In Iraq for 365

About my experiences in Iraq... the frustrations, the missions and this country... and the journey home

Friday, July 08, 2005

Anthrax

It looks like the Anthrax vaccine is making a comeback. In May, the Department of Defense reinstated the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program under new guidelines, which states the vaccine is voluntary and those who receive it must undergo an educational seminar. In other words, the chain of command will frown upon soldiers who do not receive the vaccine and for a briefing, some buck sergeant will be reading a pamphlet to the soldiers who decide to receive the inoculation.

On this site, I have rarely been critical of my country and or the U.S. Army, but I am telling you that the Anthrax vaccine is unnecessary. Much like the Agent Orange Syndrome, I’m sure 10 to 15 years from now (Iraqi and Afghanistan) vets will have some type of medical set back because of the series of Anthrax vaccinations. When I received mine, I remember my arm swelling up to the size of a tree trunk. (I know what you’re thinking – how could his massive arms get any bigger?) Luckily, I had no major side effects other than horrible pain. But many people had massive headaches, blindness or frequent dizziness. In fact, 75 percent of the Australian soldiers who served in Afghanistan in 2001 became very ill due to side effects linked to the Anthrax vaccine.

At least now, it’s voluntary. A year ago it was mandatory and good soldiers were going to jail for refusing the vaccine. But the Army medical command still contends that it's better to be vaccinated than to receive the disease.

And how many anthrax attacks have there been in Iraq or Afghanistan? Zero. The only attacks from the disease are the 22 cases in 2001 when it was floating around in the mail system.

I recall the doctor at our Anthrax briefing…

“Now, this vaccine will not stop you from getting all forms of anthrax. It will only slow down the process, and it’s completely safe.”

The hell it is. If I wouldn’t have been thrown in jail, I would have declined the anthrax vaccine. At least now, our soldiers have a choice.

3 Comments:

At 6:16 PM, Blogger Mom said...

Hopefully we will never have to find out if this vaccine is effective or not. But like you I have my doubts as to what side effects you Soldiers will have in the not so distant future. Keep your eyes open and get to the doctor as fast as possiable. I can't do it for you ya know.(wink)
-No people I am not Smink's Mom. I am someone's Mom though, a few someone's.-

 
At 5:34 AM, Blogger Ellen said...

That's scary.

 
At 7:04 AM, Blogger Sum kinda princess said...

That's a lot of information I have to say I did not know about. This is a very educational site in case you didn't realize that. And for that,you are serving your country or your little personal country very well. It's fun to read, please update whenever you have a chance. I love reading your clever and whitty stuff!

 

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