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Who is at highest risk for complications from Anthrax vaccine?

Updated December 29, 2023

There is a gap in medical knowledge in terms of doctors being able to predict who will have an adverse reaction to anthrax vaccination, and who will not.  Persons with a history of a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients found within the anthrax vaccine are at an increased risk for complications if they receive a dose of vaccine.   

According to clinical trials conducted by the Department of Defense, women who receive the anthrax vaccine experienced higher rates of adverse reactions. 

Biothrax anthrax vaccine is a Pregnancy Category D vaccine, which means that there is evidence of harm in human studies or fetal risk has been demonstrated in pre- or post-marketing surveillance data. Pregnant women who receive anthrax vaccine may be at high-risk of having an infant with birth defects.   

CYFENDUS anthrax vaccine can cause death to the unborn child of a pregnant woman who receives the vaccine. An observational study on Biothrax given to pregnant woman in their first trimester of pregnancy found an increased rate of infant birth defects in comparison to the infants born to mothers who were never vaccinated or who received the vaccine after the birth of their child. 

Biothrax anthrax vaccine vial stoppers contain latex and persons with a history of latex sensitivity may be at an increased risk of complications if they are administered Biothrax vaccine.     

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC “Quick Facts” is not a substitute for becoming fully informed about anthrax and the anthrax vaccine. NVIC recommends consumers read comprehensive information NVIC provides on anthrax, the vaccine manufacturer product information inserts, and speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child.

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