From the 1990s up until as recently as 2004, the anthrax vaccine was required for all persons who were serving in the military, without the requirement of consent from the parties involved. This was a response to increased concern of biological warfare, especially during the Gulf War.
The anthrax vaccine at the time had some serious adverse effects associated with it and unfortunately left some of the people who served with lasting health complications.
If you have ever had the anthrax vaccine for any reason, you may have experienced some of these. Here is a list of just some of the common, and less-than common, anthrax vaccine side effects.
1. Reaction at the Site of the Injection
The most common side effect of the anthrax vaccine, as well as most other vaccines, is a reaction at the sight of the injection. The place on your arm where the needle pierced you may react negatively to the presence of this piercing.
Common reactions at the injection site are itching, swelling, redness, and bruising. Chances are, you will experience a little bit of tenderness at the site, and some people may experience limited mobility in the arm that was injected due to that achy feeling.
2. Headaches or Fatigue
Another fairly common side effect of the anthrax vaccine is a general feeling of fatigue or a mild headache.
These are both understandable since your body is creating antibodies to a foreign body and needs to ramp up production to fight off this new substance. You may need to rest up a bit extra that night, and drink plenty of water to curb the headaches.
These symptoms should only present temporarily and if they persist, they could lead to some of the more serious side effects we will list later.
3. Dizziness or Rapid Heartbeat
One of the more serious short-term side effects from the anthrax vaccines is lightheadedness or dizziness, leading you to feel momentarily disoriented. If you do start to get dizzy following your vaccination, take a seat until you are able to regain balance.
Sometimes, you may also develop a heightened heartbeat for a time. This can only worsen your dizziness, so if you are experiencing these problems, be sure to have a medical professional near you if at all possible.
4. Autoimmune Diseases
In the early 90s, a huge batch of anthrax vaccines was given to the military that contained Squalene, an ingredient that hyperactivates the immune system. This ingredient is very dangerous because it can actually cause the body’s immune system to self-destruct.
Many veterans who served in the Gulf War were given this particular vaccine and the results have been pretty disastrous. Autoimmune diseases ranging from autoimmune arthritis to Lupus to Multiple Sclerosis have manifested in people who received this vaccine.
Needless to say, these side effects are detrimental to the health of those who received those vaccines, even becoming deadly.
5. Neurological Damage
The bath of vaccines that utilized Squalene as an ingredient also has had serious effects on the neurological systems of those who received it. This neurological damage has led to other problems like cognitive impairment, impaired motor skills, loss of balance, and lack of coordination.
If You Have Serious Adverse Effects, Seek Medical Attention
If you served in the Gulf War specifically and have since been diagnosed with any of the serious medical conditions listed here, seek medical help and legal counsel. These adverse effects have caused long-term health damage for many who received the anthrax vaccines within that specific time frame, and you should have access to all the resources possible for your illness.