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Who should not get Anthrax vaccine?

Updated August 13, 2022

The anthrax vaccine (Biothrax - manufactured by Emergent BioSolutions, Inc.) is FDA approved for use in persons between 18 and 65 years of age who are at high risk of exposure to anthrax. Persons younger than 18 or older than 65 should not receive Biothrax anthrax vaccine.

Anyone who has previously experienced an anaphylactic or anaphylactic-like reaction following a previous dose of Biothrax should not receive another dose. The vial stopper of the vaccine contains natural latex and persons with a latex allergy are at an increased risk of an allergic reaction.

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 should not be vaccinated with Biothrax unless the possible benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks. Vaccination of a breastfeeding mother is cautioned as it is not known whether the vaccine is excreted in human milk.

Biothrax has never been evaluated for safety or efficacy when given with any other licensed vaccine product.1


1 Emergent BioDefense Operations Lansing LLC. Package Insert and Information for Patients – Biothrax. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Feb. 20, 2018.
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