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Anthrax Vaccine Concern

An injection should never be the path to an early grave. Imagine military members gathered in a room waiting to be injected with many vaccinations in one day. Many of the troops that were under the command of the federal government fought against the instruction to receive these injections. The process felt similar to an assembly line. Members would walk through a line full of doctors and nurses as needles pierced their arms and legs in all directions. At the end of the line it felt like the body the soldier possessed was now considered a pin cushion instead of a human form. The concern of this maltreatment made many wonder if the government was doing these procedures correctly. The shot made a burning sensation grow fierce with pain, in the location the injection entered, the arm would turn numb afterwards. A day would pass and many people injected with the anthrax vaccine would feel weak with severe faintness in the joints all over the body. Some may have been hospitalized the moment they received the vaccine shot. The anthrax vaccine is a main concern to the public because of the controversy in preventing the disease from biological weaponry, the history of research done under the discovery of anthrax did not justify the need to vaccinate members of society, the process of testing the anthrax vaccine was done inappropriately, and the legal authorization verified by the public was in disagreement with the usage of this immunization method.

The immense side effects of the vaccine grew concern if illness replaced protection from the weapon bacteria. The bacterium processed within the injection of the anthrax vaccine is the same used to produce the biological weapon. As written by Rajalakshmi, Renugadevi, and Gunasekaran, the Latin term for the bacteria used to make harmful biological weapons is called “Bacillus anthracis” (19). The contamination of the anthrax bacteria has many forms of entering the human body. These microorganisms can be placed in the body, through ingestion. Eating infected meat from herbivorous animals can give you the germ. If the person is handling infected meat and the individual has a cut, the microorganisms can enter through the open wound. Anthrax spores are the deadliest of the three forms of contamination. These spores can be inhaled through the nose and/or mouth, and are more often than not fatal. According to Martin Enserink’s information in his article, “although anthrax may have caused vicious outbreaks for more than 10,000 years, its evolution has moved in slow motion.” The bacterium created inside the laboratory is significantly more potent than that of its natural counterpart (1). This is the most common way military members are trained to understand the anthrax bacteria in its biological weapon form. These biological agents have been used to great effect in past terror attacks.

The bacteria can also be administered in aerosol form by using bombs as a system of distributing the illness. Anthrax is one of the perfected forms of biological weaponry because of its spore protective stage. In the studies of Gromer, CliffWilson, Jim’s work Weapons Of Mass Destruction, “The bacterium is easy to cultivate and forms spores that are highly resistant to sunlight, heat and disinfectants. Theoretically, these spores could be delivered as an aerosol cloud or with an atomizing spray device from, say, an aircraft like those used for crop-dusting” (84). More complex forms of attacks would be bombs strapped to military planes and dropped over the area that was targeted for attack. Anthrax was delivered in the United States Postal mail with a letter stating that the reader will die of the infection if not treated by an antibiotic. Much of the world heard about the terroristic attack and took action to prevent infection. According to Decker and Alan’s book Anthrax Second Edition, “Following the 2001 outbreak, the United States Postal Service bought eight ‘e- beam’ irradiation machines. The machines use high voltage electron beams to kill bacteria” (104). This clarifies how steps were being taken by the federal government to protect the people of the United States from contracting anthrax through the United States Postal Service. Many believe that the need for protective machines in the United States Postal Service (USPS) increased the debt of that federal sector. Some think that the finance for this protection is what has influenced the disputed bankruptcy of the USPS. The education of the world helped in understanding the bacteria and tried to find methods in the past on how to prevent future infection.

The historical knowledge of the disease created a study on preventing death from the infectious germ. Scientists prepared the immunization procedures in many countries which were performed in laboratories. According to the researches of Ken MacDonald, et al, “Consensus among expert groups such as the U.S. IOM and the Cochrane Collaboration have concluded that the anthrax vaccination is safe” (836). This statement demonstrates that the federal government was in fact ready to take responsibility if the claims of the anthrax vaccination proved to be unsafe. People were vaccinated without the comfort of knowing that the vaccine was effective regardless to the minimal knowledge of possible side effects the anthrax vaccine created. According to Decker and Alan’s written work in Anthrax Second Edition, “The anthrax vaccine is currently given to people in at-risk occupations, including the military, health-care workers, and public safety personnel (firefighters and police)” (91). This clarifies that most members that have jobs with high risk of getting infected with anthrax, are under government mandate to receive the anthrax vaccination.

