There is an FDA-licensed safe and effective vaccine for anthrax, but it requires six doses over an 18-month time period and an annual booster.
Although groups initially considered for preexposure vaccination for bioterrorism preparedness included emergency first responders, federal responders, medical practitioners, and private citizens, vaccination of these groups is not recommended. However, for the military and other select populations or for groups for which a calculable risk can be assessed, preexposure vaccination may be indicated.
If concern exists that persons entering an area of a previous B. anthracis release might be at risk for exposure from a re-release of a primary aerosol of the organism or exposure from a high concentration of settled spores in a specific area, initiation of prophylaxis should be considered with antibiotics alone or in combination with anthrax vaccine.
Additional information about anthrax is available at the College's Bioterrorism Resource Center.
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