Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor:
Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA;
Journal Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia
Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University.
Have military officials secretly conducted experiments involving an
anthrax vaccine that contained squalene as an adjuvant? Does squalene induce
severe autoimmune disease when used as an adjuvant? Readers who already have
their minds made up on these questions are not likely to be persuaded otherwise
by this book.
Readers who do not already have their minds made up are likely to become
frustrated by this book, searching among the anecdotes, aspersions, and allegations
for any kind of data that would help to draw a firm conclusion. Case histories
describe career soldiers reduced to invalids or killed—allegedly by
an anthrax vaccination—without objective medical data to tell us what
is happening. Doctors at a world-famous medical clinic fail to make the “correct”
diagnosis of reaction to anthrax vaccine, but we are not told what data they
had to work with, what kind of doctors saw the patient, or what questions
were asked of the doctors. A crucial experiment testing whether anthrax vaccine
induces antisqualene antibodies is conducted by soldiers on themselves—but
never published. Doctors contradict each other, military officers circle their
wagons and contradict themselves, records are lost, improbable coincidences
are discovered, and a conspiracy theory is born.
Axelsen PH. Vaccine. JAMA. 2005;293(21):2664-2668. doi:10.1001/jama.293.21.2664-a