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The Anthrax Vaccine Ruling

The Anthrax Vaccine Ruling

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►December 22, 2003 - Judges Halt Forced Military Anthrax Shots - AP via Newsday - "The Pentagon must stop forcing servicemen and women to take the anthrax vaccination against their will, unless President Bush signs a special order, a judge ruled Monday...Millions of shots have been given and hundreds of service members have been punished for refusing them since the mandatory vaccinations started in 1998...The judge ruled that the anthrax vaccinations fell under a 1998 law prohibiting the use of certain experimental drugs unless people being given the drug consent or the president waives the consent requirement."

Comment: !!!!!!!

►December 22, 2003 - MEMORANDUM OPINION - John Doe #1 et al, Plaintiffs v. Donald H. Rumsfeld et al, Defendants - Decision re: forced anthrax vaccinations in the military

►December 22, 2003 - Judge Halts Military's Required Anthrax Shots (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

December 23, 2003 - Heeding Court Order, Pentagon Halts Anthrax Shots - Reuters via http://wireservice.wired.com

►December 23, 2003 - Vaccine Ruling - PBS - "A federal judge Monday ordered the Defense Dept. to stop administering anthrax vaccinations to U.S. troops without their consent. The Pentagon responded Tuesday that the practice is necessary to keep soldiers safe. Experts discuss the future of the Pentagon's anthrax vaccination program."

►December 23, 2003 - DOD Temporarily Stops Anthrax Vaccinations Pending Legal Clarification - Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program via www.anthrax.mil

►December 23, 2003 - DOCTORS: Anthrax vaccine decision right for military; now apply it to children. - Press Release - Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.

►December 23, 2003 - Federal judge: Anthrax vaccine not mandatory - Troops not meant to be 'guinea pigs' - www.delawareonline.com - "Sullivan's ruling could be of some help to a former Dover Air Force Base C-5 pilot who was honorably discharged in 2000 for refusing to be vaccinated. Former Air Force Maj. Sonnie Bates at one point faced a possible court martial for his refusal...A lawsuit challenging the vaccine filed by Bates in the Washington, D.C., court in 2001 was dismissed last year. But Sullivan's ruling could provide new grounds for Bates to seek reinstatement or restoration of the military pension he lost, said Bates' lawyer Mark Zaid, a Washington attorney also involved in the lawsuit that led to Sullivan's ruling Monday...'It's about time,' said Bates, now a civilian pilot. 'This may open the door for the walking wounded from this vaccine to get the health treatments they need and for some of the younger lieutenants, captains and airmen who had to end their careers because of this to rejoin the military.'"

►December 23, 2003 - Pentagon will obey ruling on anthrax - USA Today - "The Pentagon will abide by a federal judge's ruling and, at least for now, not give anthrax vaccine to troops who do not want it, a high-ranking Defense Department official said Tuesday...The official, who briefed reporters on the condition that he not be identified, said the vaccinations will continue for those troops who agree to them while the Justice Department, which represents the Pentagon, decides whether to appeal the ruling."

►December 23, 2003 - Myers: Troops Need Anthrax Vaccinations - Air Force Gen. Richard Myers Says Anthrax Vaccinations Important 'To Protect Troops' - AP via ABC News

►December 23, 2003 - Assistant Secretary of Defense Health Affairs William Winkenwerder Briefing - www.defenselink.mil

►December 23, 2003 - Pentagon Defends Anthrax Vaccine Program - Reuters via Wired - "Zaid said if the Pentagon deems the shots 'voluntary,' they must allow service members and civilian contractors directed to get them to opt out with no repercussions...'When the next person is ordered to line up for the shot, they have to, before they inject the shot, say, "Listen, if you don't want to take this, you don't have to." If that person says, "No," they say, "OK, move on." That's informed consent.'...If that was not done, 'then they are in violation of the judge's order and subject to contempt of court.'"

►December 23, 2003 - Anthrax Vaccine a Personal Choice for Military - Lansing’s Bioport Could See Sales Slide - www.wilx.com - "Bioport says it plans to appeal the decision."

