US First Responders to Be Supplied With Anthrax Vaccines

Created on Monday, 28 September 2015

The US is considering the introduction of new legislation, which would supply first responders with anthrax vaccines.

According to the First Responder Anthrax Preparedness Act, anthrax vaccines would be made available to first responders on a voluntary basis. Only surplus or vaccines close to their expiration date would be made available to first responders. Each year nearly 4 million doses expire unused. The new legislation ensures that they would be put to good use by ensuring that first responders are prepared in the case of future anthrax attacks similar to the ones that took place in 2001.

The new legislation envisions a two-year pilot program, during which vaccines would be distributed to first responders. During the pilot program, vaccine providers would be selected, medical personnel would be trained to administer the vaccines and an economic analysis of the program would be carried out. Overall, the pilot program would last for 18 months, which is roughly the time amount necessary to carry out the “priming series” of the standard anthrax vaccine. Once the priming series is complete, the vaccine recipients receive booster shots annually in order to sustain immunity.

More information is available here.