DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
1010 DEFENSE PENTAGON WASHINGTON, DC20301–1010
JUN 28 2002
MEMORANDUM FOR SECRETARIES OF THE MILITARY DEPARTMENTS CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF UNDER SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE ASSISTANT SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE GENERAL COUNSEL, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INSPECTOR GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DIRECTORS OF DEFENSE AGENCIES COMMANDANT OF THE US COAST GUARD
SUBJECT: Reintroduction of the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program (AVIP)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the manufacturer’s renovated facility restores the availability of anthrax vaccine. FDA has determined that the current anthrax vaccine is safe and effective in protecting against all forms of anthrax infection, a scientific conclusion recently supported by the Institute of Medicine.
Current intelligence assessments indicate that the anthrax threat to Department of Defense (DoD) forces is real. The Department’s goal is to protect all forces against anthrax as a part of the Department’s Force Health Protection program. Steps are being taken by the Department to ensure protection of U.S. servicemembers and DoD pexsonnel against the threat of anthrax and other potential bioweapon agents, including improved intelligence, detection, and surveillance capabilities, protective clothing and equipment, and new generafon vaccines and other medical countermeasures.
At this time, the DoD will resume an Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program (AVIP) consistent with FDA guidelines and the best practice of medicine, beginning with military personnel, and Emergency-Essential DoD civilians and contractors, at higher risk whose performance is essential for certain mission critical capabilities. Vaccination is mandatory for these personnel, except as provided under applicable medical and administrative exemption policies.
The scope of the AVIP shall encompass personnel assigned to or deployed for more than 15 days in higher threat areas whose performance is essential for certain mission critical capabilities. Near-term AVIP implementation may also include other personnel determined by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, in consultation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to be at higher
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