►December 23, 2003 - Federal judge: Anthrax vaccine not mandatory - Troops not meant to be 'guinea pigs' - www.delawareonline.com - "Sullivan's ruling could be of some help to a former Dover Air Force Base C-5 pilot who was honorably discharged in 2000 for refusing to be vaccinated. Former Air Force Maj. Sonnie Bates at one point faced a possible court martial for his refusal...A lawsuit challenging the vaccine filed by Bates in the Washington, D.C., court in 2001 was dismissed last year. But Sullivan's ruling could provide new grounds for Bates to seek reinstatement or restoration of the military pension he lost, said Bates' lawyer Mark Zaid, a Washington attorney also involved in the lawsuit that led to Sullivan's ruling Monday...'It's about time,' said Bates, now a civilian pilot. 'This may open the door for the walking wounded from this vaccine to get the health treatments they need and for some of the younger lieutenants, captains and airmen who had to end their careers because of this to rejoin the military.'"

►December 23, 2003 - Anthrax ruling may not help local reservist - The Advocate, Newark - "An Ohio National Guard member from Granville could still go to jail and be discharged for refusing to take the anthrax vaccine, despite a federal judge's ruling Monday that the military no longer may force troops to take the shots against their will without an order of the president...'We are hopeful the national guard will respect the opinion of the federal court in Washington and no longer consider Kurt in violation,' said Kenneth Levine, Hickman's attorney...Hickman's father, Bill Hickman, said he was happy to hear about the federal judge's ruling...'All we wanted was for the prosecutor to observe the law,' Bill Hickman said. 'That's what this court case that just came down says -- they haven't observed the law because it's experimental.'"

►December 23, 2003 - Judge Assails Vaccine Plan Strikes Down Military's Mandatory Anthrax Shots (requires registration) - AP and www.ctnow.com - "The federal government approved the vaccine three decades ago. But plaintiffs in the class action suit - unidentified active duty, National Guard and civilian defense employees - say the license does not include approval for use against inhalation anthrax."

►December 23, 2003 - Anthrax Shots Require Consent, Military Told - Washington Post - "A federal judge in Washington yesterday ordered the Pentagon to stop administering an anthrax vaccine to U.S. service members without their consent, ruling that defense officials cannot require troops to 'serve as guinea pigs for experimental drugs.'...Sullivan said he was not persuaded by arguments from Pentagon lawyers that administering the vaccine on a voluntary basis would interfere with military operations in Iraq and elsewhere. But if they believe that is the case, the judge said, federal law gives them the option of obtaining a presidential waiver of service members' right to informed consent. Such a waiver, Sullivan wrote, 'would be an expeditious end to this controversy.'"

►December 23, 2003 - Judge Halts Forced Military Anthrax Shots - Judge Tells U.S. to Stop Forcing Military Personnel to Get Anthrax Vaccine if They Don't Want It - AP via ABC News - "A court ruling against forcing soldiers to take anthrax vaccinations raises the question of whether officials should reconsider the punishments given those who refused the shots...Ruling that some use of the vaccine is experimental, a federal judge said Monday that servicemen and women should not have to take the vaccine unless they consent."

►December 23, 2003 - Vaccines in the News - War Declared Over Anthrax Vaccine/Flu Panic and Profits - by Randall Neustaedter OMD - Natural Health Newsletter

►December 23, 2003 - Pentagon will obey ruling on anthrax - USA Today - "The Pentagon will abide by a federal judge's ruling and, at least for now, not give anthrax vaccine to troops who do not want it, a high-ranking Defense Department official said Tuesday...The official, who briefed reporters on the condition that he not be identified, said the vaccinations will continue for those troops who agree to them while the Justice Department, which represents the Pentagon, decides whether to appeal the ruling."

►December 23, 2003 - Myers: Troops Need Anthrax Vaccinations - Air Force Gen. Richard Myers Says Anthrax Vaccinations Important 'To Protect Troops' - AP via ABC News

►December 24, 2003 - No Place for an Experiment - LA Times Editorial - "Soldiers have a special obligation to stay fit and ready to defend their nation. Even so, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan was right to recognize that military fitness does not extend to a requirement that all soldiers get controversial anthrax vaccinations."

►December 24, 2003 - Anthrax shots should not be forced on members of military - The Daily Telegram - "It’s true that when you join the military you have to follow government requirements and live by the rules of the service you’ve chosen. But such rules should not include being forced to get an anthrax vaccination. On Monday, a federal judge wisely ruled that the Pentagon cannot require military personnel to get the vaccinations unless they agree to it."

