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Service Members Can't be Forced to Take Anthrax Vaccination

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Washington (dpa) - U.S. service members cannot be forced to take anthrax shots because the vaccinations fall under a 1998 law that prohibits the use of experimental drugs, a court ruled Monday.

U.S. President George W. Bush would have to sign a presidential waiver for the vaccination to be mandatory, the District Court in Washington ruled.

Some service members had refused to take part in the anthrax immunization programme because they felt the drug was unsafe.

Other experimental vaccinations are believed to have led to unexplained illnesses in 1991 that are widely known as the Gulf War Syndrome, and Congress passed a law in 1998 to prohibit further use of vaccinations that have not been sufficiently tested.

Copyright 2003 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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