Anthrax Q & A: Vaccination
Is there a vaccination for anthrax?
A protective vaccine has been developed for anthrax; however, it is primarily given to military personnel. Vaccination is recommended only for those at high risk, such as workers in research laboratories who handle anthrax bacteria routinely. Inquiries regarding availability of the vaccine should be directed to the manufacturer, Emergent BioSolutions, Rockville, MD. For more information, see Anthrax Vaccine: What You Need to Know and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for the use of anthrax vaccine, published in July 2010.
Is the anthrax vaccine available to the public?
A vaccine has been developed for anthrax that is protective against invasive disease. Inquiries regarding availability of the vaccine should be directed to the manufacturer, Emergent BioSolutions, Rockville, MD. Currently the vaccine is recommended prior to an event or exposure only for populations at high risk of exposure to aerosolized B anthracis spores. The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices met in October 2008 and revised their recommendations; provisional recommendations are currently available through the October 2008 minutes, posted at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/acip/downloads/min-oct08.pdf. CDC and academic partners are continuing to support the development of the next generation of anthrax vaccines.
be vaccinated against anthrax?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended anthrax vaccination for the following groups:
- Persons who work directly with the organism in the laboratory.
- Persons who work with imported animal hides or furs in areas where standards are insufficient to prevent exposure to anthrax spores.
- Persons who handle potentially infected animal products in high-incidence areas; while incidence is low in the United States, veterinarians who travel to work in other countries where incidence is higher should consider being vaccinated.
- Military personnel deployed to areas with high risk for exposure to the organism.
However, these recommendations are currently under review and may change. Please refer to the Anthrax Vaccine Home Page [http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/anthrax/default.htm] for the most current recommendations.
is the protocol for anthrax vaccination?
The primary immunization series consists of five intramuscular injections given at day 0, week 4, months 6, 12, and 18. Following the priming series, annual booster injections of the vaccine are recommended .
Are there adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccine?
Mild local reactions occur in 30% of recipients and consist of slight tenderness and redness at the injection site. Severe local reactions are infrequent and consist of extensive swelling of the forearm in addition to the local reaction. Systemic reactions occur in fewer than 0.2% of recipients.
- Page last reviewed: November 19, 2012
- Page last updated: November 19, 2012
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