►December 24, 2003 - Anthrax Vaccinations Suspended - Program for Military On Hold While Legalities Are Explored - Washington Post

►December 24, 2003 - Soldiers no longer receiving Anthrax vaccinations - www.wfsb.com - "Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., said he will ask the Defense Department to immediately begin a review of all disciplinary actions taken against service members who refused the vaccines, including the more than 200 who were court-martialed...Shays, who conducted a number of hearings on the issue in his Government Reform subcommittee on national security, said he will draft legislation requiring the review if DOD fails to do one...'This decision ends years of coercive practices that has spanned two administrations and shaken the faith of many in the integrity of military medicine and command decision-making,' Shays said."

►December 24, 2003 - Pentagon Criticizes Ruling Halting Troops' Anthrax Shots - LA Times - "Senior Pentagon officials on Tuesday heatedly defended the military's practice of requiring troops to get anthrax vaccinations, and said a federal judge who ordered a stop to the shots was wrong to accuse the military of treating soldiers like 'guinea pigs.'"

►December 24, 2003 - Defense Dept. Halts Anthrax Vaccinations - The New York Times

►December 24, 2003 - Judge rules US troops were 'guinea pigs' for anthrax jabs - www.theage.com.au

December 24, 2003 - When it comes to vaccines, let soldiers call the shots - Commentary, Chicago Sun-Times - "Soldiers must obey orders. Normally that would begin and end our thinking regarding the U.S. military's desire to inoculate its troops against anthrax...But the military, which has performed so skillfully and admirably during warfare, has a terrible record when it comes to guarding the health of its personnel off the battlefield, and has lost the right to dictate, unquestioned, what troops should be required to automatically undergo."

►December 26, 2003 - Pentagon: Anthrax shots suspended - Stars and Stripes - "Such was the confusion earlier this week among the Pentagon’s leadership that Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, stood behind the Pentagon’s lectern Tuesday afternoon and refused to say whether the department planned to obey the judge’s order."

►December 26, 2003 - Local Soldier Given Anthrax Vaccine - www.kpvi.com - "Wednesday, a U.S. district judge ordered the military to stop adminstering the anthrax vaccine to service members without their consent until a trial can be held on the matter. Plaintiffs in the case argue that the anthrax vaccine is being used as an experimental drug...But for one local Air Force member, the ruling may have come too late. Bryan Latham explains...'Last Christmas Eve, they had to have an ambulance come and get me because my wife thought that I was dying because I stopped breathing and my eyes rolled in the back of my head.'...It is just one of the many traumas Vance Wasden lives through. But it wasn't always like this..."

►December 26, 2003 - Give It A Shot - Make vaccine voluntary and hope for best - www.fayettevillenc.com - "Anthrax protection has become such a headache for the military that a federal judge's decision to stop the Pentagon from ordering immunizations should come as a relief...The Department of Defense should leave his decision unchallenged. It's a no-win argument. The public debate about the vaccine long ago left the realm of reasonable concern and entered the bizarre."

►December 26, 2003 - Defense Department Seeks Court Approval To Continue Illegal Vaccination Program - Requests Court To Limit Injunction To Six Plaintiffs - Press Release - "'The DoD's Motion seeks to turn the Court's ruling into a farcical exercise. The vaccination cannot be illegal for one person but legal for another, unless informed consent is obtained,' said Mark S. Zaid, Esq., the Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. law firm of Krieger & Zaid, PLLC, and co-counsel in the litigation. Zaid added that while he understood the legal arguments asserted by the Justice Department to limit the scope of the decision, the effort violates the spirit of the decision, if not the letter of the law.

►December 27, 2003 - U.S. Seeks Military Anthrax Clarification - Justice Department Asks Judge to Clarify Ban on Military Anthrax Shots - AP via ABC News

December 27, 2003 - Anthrax protester wants the Marines to apologize - www.signonsandiego.com - "Anthony Fusco would like the Marine Corps to say it's sorry and then some...The Camp Pendleton Marine was demoted from corporal to lance corporal this year for initially refusing to be vaccinated for anthrax...Now a federal judge has ruled that the Pentagon's mandatory vaccination program is illegal, and the program was temporarily halted this week...Fusco, 23, feels he's been vindicated, and he's upset about the reduction in rank and loss of pay."

