October 25, 2001
12:43 AM   Subscribe

A few years back I remember seeing a news report asking whether adverse reactions to Anthrax vaccination during the Gulf War was responsible for Persian Gulf War Syndrome. How come no one is talking about this now?

If congress or the media start clambering for Anthrax Vaccinations, will anyone remember the adverse side effects suspected by many soldiers and scientists? Yes the FDA approved the Anthrax Vaccine, but there are still many questions about it's safety. The military is not unaware of the ongoing debate, but The FDA does not have an unblemished record.

This is all getting very X-Files... (scroll down to 1991)
posted by joemaller (13 comments total)

persian or gulf war syndrome is a condition that has been noted in soldiers returning from major conflicts for nearly a hundred years. It may or may not have been exacerbated by the numerous vaccinations received by the soldiers before the outbreak of hostilities. Indeed the number of simoultaneous vaccinations may in some way be responsible for this syndrome. However, during this period of mass hysteria over anthrax certainly vaccination would be a huge over-reaction indeed the panic buying of antibiotics is distinctly unhelpful "in cipro we trust". There is nothing like making a drama out of a crisis.
posted by johnnyboy at 1:15 AM on October 25, 2001

I've had the anthrax vaccine, the full regime. It made me sick as hell - all four shots. Does that imply it's gonna work? Nobody knows. I DO know, however, that no one has said anything about mass vaccinations for athrax. You've stated IF congress or the media starts clamoring for vaccinations... nothing like being inflammatory, huh?

And give me a break, when I was getting shot in the shoulder with an Antrax vaccine two years ago in the Persian Gulf (where by the way, America has been engaged in a war for the past 10 years) you didn't say or think a damn thing about it.
posted by matty at 1:20 AM on October 25, 2001

I think "Gulf War Syndrome" had more to do with the use of DU (Depleted Uranium) then it did Anthrax...

The full DU story at the Depleted Uranium Education Project.
posted by dawiz at 1:24 AM on October 25, 2001

From NATO:

To date, the scientific and medical research continues to disprove any link between Depleted Uranium and the reported negative health effects.

But then again....
posted by youthbc1 at 1:37 AM on October 25, 2001

America has been engaged in both overt and covert operations
in the middle east for a lot longer than ten years, maybe the shah and batista swap ancedotes...........
posted by johnnyboy at 2:59 AM on October 25, 2001

The much-hated (here) CNN covered this quite a bit tonight, and lots of people do still think it was the Anthrax vaccine, yes, including a very very interesting military guy who was discharged honorably for refusing to take the vaccine. His contention was that the company who made it (bio-something) made it wrong and it hadn't been tested enough I believe. Very interesting stuff, and so yep, some people are talking about it now, I've heard several mentions of it lately.
posted by beefula at 3:03 AM on October 25, 2001

It seems to me that whenever I see "Why isn't this being covered" that it turns out it IS being covered but just not by anything the poster watches or reads. I saw CNN, BBC America, FoxNews and MSNBC cover this within the last two days.
posted by revbrian at 3:27 AM on October 25, 2001

does happen revbrian, google had plenty to offer.
Research into gulf war syndrome has not been encouraged by governments or military organisations. Makes you wonder...
posted by asok at 4:47 AM on October 25, 2001

talking about xfiles, check out this site
posted by arnab at 5:17 AM on October 25, 2001

the company who made it (bio-something)

That would be BioPort, here in Lansing.
posted by iceberg273 at 6:52 AM on October 25, 2001

Not up to front page snuff, but Josh Marshall has some great anthrax speculation today.
posted by Mid at 7:42 AM on October 25, 2001

The biggest thing I'd be worried about from an Antrax vaccine is my intense allergies to anything that makes spores.

I'm also not the only one who has allergies like that...
posted by SpecialK at 7:50 AM on October 25, 2001

My only thought here is that perhaps the amateurish-seeming anthrax letter campaign was in fact a sly, very very strategic one-two punch (as they're calling it) in the al-Qaeda style. What if they want us to start using our anthrax vaccine on postal workers ... then use a nasty, weaponized anthrax bomb (like the Japanese did in Manchuria) on our troops? Hmmmm. Probably needless paranoia.

Really, I don't think it's al-Qaeda; this smells more like the Unabomber to me. Just something to think about.
posted by dhartung at 9:18 AM on October 25, 2001

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