WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Department wants to restart a controversial anthrax vaccination program and is discussing making it mandatory despite a court order.
DOD requested an Emergency Use Authorization from Tommy Thompson, the outgoing secretary of Health and Human Services. Should Thompson grant the waiver, and the Food and Drug Administration agrees, vaccinations could resume -- although those vaccinations would have to be performed with informed consent.
Now, a question-and-answer brief approved by DOD's office of Health Affairs indicates DOD and HHS are holding discussions on whether the program could be mandatory.
"This is something we are working out ... with HHS and FDA," a DOD spokesman told UPI when asked if a mandatory program was being sought. "It is a process that is ongoing. It will require additional discussion between us and HHS over the next few weeks."