►December 27, 2003 - U.S. Asks Judge to Lift His Ban on Pentagon's Anthrax Vaccination Program - "The Justice Department has asked a federal district judge here to withdraw his preliminary injunction halting the military's mandatory anthrax vaccination program, or at least limit his ruling to the six plaintiffs whose suit prompted it."

►December 27, 2003 - Marine Upset With Demotion After Refusing Anthrax Vaccine - Demoted Marine Wants Settlement For Service Member Who Refused Vaccine - www.nbcsandiego.com

December 27, 2003 - Airing anthrax - Editorial, The Salt Lake Tribune - "The question of whether anthrax vaccine used during the first Gulf War caused or contributed to the set of ailments referred to as Gulf War Syndrome is unresolved. Up to 20,000 veterans of that conflict continue to suffer memory loss, fatigue, rashes and muscle and joint pains and still are trying to get compensation from the Department of Defense for their medical expenses. So it is easy to see why today's troops balk at taking the vaccine when so many questions remain unanswered."

►December 28, 2003 - GIs in Iraq have mixed reactions on halt to anthrax shots - Stars & Stripes - "But one thing the military assured them they would have some protection against was the specter of anthrax: Before deploying here, each and every U.S. soldier had to take an anti-anthrax vaccine...But after U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued a ruling Dec. 22 that ordered the military to stop requiring soldiers take the vaccine, the word in the desert is mixed."

December 29, 2003 - New drug could beat anthrax poison - UPI via Washington Times - "A U.S. discovery could produce a drug to counter the deadly effects of the anthrax toxin, the BBC said Tuesday...Experts from Harvard Medical School have found six chemicals which they believe could stop a toxin called "lethal factor" getting into cells. In the journal Nature Structural Biology, they say a drug could be more useful than mass vaccination."

►December 29, 2003 - Opt-Out Military - Hysteria leads to judicial overreach — and national-security danger. - National Review Online - "In fact, extensive epidemiological studies have shown that Gulf vets are just as healthy as matched vets who didn't deploy and healthier than matched civilians. They are somewhat less likely to have died thannon-deployed vets and are dying at less than half the rate of the general population. This is not only the case here, but in the U.K. as well. There is no GWS."

December 29, 2003 - Troop anthrax shots in question - North County Times - "At least two local Marines remain in legal limbo as federal officials and a Washington district court judge wrangle over whether the military can force members of the armed services to take anthrax vaccinations...The two Marines refused to take mandatory inoculations a year ago and have since faced stiff punishment for refusing direct orders. One claims to have suffered intimidation and even a death threat from his superiors for refusing the vaccine."

December 29, 2003 - Compounds stop anthrax toxin: studies - www.cbc.ca - "Researchers have discovered a way to stop a deadly anthrax toxin in tests on cells. They say it could lead to new ways of treating the disease...Rather than vaccinating whole populations, a therapeutic combination of antibiotics and protease inhibitor drugs would need to be used only in actual cases, Cantley said."

December 29, 2003 - A dose of restraint ordered for Pentagon - Opinion, The Virginia-Pilot - "Air Force Gen. Richard Myers said of the vaccine, 'It’s not experimental. It has been approved by the FDA.'...Yes, but only for cutaneous anthrax...And one attorney who worked on the case told The Washington Post that the only thing Pentagon officials received from the FDA to bolster their claim was the personal opinion of a political appointee, not full agency sanction that the shot can be used against both types of anthrax.

December 30, 2003 - FDA's Issuance of Final Rule Concerning Anthrax Vaccine Reflective of Legal Gamesmanship - 18 Year Delay In Issuing Final Rule Calls Into Question FDA Conduct - Press Release, Mark S. Zaid, Esq. and John J. Michels, Jr., Esq.

December 30, 2003 - Pocatello woman helps stop mandatory anthrax vaccinations - Idaho State Journal - "A Pocatello woman helped influence the decision when she refused to take the anthrax vaccine last March. Sarah Holder, a former soldier at Fort Lewis, Wash., and Pocatello native, took a general discharge under honorable conditions Nov. 29 ending her five-year military career in communications...Holder, who now lives in Portland, Ore., told the Seattle P-I Tuesday she might try to have her discharge upgraded to honorable."

