Anthrax Vaccine in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
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Vaccine, Anthrax Adsorbed (BioThrax TM)
Non-live vaccine. [1]

"Preliminary results of a recent unpublished retrospective study of infants born to women in the U.S. military service worldwide in 1998 and 1999 suggest that the vaccine may be linked with an increase in the number of birth defects when given during pregnancy (unpublished data, Department of Defense). Although these data are unconfirmed, pregnant women should not be vaccinated against anthrax unless the potential benefits of vaccination have been determined to outweigh the potential risk to the fetus. Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with BioThrax."[1]. A cohort study of US Army women found no effect on pregnancy and birth rates or adverse birth outcomes in 385 pregnancies following at least 1 dose of anthrax vaccine. However, this study did not have sufficient power to detect adverse birth outcomes [2]. Not routinely recommended except in pregnant women work at high risk for exposure [3].

BREAST FEEDING: Compatible [1,4].


1.Bio ThraxTM package insert 2002
2. Wiesen AR, Littell CT.Relationship between prepregnancy anthrax vaccination and pregnancy and birth outcomes among US Army women.JAMA. 2002 Mar 27;287(12):1556-60.MEDLINE

3. ACOG Committee Opinion. Immunization during pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2003 ;101:207-12.MEDLINE

4. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Use of Anthrax Vaccine in the United States Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices MMWR 49 (No. RR-15):1-20, 2000.

Created: 11/27/2002
Last Update: 11/30/2003

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