LANSING (AP) About 40 people protested the military”s anthrax vaccination program at the Capitol yesterday.

The protest, which happened just after the dedication of the nearby Vietnam Veterans Memorial, criticized the U.S. Defense Department as well as BioPort Corp., the Lansing company that is the only U.S. manufacturer of the anthrax vaccine.

Protesters said BioPort and the Pentagon are ignoring signs of illness in troops that have been vaccinated. They also say the military has not done enough to investigate the vaccine”s long-term effects, or to see whether the anthrax vaccine can be given safely with other vaccines.

Steve Robinson, a Gulf War veteran who now works for the National Gulf War Resource Center, said Congressional testimony shows that there are many unanswered questions about the vaccine”s effects. A 2000 federal report recommended ending the military”s anthrax vaccine program after six hearings on the vaccine”s effects, he said.

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