Anthrax vaccine

AGuyThatFlys

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Soliciting opinions regarding the anthrax vaccine from any current military. Good, bad, perceived effect on career? Especially looking for opinions from ANG, pilots for the reserves, with civilian airline careers.

A little history: I left the active duty Navy in 1995 (a ship driver) just when DOD was starting up mandatory anthrax vaccines. Didn't pay much attention to the controversy surrounding it since I was leaving the military.

Fast forward 10 years. Now I'm Navy reserve, mobilized and in the Sandbox. Before leaving I just landed a job at Skywest as an FO. Our corpsmen gave a mandatory brief on the anthrax vaccination program which, to me, went like this:

1. Weaponized anthrax will kill you if you're not immunized. Flash Powerpoint slides of chances of dying without the shots; include a couple of autopsy photos of anthrax victims. I was waiting for someone to jump out and go "BOO"!

2. But, due to a court order, DOD can't make you take the shot. It's totally voluntary, you won't be punished or court-martialed for refusal--however, for your own good, and the good of your unit, see #1.

Remembering the story of the AF flight surgeon who resigned rather than take the shot, I went on the web and did a little research. Everything I found on Google that was pro-anthrax vaccine was linked to an Office of the SECDEF or DOD website. The rest were veterinarian sites, news links or anti-anthrax vaccine sites. The ones that really bothered me described pilots and flight crew grounded for months due to apparent side-effects of the vaccine, and the 114 adverse reactions at Dover AFB in the late '90s.

Considering all the hard work, time and money going from zero hours to professional pilot, I don't want to risk losing my medical, no matter how slight the risk. But, I also feel my days in the reserves are numbered if I refuse the shot, voluntary or not. I also hear that the DOD is appealing the ruling, and wants to make the anthrax vaccine mandatory again.

Thanks for your input.
 

jetjock19

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Well I first got the shots starting in 03'. I went all the way up to the 6th and final shot when they banned it for awhile. So its been two years since the shots and I haven't had any side effects to the vaccine. I am in the desert now and am not sure if i want to continue with my last shot and do a booster. I have been good to go so far and want to continue that. Then again, I am in an area that would be wise to get my last shot. But the initial shots had no effect on me yet. I would say go ahead and do it. Just to be on the safe side and to please those forcing it on you.
 

pkober

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I have taken 5 of the six. All off of the "schedule". I won't take anymore. I don't have any bad theories about the shot. I just think the DoD has no idea what they are doing when they administer this shot. First they tell you that you have to stay on the schedule then they drop the all important schedule at the drop of a hat. What gives!?!

That being said. I have had no side effects. I evah dah on edis effects. What were we talking about, I can't remember. Just kidding.

I also don't know of a single person who has had a grounding side effect. Personally I had far worse side effects from the small pox shot. Stay away from that one if you can because that is 100 x worse than any anthrax shot.

Given the option, I wouldn't take it.

Good Luck.

CLAMBAKE
 

YGBSM

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AGuyThatFlys said:
1. Weaponized anthrax will kill you if you're not immunized.
Weapons grade anthrax will kill you even if you are immunized.
 

pkober

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YGBSM,

Nice avatar! That is the same guys, with the same helmet from my UPT class, 9508, patch.

Awesome.

CLAMBAKE
 

Huggyu2

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3 shots complete, then the program when on hold. No side effects yet (other than the rapid blinking and drooling).
However, I plan to stiff-arm any further attempts to take the rest of the shots. Agree with others that DoD is not savvy on this, and the FDA can't be trusted to be unbiased (reference immunizations for children and thimerisol preservatives).
 

viper548

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i've had 6 with no effects. 2 out of about 200 in my squadron have had reactions other than the burning feeling that kicks in right as you walk out of the hospital. They both had rashes, that went away after a few days. Given the choice, I wouldn't bother taking more shots. We haven't found anything over there yet, and from what I've heard any anthrax that would be used against us would likely be a strain the vaccine doesn't protect against (like the flu shots we get every year).
I'm an E-5 loadmaster on the C-5 and also fly for SkyWest
 

fredflyer

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I had all six and one booster and haven't had anyya['[ansduifpoianduyyyyyyyyy
 

