American Public Health Association

800 I Street, NW Washington, DC 20001-3710

(202) 777-APHA Fax: (202) 777-2534



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

Executive Director


Advancing the Public's Health Since 1872