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An anthrax vaccine exists but is not readily available to the public. It is administered to people who may be expected to come in contact with anthrax, such as laboratory workers and certain military personnel. It consists of a series of five immunizations given over 18 months. A booster is then available to be given annually, especially to those who have exposure to anthrax-containing animals or animal products. A skin test can determine if the vaccine is active.
To prevent infection from spores of B. anthracis released in the air after a suspected bioterrorist attack, your doctor may prescribe ciprofloxacin or doxycycline for 60 days. The vaccine can also be administered at the time of suspected exposure as a further preventive measure. Other antibiotics may be used once lab tests return showing which ones are effective.
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