December 30, 2003 - Anthrax Toxin Inhibitor Identified; Findings Could Lead To More Effective Therapy For Deadly Agent - Harvard Medical School via ScienceDaily

December 30, 2003 - FDA Says Anthrax Vaccine Safe for Troops - Reuters - "The anthrax vaccine is safe for use in protecting U.S. troops against inhaled exposure to the potentially deadly bacteria, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday...'The FDA-approved labeling for the anthrax vaccine does not specify the route of exposure, and the vaccine is indicated for active immunization against Bacillus anthracis, independent of the route of exposure,' it said in a statement...It also said an expert panel put together by the independent Institute of Medicine had found the vaccine to be safe."

Comment:  It is hard to believe that the plaintiffs could have argued, and the judge would have accepted, that the vaccine was only approved for cutaneous use, if the labeling, in fact, did "not specify the route of exposure".  Stay tuned.

December 30, 2003 - Court To Rule On Marines' Anthrax Vaccinations - One Marine Court-Martialed, Another Awaits Trial - www.nbcsandiego.com

December 31, 2003 - Pentagon's past errors heighten vaccine fears - PalmBeachPost.com - "The Pentagon's shameful record of stonewalling active military members and veterans about toxic exposures inspires no confidence in the claim that the vaccinations are safe. Soldiers have been guinea pigs many times before."

December 31, 2003 - F.D.A. Rules Shots Effective for Anthrax That Is Inhaled (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "In its statement on Tuesday, the F.D.A. said the new 'final rule and order' made clear that it 'does not regard the approved anthrax vaccine as investigational for protection against inhalation anthrax.' The new determination, the statement said, was 'relevant and should be considered in any further litigation in this matter.'...But Mark S. Zaid, a lawyer who is challenging the Pentagon's mandatory anthrax vaccine program, said the timing of the announcement was driven by politics, not science...'This alleged final rule is nothing more than after-the-fact gamesmanship to overrule the court's findings,' he said in a telephone interview. 'It appears reflective more of policy duress than independent analysis.'

December 31, 2003 - FDA Issues Final Rule And Final Order Regarding Safety And Efficacy Of Certain Licensed Biological Products Including Anthrax Vaccine - FDA via ScienceDaily - "To complete the review of the safety and effectiveness of certain bacterial vaccines and toxoids licensed before July, 1972, FDA today issued a final rule and order that makes final determinations concerning the safety and effectiveness of such products and amends certain biologics regulations. The final order states FDA's conclusion that the licensed anthrax vaccine, Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed, is safe and effective for the prevention of anthrax disease - regardless of the route of exposure."

Comment:  How conVENient.

►January 2, 2004 - U.S. Army Buys $30 Million in Anthrax Shots - Reuters - "The Defense Department announced on Friday a $29.7 million order for anthrax vaccine based on the assumption that a federal judge's ban on mandatory inoculations will be reversed...Privately held BioPort Corp. of Lansing, Michigan, was awarded the Army order on Wednesday as part of a $245.6 million contract, the Pentagon said."

Comment:  If this isn't arrogance of power and doesn't show contempt for the taxpayer, I don't know what does.

January 3, 2004 - Guardsman who refused vaccine to be deployed - AP via www.newarkadvocate.com - "An Ohio National Guard member convicted of disobeying a direct order by refusing to be vaccinated against anthrax is expected to be deployed next week with his unit, the guard said Friday."

January 5, 2004 - No longer a threat (Editorial) - AirForceTimes.com - "The Defense Department’s mandatory anthrax vaccination program has been snakebit from its inception...Now, in the face of a U.S. District judge in Washington who ordered the Pentagon to stop forcing service members to take the anthrax shots, the Pentagon has backed down. For now."

