.

"Congress appears to have authorized the use of (FDA) unapproved drugs ... based upon a declaration of (military) emergency" from the Health and Human Services and Defense departments, Sullivan said.

The judge said the Defense Department may administer the vaccine on a voluntary basis following a lawful emergency use authorization.

Sullivan said his ruling "makes no finding as to the lawfulness of any specific (emergency use authorization) that has been or may be approved by the Department of Health and Human Services."
   Judge clears way for voluntary anthrax shots
by Deborah Funk - Air Force Times - Wednesday April 06, 2005
A federal judge agreed Wednesday to let the Pentagon give anthrax vaccine to service members who voluntarily submit to the shots, but said he will continue to supervise his court order making it illegal to require the shots unless and until the vaccine is properly licensed to protect against inhalation anthrax.

On April 6, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan amended his Oct. 27 order that halted the mandatory anthrax vaccination program, clearing the way for voluntary inoculations to begin under a provision of law called an emergency-use authority.
   The Needle and the Damage Done - Vaccinating America's Soldiers commentary follows
by Richard Currey - Vietnam Veterans Magazine - Sunday April 03, 2005
Army medic Michael Berger was told he would be at Walter Reed National Army Medical Center "for a couple weeks, for a check-up and a few tests. And then," he said, "they told me I'd be on my way home." Berger reported to Walter Reed on February 17, 2004 - and he has been there ever since. One year earlier, in February 2003


Commentary:
Article originally ran in the January/February Issue
   'Bioshield' Drug-Patent Plan Draws Fire
by SARAH LUECK - Wall Street Journal - Saturday April 02, 2005
Less than a year after Congress provided the pharmaceuticals industry with incentives to develop drugs for terrorism-related illnesses, a fight is brewing over efforts to offer more goodies -- including the chance to extend patent rights on medications that have nothing to do with homeland security. Last year's legislation, signed by President Bush in July, provided $5.6 billion for the government to buy and stockpile medications to combat bioterrorism agents such as anthrax and smallpox. Now some lawmakers, convinced the measure didn't go far enough, are developing bills that go far beyond the Bioshield law. The new proposals would apply to a wider array of products, including ones that treat such infectious diseases as severe acute respiratory syndrome and avian influenza. And they would offer companies new protection from lawsuits, tax incentives to help fund research and production as well as various patent protections.
   Pentagon clear to give anthrax shots again commentary follows
by Dee Ann Divis - Washington Times -- UPI - Friday April 01, 2005
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 1 (UPI) -- The Department of Defense effectively was cleared Friday to resume vaccinating military service members with the controversial anthrax vaccine, but it also was placed under court order to submit weekly reports to assure the vaccinations would remain voluntary.
The modification will allow the military to proceed with its inoculations as long as it gives each serviceman or woman a brochure about the vaccine and makes sure they are aware they can forego vaccination without fear of penalty. That last point was very important to Sullivan, who said the change he was making to the injunction would not take effect until Monday, so it would give the Pentagon time to lay out a plan for making clear to military personnel they could refuse vaccination for anthrax.


Commentary:
"This is a weighty decision people have to make," Sullivan said. "I want them to know they have choices."

The greatest concern has been the voluntary nature of the shots, not the question of informed consent, said Mark Zaid, an attorney representing opponents to the vaccine.

Congress will review the issue again, said Lawrence Halloran, staff director and counsel for the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security.
"I suspect," Halloran told UPI, "we are talking about a hearing before anything else where we get HHS and FDA and DOD in here and say 'What were you thinking?'"

Sullivan made it clear whatever use was made of the EUA, the injunction remained in place. He ordered the Pentagon to submit weekly reports on any vaccinations given outside the permission granted by the EUA.
The reports will show zero violations, assured attorney Andrew Tannebaum, who spoke on behalf of the Pentagon.
"If the answer is anything other than zero, the court will consider high monetary fines," Sullivan said. "I'm talking high five figures or six figures."

   Biowar: Informed consent injunction's key? commentary follows
by Dee Ann Davis - United Press International - Thursday March 31, 2005
WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 30 (UPI) -- The fate of the Defense Department's anthrax vaccine program appears to hinge on whether Judge Emmet Sullivan will allow the Pentagon to avoid the notification rules that normally accompany an informed-consent requirement and the off-label use of a drug. On Oct. 27, 2004, Sullivan placed an injunction on the department's mandatory vaccination program, blocking service personnel from having to take shots of Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed, a controversial vaccine that critics said is unsafe.


