American Public Health Association
800 I Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001-3710
(202) 777-APHA • Fax: (202) 777-2534 • email@example.com • http://www.apha.org
May 23, 2000
The Honorable Jack Metcalf
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
1510 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Metcalf:
This is to acquaint you with the policy on anthrax immunization adopted in 1999 by the American Public Health Association APHA).
The policy urges the Department of Defense (DOD) delay any further immunization against anthrax using the current vaccine, or at least make such immunizations voluntary, until a panel of health experts reviews the evidence for the safety and effectiveness of this vaccine. Furthermore, the policy urges that the recommendations of this expert panel be used to guide DoD's future use of this vaccine.
This policy statement is based upon the controversy in the medical literature about the efficacy of the vaccine; the lack of valid monitoring of its potential adverse effects; and the stance taken by the United Kingdom and other allies that they receipt of the vaccine remain voluntary among their troops.
Please feel free to contact Mary Wallace, APHA's Director of Government Affairs, at (202) 777-2510, if you have additional questions about this issue.
Mohammed N. Akhter, MD, MPH
Advancing the Public's Health Since 1872