News & AnalysisBioterror Research

Panel Endorses Anthrax Vaccine Study in Children

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Science  04 Nov 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6056, pp. 577
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6056.577

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Should children be enrolled in a clinical trial of the anthrax vaccine, which is almost certain not to help them and may harm them? Or should the U.S. government gamble and wait for a possible attack before exposing children to the vaccine for the very first time? Last week, the full National Biodefense Science Board voted 12–1 in favor of a trial assuming its ethics are approved by a review board, saying that it was too uneasy to risk a mass science experiment on thousands of children after a bioterror strike, even if some consider that possibility remote.