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March 6, 2002

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The current anthrax vaccine is safe and effective, but certain drawbacks - including reliance on older vaccine technology and a six-dose vaccination schedule over 18 months - underscore the need for a better vaccine, says a new report from the National Academies' Institute of Medicine. The current vaccine can continue to be used, but the U.S. Department of Defense should vigorously support research efforts not only to improve the way it is administered, but also to develop an alternative.

Brian L. Strom, Director, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Chair and Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Medicine, and Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia and Chair, Committee to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of the Anthrax Vaccine.