King introduces bill to make Anthrax vaccine available to 1st responders

Pete King | The Office of Rep. Pete "Pete" King.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) recently introduced House Resolution 5620, which would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to make anthrax vaccines and antimicrobials available for use by emergency response providers.

Also known as the First Responder Anthrax Preparedness Act, the bill was sent to the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on Energy and Commerce for review on Sept. 18.

If the bill were to pass both the House and the Senate, an 18-month pilot program would be required for testing purposes. This would require emergency response providers in at least two states to participate, and would include the distribution of educational materials on the potential risks associated with the vaccines and antimicrobials.

Following the duration of the pilot, the Secretary of Homeland Security would then submit a report on the results, as well as a plan to make the vaccines and antimicrobials available, to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.).