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Below is an article I received in a daily military news source (kinda like the Early Bird)....

Hartford Courant
> June 6, 2002
> Pg. 8
> Officials Urge Amnesty In Anthrax Vaccine Refusals
> By Thomas D. Williams, Courant Staff Writer
> Dozens of federal and state officials are calling for amnesty for hundreds
> of people who were punished or drummed out of the military for refusing to
> participate in a mandatory anthrax vaccine program that has since been all
> but dropped.
> U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4th District, supports amnesty, as do other
> state officials, including Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.
> "We have lost hundreds and hundreds of good men and women who left the
> service or took a court martial or other punishment for refusing this
> vaccine," said Shays. "They [Pentagon officials] have a moral obligation
> to allow those who were punished and those who left to come back to the
> military in good standing. They have an absolute moral obligation, with no
> escape clause, to care for those who got ill from this vaccine."
> Wednesday two Connecticut Air Force Reserve majors -- Thomas Rempfer and
> Russell Dingle -- said the anthrax program is effectively dead. Despite
> now having a plentiful new supply of anthrax vaccine, the military plans
> instead to use antibiotics whenever they believe soldiers may have been
> exposed to anthrax and is developing a new vaccine, a process that could
> take years, said Dingle.
> The veteran pilots were forced out of the Windsor Locks-based Air National
> Guard in January 1999 after their official inquiry recommended against the
> vaccine's use here. The Pentagon has expressed doubts for months about
> continuing the program.
> "The soldiers did not want to take the vaccine because it originated from
> a plant that was shut down by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration," said
> Rempfer. "The newest label for the vaccine shows it has 175 times greater
> an adverse reaction rate than the rate on the old label the soldiers
> relied upon when they first took the shots," he said.
> Blumenthal's recommendation to reconsider decisions that led to forcing
> Dingle, Rempfer and others out of the Guard was rejected months ago. "The
> most recent [Pentagon] moves certainly reinforce all of the critical
> comments about the vaccine and the need to revisit the unfairness of some
> of the decisions to punish certain personnel," Blumenthal said Wednesday.
> The Pentagon announced Wednesday an even more limited use of the vaccine
> only for designated special mission units and manufacturing, military and
> research personnel. Col. Randy Randolph, a Pentagon spokesman, said the
> department "is still considering its options pending a potential [anthrax
> vaccine] policy change."
> "Military and civilian judges uniformly have found orders for members to
> be vaccinated to be lawful orders," said another Pentagon spokesman, James
> Turner. "We expect service members to comply with lawful orders ... as for
> any other mandatory vaccination."
> In April, Shays and U.S. Reps. Benjamin Gilman, R-New York, and Dan
> Burton, R-Indiana, wrote Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to urge
> once again a halt in the vaccine program. The anthrax vaccine, they told
> Rumsfeld, "may cause chronic autoimmune disorders, birth defects,
> miscarriages and infertility."
> Only 528,000 service members out of 2.4 million have been vaccinated, and
> not all have received all the necessary doses and booster shots.

In a similar article I read in the Air Force Times today, looks like they are keeping the anthrax vaccine to pretty much those who need it who are in those "hot spots" because now it is a civilian threat as well so a lot of the vaccine will be going to civilians. Hence the entire military force may never end up getting the least, it will be a lot longer than originally planned. That's good news for the likes of CaveGirl! :) (and I must say that I overwhemingly agree with this new distribution strategy, as well, Cavegirl!)
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