Delaware Delegation Calls on Defense Department to Investigate Anthrax Vaccine Program at Dover Air Force Base

Delegation also Requests Independent Analysis by GAO, Armed Services Committees

WASHINGTON (Oct. 14, 2004) – Responding to concerns raised in recent news reports about the anthrax vaccination program at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware’s congressional delegation today asked the Defense Department to investigate the presence of the additive squalene in batches of the vaccine used at Dover Air Force Base in 1999, as well as the alleged health risks associated with squalene. The department is to report its findings to the delegation by Nov. 15. The delegation also asked the Defense Department to provide assurances that squalene is no longer present in any of the anthrax vaccines currently distributed at the base. “It is in the best interests of everyone for there to be well-documented and readily available information regarding the necessity of the anthrax vaccine, the presence or absence of squalene, and the possible health effects associated with the vaccine and given amounts of squalene,” said the delegation in a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The delegation asked the Defense Department to provide the delegation with its full complement of research into squalene, as well as the military’s justification for saying squalene is not harmful. “It is critical that the Department provide more specific, comprehensive, and scientifically defensible answers that explain what happened at Dover AFB, what the Department is doing to ensure that there is not a repeat of these problems, and how the Department is ensuring accountability,” said the delegation. In addition, the delegation sent letters to the House and Senate Armed Services committees and the Government Accountability Office, an independent research group, to investigate the matter at Dover as well. The full text of all the letters are attached. Letter to Secretary Rumsfeld
Letter to David M. Walker
Letter to Senators John Warner and Carl Levin