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Anthrax Vaccine: Safe and Effective, or Not?

Intro: The Anthrax vaccine is a mandatory shot for military; while some people are willing to take the shot to save their lives, others believe if they take it, it will ruin theirs.

I. The Anthrax Disease

A. Anthrax is a bacterial infection caused by Bacillus Anthracis.

1. It primarily affects livestock, but can occasionally spread humans.

a. The infection can be treated, but is almost always fatal.

2. The bacterium produces spores that lay dormant for years in soil and on animal products.

B. There are three different ways to contract this disease.

1. Cutaneous anthrax is the mildest of the disease.

a. It is contracted through a cut on the skin.

2. Inhalation anthrax is a rare and fatal form of the disease.

a. This form of anthrax is usually fatal, even if treated, resulting in fatality

3. Another rare and fatal form of the disease is intestinal anthrax.

a. It is caused by eating meat of an animal that has died of anthrax.

Transition: Now that you know what causes the disease lets talk about the vaccine.

II. The Anthrax Vaccination

A. The vaccine was developed in the 1950's and 60's and approved by the FDA in the 1970's.

1. The vaccine is a cell- free filtrate, produced from a strain of anthrax that does not cause the disease

2. The vaccine is used for people that are at risk for exposure to the anthrax spores.

3. The vaccine helps your immune system prevent the bacteria from growing and leading the death

B. The immunization consists of 6 shots. 3 are given two weeks apart and the other 3 are given at 6, 12, and 18 months.

1. There is also a booster shot that can be taken to keep the vaccine up to date in one year intervals.

Transition: Now that we have some of the basic information on the disease and vaccine, lets look at the pros and cons of it.

III. Why you should take the vaccine.

A. The main argument for taking the vaccine is that anthrax kills, and the vaccine protects.

1. Right now there are at least ten countries in Southeast Asia and Korea with biological weapons.

2. Anthrax remains the weapon of choice for germ welfare.

a. "It is very easy to weaponries and almost always deadly. " (Cragin)

B. In regards to safety, it is apparently one of the safest out there.

1. As of July 1999, the rate of the adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccine was lower than adverse reactions for the vaccine of Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

2. Ongoing supervision by the FDA and supplemental testing, BioPort demonstrates that the vaccine is safe and effective.

a. The vaccine will protect our troops

1. Sending our men and women into battle without the anthrax vaccine would be the same as sending out troops into battle without a helmet. This would deny them the protection they need to perform and accomplish a mission. We could not



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