Commentary:
In a protracted debate, however, Sullivan kept asking if the program would remain voluntary under the EUA. Boyle said yes, but Sullivan came back to the question again and again, saying he did not understand why it was necessary to change the injunction. Boyle eventually admitted the Pentagon was worried about both requirements of the injunction -- that the program be voluntary and informed consent be obtained. "Informed consent is not required under the EUA," Boyle asserted.
   ANTHRAX SAYS NO TO DRUGS; ANTHRAX FIGHTS THE VACCINE
The Anthrax Band - Thursday March 31, 2005
ANTHRAX, the band, is reuniting for their thirsty fans and with a high purpose in mind for the Heavy Metal scene. Partnering with Slave to the Metal" Foundation (www.slavetothemetal.org), ANTRHAX is expanding the portal for Heavy Metal music fans and the music Industry to raise awareness and provide funds to those organizations and individuals that fight against the misuse of heavy metals (i.e. depleted uranium, mercury and lead) and who are rising in outrage over other misanthropic and genocidal initiatives such as the forceful administration to our soldiers of the untested and unapproved Anthrax Vaccine (See: www.anthraxvaccine.org , www.milvacs.org).

Every fan of Heavy Metal music has the chance right now to support our troops as ANTHRAX partners with Slave to the Metal" Foundation to provide an opportunity for the most affected generation to make a difference and bring public awareness to the dangers of the Anthrax Vaccine. Charlie Benante.

Heavy Metal music was born out of non-conformity to socially accepted structure. Therefore our roots are seeded in the belief that we must challenge structure as it is based on past viewpoints imposed on the future. With respect to the Anthrax Vaccine it is our responsibility as keepers of the faith of Heavy Metal music to stay true to core belief and challenge Project BioShield  a legislative act that authorizes the mandated use of untested and unapproved vaccines on our soldiers making them in essence first line guinea pigs for the biopharmaceutical industry. Scott Ian. It has come to us from the most legitimate and politically correct activist circles that our head-banger support is sorely needed to make the public aware of these atrocities. Joey Belladonna.

Along with the likes of directors, Scott Miller (www.directorder.org), who sheds light on the Anthrax Vaccine dangers, and Michael Moore who is working on a Big Pharma expose we are requesting Heavy Metal fans to channel their fabulous outrage to derail the atrocities that are being committed against innocent human beings. Eileen Dannemann, co-Founder Slave to the Metal" Foundation. I oppose all attempts by anyone to take away my right to dissent and say NO to being a guinea pig for the biopharmaceutical industry. Dan Spitz.

Please join us for the biggest event in heavy music  the ANTHRAX Global Press Conference and Luncheon. This history-making music event will take place on April 1, 2005 at 2:00 PM ET/11:00 AM PT at SIRIUS Satellite Radios national broadcast center in New York City, and will be broadcast live on Hard Attack/27, SIRIUS extreme heavy metal channel.
   Anthrax Vaccinations Expected to Resume commentary follows
by David Ruppe - Global Security Newswire - Wednesday March 30, 2005
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Defense Department could soon resume anthrax vaccinations of U.S. military personnel pending a court decision expected this week or following a Food and Drug Administration decision sometime later, according to a lawyer for soldiers who sued to stop mandatory anthrax vaccinations (see GSN, Feb. 25). A federal judge suspended the required shots last October, after finding that the FDA had not properly reviewed the vaccine before declaring it safe and effective against inhalation anthrax. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan


Commentary:
In addition, a 90-day comment period preceding a FDA determination on whether to license the vaccine for inhalation anthrax - a type anticipated in warfare or from terrorism - ended yesterday. FDA licensing of the vaccine would allow the resumption of mandatory vaccinations without informed consent.
   Anthrax Says "No More!" to Spreading the Disease
RoadrunnerRecords.com - Tuesday March 29, 2005
Slave to the Metal Foundation is a portal for heavy metal music fans and the music industry to raise awareness and provide funds to those organizations and individuals that fight against the misuse of heavy metals (i.e. depleted uranium, mercury and lead) and who are rising in outrage over other misanthropic and genocidal initiatives such as the forceful administration to our soldiers of the untested and unapproved Anthrax Vaccine (See: www.anthraxvaccine.org , www.milvacs.org). Commented ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante: "Every fan of heavy metal music has the chance right now to support our troops as ANTHRAX partners with Slave to the Metal Foundation to provide an opportunity for the most affected generation to make a difference and bring public awareness to the dangers of the Anthrax Vaccine."

