"But with unused doses of already purchased anthrax vaccine sitting in the Strategic National Stockpile and reaching their expiry date (the vaccine has a four-year shelf life), Waytes thinks the time is right to take some of these expiring doses and make them available free to EMS personnel."
Why would the manufacturer want a $25/dose product given away??
Anthrax vaccine could be thought of as a modern Trojan Horse (that's where the phrase, 'Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts' came from). Here's why
HHS is likely to keep expired doses in storage and use them, if needed, in the future. After all, that is what happened until 1998: expired lots were simply given a new expiration date, after being tested for potency using a test that was known to be worthless. (Bruce Ivins got an award around 2007 for helping develop a better test.) So if expiring vaccine gets used up, HHS is more likely to replace it than if it expires and remains in storage, increasing Emergent BioSolutions' profits.
A gift of anthrax vaccine will be the gift that keeps on giving--to Emergent Biosolutions. You see, even after 5 initial shots you still need a yearly booster. So a fireman, for example, would need 23 separate shots during a 20 year career to stay up-to-date on the vaccine.
Three weeks after Leavitt's declaration, the CDC had its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend expand anthrax vaccine use to "at risk" civilian first responders. (But who is really at risk? No one knows.) I don't believe the timing was an accident. Emergent wanted to increase sales while continuing to avoid liability for a vaccine that maims and occasionally kills. Soldiers have been barred from suing Emergent in the past, but civilians didn't have the same restriction. So the Bush DHHS obliged with an emergency declaration, followed by a recommendation to expand the vaccine's indications. The Obama administration has failed to remove or amend the PREPA declaration for anthrax, and has failed to remove or amend later declarations for smallpox and multiple influenza pandemic vaccines.