ANTHRAX Rx: Air Force Major Charged After Refusing Vaccine
A decorated Air Force pilot believed to be the highest ranking officer to refuse the controversial anthrax vaccine, was charged Friday with disobeying an order, the AP/Washington Post reports. Maj. Sonnie Bates said he feared the vaccine would compromise his health, after he learned that other members of his squadron developed "unexplained illnesses after starting the series of six shots." Dover Air Force Base, where Bates is stationed, became a "flash point in the controversy over the vaccination program" last May when base commander Col. Felix Grieder temporarily halted the vaccines after several airmen questioned the safety of the drug. The Air Force's surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Charles Roadman, visited the base after the program was halted and addressed the airmen's questions. Grieder was replaced as the base commander and transferred to the Pentagon. If convicted, Bates could face a court-martial and be incarcerated for up to five years in a military prison (1/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.