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The battle over the armed forces’ mandatory anthrax vaccination program continued last week in federal appeals court in D.C. “We’re committed to chasing this thing as far as it will go,” says John Michels Jr., the McGuireWoods partner from Chicago representing soldiers and contractors in the case challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the anthrax vaccine, which has been linked to multiple sclerosis and autoimmune conditions. Mark Zaid of D.C.’s Krieger & Zaid is co-counsel in the 2003 suit filed by six unnamed plaintiffs who claim there is no proof the vaccine protects against inhalation anthrax. Judges A. Raymond Randolph, Thomas Griffith, and David Tatel heard arguments on Thursday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the vaccination program halted last fall, ruling that the experimental vaccine was never properly classified by the FDA and could not be forcibly given to active-duty and reserve soldiers and defense contractors. The anthrax vaccination is now voluntary.
Lily Henning can be contacted at [email protected].

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