The majority of Americans have never heard of the Anthrax Vaccines. That makes sense, as the common person is unlikely to come in contact with it. But if you’re one of the millions of active and former service members, there’s a very likely chance that you’ve been exposed to the anthrax vaccine. If you have, you deserve to know more. Here are five fast facts about the controversial anthrax vaccine.

Anthrax Vaccines is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended for adults 18 through 65 years of age who are at risk of exposure to anthrax bacteria, including: Certain laboratory workers who work with Bacillus anthracis.

1) Vaccination Was Mandatory in the Military For Years

While the Anthrax Vaccines is given to some farmers, scientists, and people exposed to terror attacks, the majority of people who’ve been given the vaccine are in the military. That’s because it was made a mandatory requirement from 1998 to 2004.

Since it was first introduced during the Gulf War, we’ve seen a military member court-martialed for refusing to take the vaccine and multiple shifts in the military’s policy towards whether or not the anthrax vaccine should be mandatory. In the three-year period from 1998 to 2001 alone, an estimated half a million service members were given the anthrax vaccine.

2) It’s Generally Effective at Combating Anthrax

There’s one anthrax vaccine on the market: BioThrax. And BioThrax is generally effective at countering the effects of anthrax and helping keep them at bay. It can be administered in a preventative form as a five-dose series of injections spread out over an 18 month period. It can also be administered with antibiotics after someone has already been exposed to anthrax. All told, BioThrax demonstrates the ability to counteract anthrax in roughly 9 out of 10 people.

3) There Are A Number of Recognized Short Term Side Effects

BioThrax is only recommended for use by those aged 18 to 65, and there are a number of other comorbid conditions associated with BioThrax. If you have an autoimmune disorder or you aren’t feeling in your best shape, the vaccine could have immediate and dire effects. Some people also have allergic reactions to the anthrax vaccine.

Even those who are in good shape may feel side effects like nausea, head and muscle aches, or fatigue. The shot also tends to be painful, and it will leave the area where it was administered sore and sensitive for a significant period of time.

4) What are the Long term Side Effects of the Anthrax Vaccines?

What’s most worrying about the Anthrax Vaccines is the impact it’s having decades later. Over two million vaccines were administered between 1990 and 2001, and many veterans are just now starting to link adverse side effects to the Potential Administration of the Vaccine. Respiratory and cardiovascular problems are some of the most common side effects of taking BioThrax, and it can also cause dizziness and swelling.

But the most worrying side effects are appearing in people who took a variant of the drug that included squalene. Squalene is believed to have a potentially devastating impact on the neurological systems of people who have taken it – and vaccines containing it can be linked to conditions as diverse as lupus, arthritis, and allergies. Squalene has also been connected to motor impairment and even infertility.

5) Those Exposed to the Vaccine May Have Legal Recourse

The long legacy of mandatory anthrax vaccination by the military is one spotted with controversy. Allegations arose that little research was done into the vaccine and that it wasn’t approved by the FDA before being administered to service members. The FDA is in the process of reviewing cases of the anthrax vaccine administered in the space between 1990 and 2001. Berry Law Firm can help you understand the situation and fight for the VA claim that you deserve.

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