AGuyThatFlys

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viper548 said:
i've had 6 with no effects. 2 out of about 200 in my squadron have had reactions other than the burning feeling that kicks in right as you walk out of the hospital. They both had rashes, that went away after a few days. Given the choice, I wouldn't bother taking more shots. We haven't found anything over there yet, and from what I've heard any anthrax that would be used against us would likely be a strain the vaccine doesn't protect against (like the flu shots we get every year).
I'm an E-5 loadmaster on the C-5 and also fly for SkyWest
Thanks to all for taking the time to voice you're opinion.

Viper548 where's your domicile? I'm at COS, but didn't even get a chance to finish IOE and get checked in there, due to my recall.

AGTF
 

AlbieF15

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2 shots during Gulf War and 5 of 6 since then. Since I was in a non-deploying unit shot 6 was never given due to short supply of vaccine.

No major side effects directly attirbuted to vaccine. I did have a myxopapillary ependmoma (benign tumor of nerve endings) removed my spinal column in May--doubt it had anything to do with the shot but that has been the only serious health issue of my life.
 

Phoenix45

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The whole series and 2 boosters here. No side effects that I have noticed...

Yet
 

CobraKai

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4 shots then put on hold. No reactions until the 4th shot then I got a big black and blue mark at the injection site, that went away a few days later. #4 was 4 years ago.
 

SloDoDriver

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I have had all 6 !? No side effects yet...no matter what all the other voices in my head say...............
 

JungleJett

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There is always a risk anytime you inject a foreign substance into the body. People die from the Flu shot..which I would give up if I could.


5 of 6...
 

SB Diver

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Just my opinion, but I wouldn't take the shots if it's not required! I would think that the unknown long term effects could potentially be much worse than a sore arm a few days after the shot. Plus I think the chances of getting attacked with anthrax are so low that it isn't worth getting shot up with the stuff.

Something stinks about the whole anthrax debate [not enough research on long term affects, only one (?) maker of the stuff who has had multiple violations for unsafe practices, plus all the politics involved ie the company and politicians getting rich over this, etc, etc].
Both my wife and I have gotten the full series of shots back in the 1990's. It didn't make me sick, but it sure made her sick each time. I'm keeping my shot records just in case they find some major problems with this someday...
 

angry tanker

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had the full series plus several boosters. don't take it. there is no need. worse case is you get cipro if exposed.
 

JungleJett

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Cipro is not the end all treatment for Anthrax. It certainly will help but not the only source of treatment. I know...I have about a jillion dollars worth of the stuff in my basement...my wife sells the stuff.

It works for tons of other things too! If the military offers it, keep it!

angry tanker said:
had the full series plus several boosters. don't take it. there is no need. worse case is you get cipro if exposed.
 

Jafar

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I had 4 of them starting the end of '02. I had no side effects at all. A couple of the guys in the unit did have some reactions, but nothing really very serious. I'd rather have it then not.
 

YeOldeProp

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There's still a lot to be learned about the anthrax program the military has developed. I think for the most part it tracked the civilian version (remember the bit about how vets and others that worked with animals on the range were vaccinated with the "same stuff" for over 25 years?). So, hopefully they'll show up (or even better...they won't) on the medical boards before we do.

The part that we all need to worry about is when the leadership orders their people to receive things like "Vaccine A" and "Vaccine B" like in Gulf 1. There were a series of shots going into people that weren't identified by anything else than that in their shot records. And to add to that, the vaccines that were being pumped into peoples bodies where given en masse, with no real or reported testing on how the various vaccines would react when combined with others while in the body. Talked to several docs during that time who admitted they weren't taking the whole shot series due to that fact. So, don't throw away those shot records or let them get taken from you.
 
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