"Vaccination is recommended only for those at high risk, such as workers in research laboratories that handle anthrax bacteria routinely."The CDC recommendation makes sense. Therefore I was stunned to learn this week that the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB) recommended that we launch an anthrax vaccine testing program in children (see page 37 of their report).
"Currently, U.S. children are not at immediate risk from anthrax and would not benefit directly from pre-event AVA [anthrax vaccine] administration."It also states that
"There is no known benefit to vaccinating children in the absence of an imminent threat from exposure to B. anthracis other than potential future benefit."
"Preparation for a national and potentially global threat from the use of B. anthracis spores by terrorists is a major priority for U.S. national security."
“We need to know more about the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine as we develop plans to use the vaccine on a large number of children in the event of a bioterrorist’s attack.”
[Note: I was a member of the research group that sequenced the DNA of the B. anthracis used in the 2001 attacks. We published our findings in two papers, one in 2002 and the second, after the investigation concluded, in 2011.]