Anthrax vaccine mandatory for some Airmen

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- In December 2005, Food and Drug Administration officials found the Anthrax vaccine to be safe and effective in preventing anthrax no matter how people are exposed.

The Air Force began tracking Anthrax as a mandatory vaccine again March 20. However, the vaccine is not mandatory for every one, only a select group of people. This mandatory group includes, but is not limited to, people deploying or moving to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility or Korea.

People who have already started the vaccine series have the option to continue the series.

The Anthrax vaccine is a series of six shots given over 18 months with a yearly booster. The first three shots are given two weeks apart and the final three are given at six months, 12 months and 18 months after the first shot.

If people begin a series and are late for a shot, they will start with the shot they left off at. For example, if someone receives the first four shots during a deployment and do not continue they will start up with shot number five.

With each dose received, the body develops more of an immune response.