Warning signs started appearing due to reactions the public were complaining about dealing with anthrax vaccines. The military personnel in the United States Armed Forces have already been subjected to “2 million anthrax vaccinations” and “500 000 personnel” were reporting to their chain of command that they were experiencing health related problems because of these harmful injections (Owens 602). The recovery process was overlooked by military officials due to poor communication and/ or ineffective research. When given the anthrax vaccination, many members of the armed forces remained in the same routine physical training schedule without the ability to recuperate from the new injection plaguing their bodies and causing further health issues. Medical experts specifically write about how the anthrax vaccination “has not been proven safe” so fairness must be served for the mistakes done onto the people that received the vaccination and were forced to have routine work that was unadjusted in protecting them from damage.(Blanck 1327). Some military members as well as civilians may have had their daily routines increased and they might have hurt themselves worse in the process of doing regular routine work or training. Certain people believe the post medical injury complaints became an issue after members of the military were no longer in contract with the government and employees were no longer working for their companies. Several insurance companies became aware of the legal concerns of anthrax vaccinations so they took action to protect their companies.

Many insurance carriers placed life threatening lists in their policy as a form of covering themselves from law suits so that the public would not take legal actions against them. An example of the type of illness they would alert their members would be similar to “seizure (convulsions);” as an important alert, do not ignore, sign of anthrax vaccination reactions (Cigna 1). Along with many of the high-risk side effects listed by insurance carriers, they included low risk warnings for their customers to look out for. Furthermore, if any of the signs listed in the warning pages appear, the people suffering from the health related issues should seek medical attention as soon as possible. The controversy surrounding the vaccination increased the side effects list which many insurance carriers had originally posted from the first day the injection was authorized for usage. These health warnings created a red flag of concern to the public. The law had to intervene after protests multiplied to outrageous numbers.

The judicial system got involved in dealing with concerns for the people of the United States of America. The United States Secretary of Defense, “Rumsfeld ordered a 'pause' in anthrax vaccinations” because the situation with controversy on anthrax became too intense (Judge 1). Testimonies of citizens started to spread around the world by influence of the World Wide Web. Many of the affected would go on to tell their stories of the experiences they had dealing with the anthrax vaccine. Grievances of lawsuits in the United States gave concern of incorrect procedures done by the federal drug administration. The “Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA) is the” specialized form of anthrax that the Federal Drug Administration authorized to the public (McConnell 203). The federal judicial system ruled in favor of the people to stop mandatory vaccination shots in the military, public safety members, and workers in the insurance health field. When the ruling of the federal court ended, the people started to speak out, with minor fear of retaliation, against the injustice done to them by the federal government and employers.

Documentaries of people around the world were created as a form of testimony to the hardship that the anthrax vaccination destroyed their health. Some posted their concerns on blogs or websites. Many members sent letters directly to the federal government or contacted a lawyer for legal assistance. In the documentary Direct Order, a military helicopter pilot named Rhonda Wilson suffers from the effects of the anthrax vaccination as she states “nobody can help me” to the camera, the people who have had the effect of losing their health can fully understand her pain (Direct 342). Some members of the armed forces and civilians may have lost their job for refusing the anthrax vaccine. For members that fought against the right to preserve a healthy body, they could “have been spared the force ter-mination” that the government issued too many members as well as jail sentence time (Sidel 706). Many lives were destroyed by the technique of not following direct orders. Members of our society view military records and employment records as a judgment technique to see if the employee should be hired by the employer. The effectiveness of the anthrax vaccine was still questioned by the public, yet the concern for removing mandatory injections was resolved.

