The anthrax vaccine is not currently recommended for the general population. However, because anthrax was used with criminal intent following Sept. 11, 2001, any presumed incidents in the future would almost immediately cause a re-evaluation of the current recommendations. In all likelihood, revised recommendations for receipt of the anthrax vaccine would only target groups considered to be at high risk of exposure based on the situation.
Currently, the anthrax vaccine is only recommended for military personnel, lab personnel, environmental workers, and handlers of animals or animal products who are at the highest risk for exposure to anthrax spores. The vaccine is given as a series of five shots. After the first shot, the vaccine is given four weeks, six months, 12 months and 18 months later.
Reviewed by Paul A. Offit, MD, Lori Handy, MD, MSCE on November 30, 2016