A U.S. soldier in Iraq, Pfc. Leif Hamre, 22, may face dismissal for refusing the anthrax vaccine. According to his own statements, he’s already been given an Article 15 – a non-judicial military punishment – including being taken off missions, assigned 18-hour workdays, and reduction in his pay scale, in addition to being subjected to threats and intimidation.
Concerned about the questionable safety of the vaccine, he became even more concerned after he discovered the military wasn’t even handling the vaccine under the rules for storing it at the correct temperature.
In an open letter he states, “The tactics they have used to coerce me into taking the shot are unregulated, unscrupulous and downright un-American.”
But Hamre is not alone in his opposition to the vaccine. A recent report from the General Accounting Office (GAO) confirms that about one to two percent of immunized individuals may end up with severe adverse reactions, including disability, chronic disease and death. Even at that seemingly low risk, when calculated across the 2.2 million in the service, an estimated 44,000 enlisted could potentially end up in the morgue.
The vaccine BioThrax, manufactured by BioPort (now called Emergent Biosolutions) is the only FDA-licensed anthrax vaccine available in the U.S. However, even BioPort’s own insurance company, Evanston Insurance, has sued BioPort, alleging “material misrepresentations about incidents, conditions, circumstances, defects, or suspected defects in the vaccine.”
Says Leif Hamre, “… I am an American citizen too, with rights I thought we were fighting to protect. I have given two years of dedicated service to the Army, with a clean record and a willingness to sacrifice for my country and fellow soldiers… I just don’t think any of this seems right…”
Dr. Meryl Nass, a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine, has a warning for all citizens in the U.S., stating that if there should be another anthrax attack, such as the powder-laced envelopes received at the U.S. Senate office in 2001, an order requiring mandatory inoculations of civilians is both legally and technically possible.
Sources: World Net Daily October 31, 2007