Added ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian: "Heavy metal music was born out of non-conformity to socially accepted structure. Therefore our roots are seeded in the belief that we must challenge structure as it is based on past viewpoints imposed on the future. With respect to the Anthrax Vaccine, it is our responsibility as 'keepers of the faith' of heavy metal music to stay true to core belief and challenge Project BioShield  a legislative act that authorizes the mandated use of untested and unapproved vaccines on our soldiers making them in essence first line guinea pigs for the biopharmaceutical industry."

Stated ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna: "It has come to us from the most legitimate and politically correct activist circles that our headbanger support is sorely needed to make the public aware of these atrocities."

ANTHRAX guitarist Dan Spitz offered the following: "I oppose all attempts by anyone to take away my right to dissent and say NO to being a guinea pig for the biopharmaceutical industry."

Eileen Dannemann, co-Founder of Slave to the Metal Foundation, stated: "Along with the likes of directors, Scott Miller, who shed light on the Anthrax Vaccine dangers, and Michael Moore who is working on a Big Pharma expose, we are requesting heavy metal fans to channel their fabulous outrage to derail the atrocities that are being committed against innocent human beings."
   Anthrax Reform commentary follows
Contact Music - Saturday March 26, 2005
After weeks of rumours about the possible reunion, the heavy rock giants released a statement yesterday (24MAR05) confirming the hopes of metal fans everywhere. The rumours had been sparked


Commentary:
This will start the 'Spreading the Anthrax Weekend' on Sirius' HARD ATTACK channel, which will make "an important statement regarding the US Government and the anthrax vaccine". The rockers want to raise public awareness about the hazards surrounding the vaccine, as well as America's newly legislated Project BioShield Act, which allows the US Food and Drug Administration to approve drugs and vaccines that have not been properly tested during periods of declared emergency.
   The band Anthrax takes on anthrax vaccine
UPI - Saturday March 26, 2005
New York, NY, Mar. 25 (UPI) -- The metal band Anthrax is planning a reunion tour to raise awareness of the dangers of the military's anthrax vaccine program and the new Bioshield Act.

The band Anthrax takes on anthrax vaccine New York, NY, Mar. 25 (UPI) -- The metal band Anthrax is planning a reunion tour to raise awareness of the dangers of the military's anthrax vaccine program and the new Bioshield Act. The band, which has not played together in 13 years, will announce its plans April 1 during "Spreading the Anthrax Weekend" according to MTV news.

The group said they will make an important statement concerning the U.S. government and the anthrax vaccine. They want to raise public awareness about the dangers of the vaccine and the new Bioshield Act which allows the Food and Drug Administration, during an emergency, to approve drugs and vaccines that have not been fully tested, MTV reported the band as saying
   Anthrax's Original Lineup Will Tour, Warn Fans About Vaccines commentary follows
by Chris Harris - MTV - Friday March 25, 2005
According to the Anthrax statement, the band has scheduled a press conference for April 1 at 2 p.m. at the headquarters of Sirius Satellite Radio in New York City, to formally announce their reunion, kick off the "Spreading the Anthrax Weekend" on Sirius' Hard Attack channel and "make an important statement regarding the U.S. Government and the anthrax vaccine." The release says the group wants to raise public awareness about the dangers of the vaccine, as well as the newly legislated Project BioShield Act, which explicitly allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve drugs and vaccines that have not been fully tested during times of declared emergency.


Commentary:
A very special thank you to the group Anthrax for bringing such an important issue to the public's attention during their reunion. Tune in to watch them on April 1st.
   Legal Issues Dominate Anthrax Vaccine
by Deborah Funk - Air Force Times - Thursday March 24, 2005
Supporters and opponents of the military's anthrax vaccine program are preparing for the latest round of their ongoing battle in Washington, with each side accusing the other of trying to flout a legal requirement. The six plaintiffs who sued to stop the mandatory anthrax program allege that the Defense Department and Health and Human Services Department "did nothing less than manufacture" an emergency-use authority for anthrax vaccine so
   Report from March 21 Hearing before Judge Emmet Sullivan
Military Vaccine Education Center, Inc. - Tuesday March 22, 2005
The March 21 hearing before Judge Emmet Sullivan in U.S. District Court, District of Columbia,lasted 2 hours 15 minutes. Judge Sullivan expressed great frustration at DoD's violation of his initial injunction. He stated that the proposed DoD letter apologizing to the troops for violating the injunction was unacceptable in that it was signed by a Colonel, and that he wanted it signed by Secretary Rumsfeld. On the EUA, he said that he would probably amend his injunction, but, refuse to endorse the DoD's use of the vaccine. He said his injunction had no barring on a voluntary program, and that if DoD chose to start a voluntary program under an EUA, that the courts would entertain challenges to the EUA at that time. He made no decision in the hearing itself and said that he would rule on or before April 1st. He scheduled a hearing for 10:00 am on April 1st, which may or may not occur, depending on whether Judge Sullivan reaches a decision on both the contempt and the EUA decisions sooner.
   Despite court order, some anthrax inoculations continue commentary follows
by Deborah Funk - Air Force Times - Tuesday March 22, 2005
More than four months after a federal judge halted the mandatory anthrax vaccination program, some service members continued to receive shots.

