Vaccines and bioterrorism: smallpox and anthrax.


Because of the success of vaccination and the ring strategy in eradicating smallpox from the world, smallpox vaccine has not been recommended for the United States civilian populations for decades. Given the low but possible threat of bioterrorism, smallpox vaccination is now recommended for those teams investigating potential smallpox cases and for selected personnel of acute-care hospitals who would be needed to care for victims in the event of a terrorist attack. Treatment and post-exposure prophylaxis for anthrax are ciprofloxacin or doxycycline. Anthrax vaccine alone is not effective for post-exposure prevention of anthrax; vaccination is accompanied by 60 days of antibiotic therapy. In addition to military use, anthrax vaccine is recommended for pre-exposure use in those persons whose work involves repeated exposure to Bacillus anthracis spores.

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Kimmel SR, Mahoney MC, Zimmerman RK. (2003). Vaccines and bioterrorism: smallpox and anthrax. The Journal of family practice, 52(1 Suppl)