January 5, 2004 - Anthrax ruling a victory for local mom - Missoula woman says judge's decision isn't end of fight over vaccine - Missoulian Online - "'I went looking on the Internet for something that was not hysterical, not emotional; I wanted facts,' says Hubbell, who runs a public relations firm out of her Missoula home. 'I found that when I came across the site sponsored by Maj. Sonnie Bates.'...Bates, Hubbell says, is the highest-ranking officer to refuse the anthrax vaccine, costing him his military career...'His letter to his commanding officer explaining why he would not take it had a military precision to it,' she says. "'t was just fact, fact, fact, fact. It convinced me there was a real problem here, and I had to get involved. The people this is affecting can have their pay docked, be demoted, be court-martialed. They can't speak up, so I figured it's up to the parents to do it.'

►January 5, 2004 - Full story needs airing on military anthrax vaccine (Editorial) - www.pantagraph.com - "Having 800,000 service people vaccinated without positive proof that the vaccines caused any deaths would seem to be sufficient evidence to continue the program for service people heading into areas where the threat of anthrax might be high...However, the problems the manufacturer had with the FDA suggests a full court hearing should be conducted to bring out all of the facts surrounding the manufacturing process before any members of the armed forces are required to take more shots. This hearing should be scheduled quickly."

►January 6, 2004 - Some await anthrax shot antidote - The Daily News - "James Muhammad says that those who check his record will see he was a good Marine. An honor graduate from several military courses, he also received at least one meritorious promotion. In only two years and 11 months, he was promoted to sergeant on Nov. 1, 2002 - a rapid rise through the chain of command...Muhammad refused to take the vaccine. Less than six months later, on April 9, 2003, he was sentenced to 60 days in the brig, demoted to the rank of private and received a bad conduct discharge. He was jailed, strip-searched and housed with violent criminals."

 

►January 6, 2004 - Anthrax Vaccine Litigants To File Class-action Complaint Against DOD (requires subscription) - www.insidedefense.com - "Plaintiffs challenging the Pentagon’s 5-year-old mass inoculation program against anthrax will amend their complaint within the next 24 hours to include a class-action certification, according to one of the lead attorneys...The move constitutes the latest salvo in a legal tit-for-tat with the Bush administration following a federal judge’s Dec. 22 injunction against mandatory anthrax inoculations, which the Defense Department gives military personnel serving abroad in regions where they may face a biological threat."

 

►January 6, 2004 - Commentary: Senseless ‘opt-out’ anthrax ruling must be reversed - The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News - "The decision of Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the D.C. District Court, which will be binding until the full court can hear the trial or the Supreme Court overturns it, was based on 1998 federal legislation that says service members cannot be forced to take experimental drugs...Granted, it was a piece of bad legislation based not on scientific evidence but rather on kowtowing to “Gulf War Syndrome” activists."

 

►January 7, 2004 - Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program Resumption (pdf) - Memorandum for Secretaries of the Military Departments; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Under Secretaries of Defense; Assistant Secretaries of Defense; General Counsel of the Department of Defense; Inspector General, Department of Defense; Directors of Defense Agencies; Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard - www.dod.mil - "Therefore you should immediately resume the anthrax vaccination program."

 

►January 7, 2004 - Judge OKs military anthrax vaccinations - Santa Maria Times - "A federal judge Wednesday allowed the military to resume anthrax inoculations, although he questioned the timing of a government announcement declaring the vaccine safe."

►January 7, 2004 - Judge OKs military anthrax vaccinations - A federal judge cleared the way Wednesday for the Pentagon to resume vaccinating military personnel against anthrax after lifting his injunction against the mandatory inoculation program. - CNN - U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan granted a motion from Defense Department attorneys to limit the effect of his vaccine ban to the six plaintiffs who are suing the government...'In the absence of a proven correlate of immunity between humans and animals, specific to anthrax infection, the FDA's Final Rule's reliance on animal data is illegal, and reflects an arbitrary and capricious decision. Therefore, the government's victory today may only be fleeting,' said attorney Mark Zaid."

►January 8, 2004 - Judge clears anthrax shots in the military - The Daily News -  "Geld said the matter has been under review by the FDA for more than two decades...'These deliberations have been going on for years,' Geld said. 'The timing is not related to the ruling. It just so happened that it came out now.'"