Although the numbers fluctuate, the government estimates about 500 service members were vaccinated since Oct. 27, the day U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said the Pentagon could give anthrax vaccinations only under informed consent requirements in federal law or if the president declares the service members consent is not required. Some of those vaccinations occurred as recently as March.


Commentary:
Further clip (see commentary below): Exactly how many service members received the shot after Oct. 27 is unclear. Defense officials initially estimated 931 service members were erroneously vaccinated after Sullivans order, then lowered the estimate to about 250. On Monday, Boyle said the number was about 500, including random events in recent months. Three service members, including two doctors who requested the shots, were vaccinated in February. In late February a general in Europe was vaccinated at a clinic. In March, nine Marine reservists in Cincinnati were vaccinated. Also in March a doctor self-injected the anthrax vaccine.

A deliberate inoculation is a random event? Isn't that like being almost pregnant?
   Soldiers Fear the Needle commentary follows
by Kareen Fahim - Village Voice - Tuesday March 22, 2005
Jesse Kearns says the anthrax vaccine caused his ongoing health woes, including heart attacks, blood clots, and a stroke. Jesse Kearns blames the anthrax vaccines, pumped into his right arm over 14 months while he served in the navy, for leaving him saddled with the medical woes of a man three times his age. Just 25, Kearns has suffered two heart attacks, including one he didn't notice, and a second that was nearly fatal; a stroke that left him disabled


Commentary:
Many applauses to COL. Renata Engler of the WRVHC who is seeing/treating the patients, viewing the program from a medical standpoint, and truly understands and relates the obstacles these people face. "The suffering of this patient and his struggles to gain support for his medical care highlight how difficult it can be for service members to navigate the health care and disability systems," wrote Dr. Renata Engler, director of the Vaccine Healthcare Centers Network at Walter Reed Medical Center, who did an extensive write-up on the Kearns case. "The fact that he is administratively struggling for recognition of the seriousness of his illness and approached [us] because he felt he had to prove that his illness was service connected saddens this military physician with almost thirty years service."
   Pentagon readies brochure on voluntary anthrax vaccinations commentary follows
by Deborah Funk - Air Force Times - Monday March 21, 2005
Preparing for what they hope is a resumption of anthrax shots - this time on a voluntary basis - Pentagon officials have designed a prototype brochure to provide troops with information they can use to make a decision about whether to take the vaccine.


Commentary:
John J. "Lou" Michels Jr., an attorney for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said the brochure "does not equate to informed consent," and contains "basic misrepresentations."
   Anthrax Attacks Still Unsolved Years Later
by Mark Sherman - AP - Friday March 18, 2005
The anthrax false alarm this week served as a reminder that federal authorities still haven't caught whoever was responsible for the all-too-real attacks in 2001 that left five people dead. No arrests have been made and no charges filed in the case the FBI
   Sensors detect anthrax at Pentagon mail facilities commentary follows
by Mike Mount - CNN - Tuesday March 15, 2005
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two Pentagon mail facilities were closed and nearly 300 workers tested for exposure to anthrax after sensors detected the bacteria in mail at the buildings, Pentagon officials said Monday.

Follow-up field tests done Monday came back negative for anthrax, but samples were sent to the U.S. Army Research Institute for Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Maryland, for further tests to confirm or rule out the existence of the bacteria.
Test results are expected back within 48 to 72 hours, Pentagon officials said.


Commentary:
Further quote: "About 300 workers who may have come in contact with the mail were tested and given the option to take antibiotics as a precaution. Pentagon officials said none of the employees is showing signs of infection."

Emphasis added. Antibiotics as a precaution? What a novel idea. We should try that sometime on our troops. They have the same superior detection equipment, don't they? Don't they?
   Anthrax vaccine comes into question once again commentary follows
CBS in Tulsa, OK - Monday March 14, 2005
Story first ran 2/25/2006: SPC. Kent Stewart's health inexplicably failed after he returned home from Iraq. "As it turned out the enemy came home with him."

