An anthrax vaccine could be tested in children to be sure it’s safe, an advisory board for the Department of Health and Human Services said Friday.

The National Biodefense Science Board said a separate review board should look into the ethical issues of testing an anthrax vaccine on children, if the board finds use of the vaccine is ethical HHS should develop a plan to study the vaccine in children.

The anthrax vaccine was developed following the deadly attacks in the United States a decade ago. The vaccine has been tested on adults.

"Protecting children still stands, for me, among the most important responsibilities that we have as a nation," said Dr. Nicole Lurie, a member of the board and assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Public Health Service, in a statement.

Letters containing anthrax were sent to media professionals and others killing five and injuring 17 in 2001. The Federal Bureau of Investigation traced the letters to a scientist at an army biodefense lab. The man committed suicide before he was charged.

U.S. troops deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and some other countries are mandated to get vaccinated for anthrax.

Anthrax infections can take place when anthrax spores touch the skin, or enter the gastrointestinal tract or lungs. Symptoms may involve itchy sores, fever and shock, as well as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. It is usually transmitted through hoofed animals such as sheep, cattle and goats.