►January 8, 2004 - Judge Decides Pentagon Can Resume Anthrax Vaccinations (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "In his two-page order issued on Wednesday, Judge Sullivan wrote, 'Although the timing of the issuance of the rule is arguably highly suspicious, nevertheless, the rule has been issued and the principle reason for the issuance of the injunction has been addressed by the government.'...Mr. Zaid, a plaintiffs' lawyer, said after the court action that the agency's rule should be interpreted as an admission that the vaccine 'was being used illegally by the Department of Defense before that time.' He said any military personnel or Pentagon civilians penalized for refusing the mandatory vaccine 'were unjustly punished.'"

►January 8, 2004 - Judge Reverses Anthrax Ruling - Pentagon May Resume Vaccinating Members of Military - "Zaid said he will soon ask Sullivan to reissue an order blocking mandatory anthrax inoculations because the FDA's approval of the vaccine was itself flawed, based only on animal research. Another government investigation of the vaccine, being carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and based on human research, will not be completed until 2007, he said."

►January 9, 2004 - BioPort wins $245 million contract to supply anthrax vaccine - AP via www.mlive.com - "BioPort Corp. said Friday that it has entered into a three-year, $245 million contract with the Pentagon to provide anthrax vaccine following a government ruling that the vaccine is safe...The Lansing, Mich.-based company has been the nation's sole supplier of an anthrax vaccine for years but has struggled with safety and reliability issues. BioPort President Bob Kramer said Friday the contract 'demonstrates the Pentagon's faith in our company.'"

January 9, 2004 - Pentagon Advisers Review Troop Vaccine Safety - Global Security Newswire via www.nti.org - "A U.S. Defense Department advisory board is reviewing the military’s practice of giving soldiers multiple, simultaneous vaccinations to protect them from certain biological agents and natural diseases...Ellen Embrey, deputy assistant secretary of defense for force health protection and readiness, last October requested the review by the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB), which is composed of top civilian experts from around the country. The board is expected to present its findings at a regular meeting next month...The request was made while a subcommittee of the board and another panel were investigating a possible relationship between military-administered vaccines and the illnesses or deaths of four personnel."

►January 13, 2004 - Granville soldier still embroiled in anthrax dispute - The Newark Advocate - "As a battle over the safety of anthrax vaccines heats up, Spec. Kurt Hickman of Granville is left with few clues on how his refusal to take the vaccine will affect his military future...'I think it is only a matter of time before he is asked to take it again,' said Hickman's attorney Kenneth Levine. And if Hickman again refuses -- and Levine would expect him to -- he could face a second court martial hearing, this time by the Army."

►January 15, 2004 - Ohio National Guard soldier again refuses anthrax vaccine - Mansfield News Journal - "An Ohio National Guard member again refused an anthrax vaccine Wednesday, an action that could trigger his court-martial or administrative discharge, his lawyer said...Spc. Kurt Hickman said he feels it’s illegal for the government to force his vaccination, lawyer Kenneth Levine said."

►January 2004 - “DoD and the Anthrax Vaccine” - message from William Winkenwerder, Jr., MD, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs - www.anthrax.mil - "I want to address the recent controversy created by a U.S. District Court decision December 22 to order a preliminary injunction against our anthrax program and the subsequent lifting of that injunction, January 7. Although the litigation has not been finally resolved, we are pleased the Court lifted the preliminary injunction. DoD is now vaccinating service members again to protect them against the threat of anthrax. The facts, the best medical science, and the FDA’s December 30 final rule, fully support all of DoD’s actions and speak for themselves."

The Institute of Medicine Weighs in on Anthrax Vaccine; DOD Scores A Knockout - (But read the report, and the Institute doesn't have a leg to stand on) - by Meryl Nass, MD - www.anthrax.org - "The report's conclusions rely on ignoring many pieces of crucial information, and its recommendations give the Department of Defense everything it could have wanted. The report appears to be “spun” to support a number of DOD initiatives, and it provides the needed justification for restarting mandatory anthrax vaccinations over the objections of many in Congress...Strong words. Can I back them up?...If the government may be culpable for making its own soldiers sick, don't hold your breath waiting for the government-sponsored science that will prove it."

Direct Order - "Direct Order tells the story of members of the military who were ordered against their will to receive the controversial anthrax vaccine. Years later, after all the disturbing facts about the vaccine have surfaced, the US military still intends to vaccinate all our troops." - documentary narrated by Michael Douglas 

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