Possible study of anthrax vaccine’s effectiveness in children stirs debate


Rob Stein
The Washington Post
October 25, 2011

The Obama administration is wrestling with the thorny question of whether scientists should inject healthy children with the anthrax vaccine to see whether the shots would safely protect them against a bioterrorism attack.

The other option is to wait until an attack happens and then try to gather data from children whose parents agree to inoculate them in the face of an actual threat.

A key working group of federal advisers in September endorsed testing, sparking objections from those who consider that step unethical, unnecessary and dangerous. The National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB), which advises the federal government, is to meet Friday to vote on its working group’s recommendation.

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