Anthrax vaccine contributes to death of Michigan worker

Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. - A man whose job required him to take a widely used anthrax vaccine died partly because of an "inflammatory response" to the vaccine, according to autopsy results.

Richard Dunn, 61, monitored test animals for BioPort Corp. and its state-owned predecessor, and was required to take the vaccine given to hundreds of thousands of U.S. military personnel.

Robert Joyce, the chief medical examiner in Ionia County, said Dunn's response to the vaccine contributed to his death.

Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said the Defense Department has requested a copy of the report. The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the Food and Drug Administration are investigating, but the anthrax vaccination program for U.S. troops will continue, Bacon said.

The military and the FDA say the vaccine is safe, with side effects typical of many vaccines. Critics say long-term study is needed. Members of the military have faced disciplinary action for refusing to take it.

Dunn, an employee since 1992, received 11 doses, the last one in April. A month later, he complained of fatigue and swelling. He died in July.

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