The question of whether the anthrax vaccine is effective is not considered an issue anymore. The new question is if the anthrax vaccine was worth risking the health of the people being injected. The anthrax vaccine destroyed the lives of many through dishonorable separations of military service and termination of employment. Many have felt helpless fighting for justice towards the federal government. The people of the world speak in concern that they feel unhealthy and affected by the injections they partook in. While the anthrax vaccine may have prevented the illness associated with biological weaponry, the history of these biological agents do not justify the need for a mandatory anthrax shot, the process of testing was not done correctly by the government, the rules and regulations that accompanied the approval of using the vaccination on a human life were done incorrectly from the beginning and the legal authorization and public agreement fought against the immunization. The health of the public was at risk and the testimonies of people declare the vaccine to have hurt them physically and mentally. The government politics of the United States of America injected their citizens with the anthrax vaccine in order to protect from biological concern. The only thing they protected was the wallets of the federal government in case a life insurance situation arose. They created the vaccination without the concern of the people’s future health. The people should be compensated for their health problems. The government should fund healthcare for those that believe they may be experiencing post health related issues related to anthrax vaccination. The federal government was created to help the people not for it to increase the size of their wallets. If the people cannot trust the government we placed in power for the good of our future, the people need to remove those in power so that humanity becomes the number one priority.



Works Cited

Blanck, Ronald R., Hillel W. Cohen, and Robert M. Gould. "Anthrax Vaccination Is Based On Medical Evidence." American Journal Of Public Health 90.8 (2000): 1326-1327. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 23 July 2012.

Decker, Janet, and D.C. Alan. Anthrax, Second Edition. New York: Chelsea House- Infobase Publishing, 2008. Infobase eBooks. Web. 8 July 2012. http://ebooks.infobaselearning.com/View.aspx?ISBN=9781438101316&InstID=1337.

Direct Order, prod. DIRECT ORDER! (Democracy Now! 06-04-03) Anthrax Vaccine PT.3. YouTube. YouTube, 10 Mar. 2010. Web. 28 June 2012.

Enserink, Martin. "Taking Anthrax's Genetic Fingerprints." Science 294.5548 (2001): 1810. Education Research Complete. Web. 23 July 2012.

Gromer, CliffWilson, Jim. "Weapons Of Mass Destruction. (Cover Story)." Popular Mechanics 175.6 (1998): 80. Military & Government Collection. Web. 29 July 2012.

Owens, Douglas K., et al. "Cost-Effectiveness Of Defending Against Bioterrorism: A Comparison Of Vaccination And Antibiotic Prophylaxis Against Anthrax." Annals Of Internal Medicine 142.8 (2005): 601-W-123. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 July 2012.

Jones, Susan D., “Death in a Small Package: A Short History of Anthrax. Baltimore: John Hopkins U P, 2010. Print.

“Judge Halts Forcing Of Anthrax Shots." New York Times 28 Oct. 2004: A20. Academic OneFile. Web. 8 July 2012.

MacDonald, Ken, et al. "Health Effects Of Anthrax Vaccination in the Canadian Forces." Military Medicine 169.10 (2004): 833-838. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 July 2012.

McConnell, Michael J., Philip C. Hanna, and Michael J. Imperiale. "Adenovirus-Based Prime-Boost Immunization for Rapid Vaccination Against Anthrax." Molecular Therapy 15.1 (2007): 203-210. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 July 2012.

Rajalakshmi, A., T. S. Renugadevi, and S. Gunasekaran. "Effect of Anthrax Spore Vaccine on Cattle -- A Spectroscopic Approach." International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review & Research 3.1 (2010): 19-22. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 July 2012.

Sidel, Victor, Hillel W. Cohen, and Robert M. Gould. "From Woolsorters To Mail Sorters: Anthrax Past, Present, And Future." American Journal Of Public Health 92.5 (2002): 705-706. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 23 July 2012.

“What is the most important information I should know about the anthrax vaccine” Anthrax Vaccine. Cigna, 2012. Web. 28 June. 2012