As it turned out, that enemy was his reaction to the series of anthrax shots he was forced to take. Although an infectious disease specialist diagnosed his conditions after a long line of doctors failed to figure out what was wrong, the military believes he made it all up, and is working on denying him his disability benefits.


Commentary:
Lt. Col. Tom Heemstra, who wrote Anthrax - A Deadly Shot in the Dark" also gives an interview in this news segment. He says what we've all known to be true for simply too long; the military doesn't want to admit Kent Stewart's problems, nor take responsibility for them.
   Anthrax vaccine comes into question once again commentary follows
KOTV News, Tulsa, Oklahoma - Monday March 14, 2005
This news story first aired 2/25/2006: When SPC. Kent Steward returned home from Iraq, his health inexplicably failed. "As it turned out, the enemy came home with him." The enemy was the series of anthrax shots he had been forced to take, according to an infectious disease specialist who finally diagnosed Stewart's problems after a long line of doctors failed to do so. The military not only doesn't believe it, but is hard at work denying Stewart's disability benefits.


Commentary:
Also interviewed in this segment is Lt. Col. Tom Heemstra, author of Anthrax - A Deadly Shot in the Dark and long an outspoken opponent of the anthrax vaccine.
   Hearings to be held on anthrax vaccine commentary follows
by Dee Ann Divis - Washington Times - Saturday March 12, 2005
Congress will look into whether the Department of Health and Human Services overstepped its authority when it gave the Department of Defense permission to vaccinate military personnel with a controversial anthrax vaccine despite a court injunction halting the program. The hearings will be called in the next couple of months by Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations. Shays


Commentary:
That use of Bioshield is beyond the intention of Congress, Shays said. "We believe HHS acquiescence in the DoD request unjustifiably expands and distorts the scope of emergency use authority envisioned by the Act and strays well beyond the legislative intent of the provision," Shays wrote in a March 9 letter to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt.
   Update on legal proceedings with the anthrax vaccine
Military Vaccine Education Center, Inc. - Wednesday March 09, 2005
Background and overview of current legal status of the anthrax vaccine now available.
   DoD Faces Contempt Order for Anthrax Vaccination Program
by Sandra Basu - US Medicine - Monday March 07, 2005
WASHINGTON-A U.S. District Court asked the federal government last month to show cause as to why it should not be held in contempt of violating the court's injunction to halt the Department of Defense's (DoD) mandatory anthrax vaccine program. In October of 2004, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said that the anthrax vaccine had not gone through the appropriate Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process and was therefore an experimental drug that could not be given to troops without their consent. DoD said that some soldiers were given anthrax vaccinations
   BioPort Seeks to Enter Anthrax Case commentary follows
by Dee Ann Divis - Washington TImes - Saturday March 05, 2005
WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 4 (UPI) -- Bioport, the maker of the anthrax vaccine used by the Department of Defense, has filed a motion to participate as a friend of the court against the plaintiffs in a lawsuit to stop mandatory vaccinations of military personnel with AVA, the company's vaccine.

The lawsuit has created the perception the vaccine is unlicensed, Bioport spokeswomen Kim Brennen Root told United Press International.

"Reporters are reporting that the product is an unlicensed product and that is in part coming from ... what the plaintiffs' lawyers are saying," Brennen Root said. The firm wants the opportunity to provide information to the court on the issue, she said.

At the center of the lawsuit, however, is precisely the question of whether the vaccine is licensed for a specific use -- to prevent inhalational anthrax.


Commentary:
MVEC agrees that ALL of the relevant facts should be presented to the Court -- especially safety, which it appears that BioPort will ignore, as it has continuously ignored in the past.
   How Much of a Threat is Bioterrorism? commentary follows
by Ingun Arnold (jam) - Deutsche Welle - Friday March 04, 2005
Experts warn that bioterrorism could be an efficient and deadly weapon in the hands of terrorists, who could potentially use small amounts of bacteria or viruses to kill many people over a large area. But Professor Sucharit Bhakdi, head of the Institute for Medical Microbiology at the University of Mainz, casts a critical eye on talk of a serious, imminent threat from biological agents. "A bioweapon would need to have a lot of penetrating power, psychologically as well as economically and militarily," he said. "And it simply doesn't." He points out that the dangers of bioweapons are often played up by a sensation-hungry media and that the threats such weapons pose are often referred to as "potential." He backs up his thesis with an example from the United States, where


Commentary:
This story first ran Jan. 2005 This quote from the article: "We should allow our imaginations to run wild and be ready for anything possible," Noble said. would almost be funny if it weren't so devastating. It is because "imaginations have run wild" that Vaccine Healthcare Centers have bust; that at