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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2002 Mar-Apr;20(2):217-20.

Anthrax vaccination and joint related adverse reactions in light of biological warfare scenarios.

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MedCon, Inc, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.



The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate anthrax vaccine (AVA) and joint related adverse reactions based upon analysis of the VAERS database in light of the current possibility of the use of anthrax as a biological warfare agent.


A certified copy of the VAERS database was obtainedfrom the CDC. In this study, we conducted a retrospective analysis using Microsoft Access for all joint attributed adverse reactions reported following anthrax vaccination. The employment of chi-square analysis determined if the elevated incidence rates of associated adverse reactions in anthrax vaccine recipients were statistically significant.


Our analysis shows a very large and statistically significant increase in joint symptoms following vaccination with AVA when compared to our control population consisting of adverse joint reactions reported following vaccination with hepatitis A vaccine and Td vaccine.


We believe that civilian doctors need to become familiar with the adverse reactions that can be expected to follow the use of AVA. Both civilian and military doctors need to be vigilant in reporting all such reactions to VAERS, so that more information can be gathered about AVA. We also believe that an anthrax vaccine with an improved safety profile is needed if it is to be used in populations, either military or civilian, that are not under imminent threat of attack by biological warfare agents. It should also be kept in mind that the widespread use of anthrax vaccination may cause potential producers of biological weapons and terrorists to seek to produce anthrax strains that are not neutralized by the current vaccine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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