I looked HEAVILIY into vaccinations back when the Anthrax Vaccine was under the microscope (I was the guy briefing troops on Chem/Bio survival). Read up on it, talked to the doctors on base, read more, talked more, triple checked my info, etc.
ALL vaccines carry risk. SOMEONE is going to have a 'reaction'. Some vaccines are 'harsher' than others (The smallpox one seems to be one of the 'worst', although it is not even REMOTELY close to being a 'simple' linear good - bad scale....).
Vaccines achieve more than just INDIVIDUAL immunity. Depending how a disease is spread, you can achieve 'herd immunity', and in same cases even wipe a disease out (Diseases can only be wiped out if EVERYTHING they can infect is vaccinated).
Not all vaccines grant immunity. Sometimes it is better described as 'resistance'. With resistance, your CHANCE of getting sick drops, AND, if you do get sick, it WILL be less severe (although can still BE severe, but WILL be 'less'). The anthrax vaccine is one of the 'boosted resistance' vaccines.
4 (key point):
If a 'herd' has sky high 'herd immunity', the risk of encountering the disease drops so low that even tiny 'vaccine risks' become greater for INDIVIDUALS (parasitic safety, letting your neighbors take risk and not taking it yourself. I fully support DENYING such 'parasites' being allowed to do things like go to school without vaccines).
This can lead to 'individuals' ceasing vaccine use. The big problem is that as soon a certain threshold group stops using vaccines THE DISEASE COMES BACK, AND IT IS "THEIR FAULT". ENJOY YOUR DEAD KID, "YOU" KILLED HIM.
As for the Anthrax Vaccine, the claims of it causing some fairly standard reactions (and potential dangerous in bad cases) are valid, but in almost all cases individuals at risk are easily spotted by well trained medical personal (Note, I said "almost all", not "all". Risk is 'near zero', not 'zero').
As for the 'badly made' vaccinations issue, that one is mixed. It is PROVABLE that there were some quality control issues. HOWEVER, evidence for vaccine actually causing 'gulf war syndrome' just don't stand up. I've not read anything that lead me to believe the quality control issues actually resulted in anyone ill. (I did, however, find a theory that does seem to hold water better than most, see #6).
Gulf War Syndrome (GWS)
I am 100% convinced that GWS is not just 'one thing', and I've been saying this since shortly after Gulf war One. Having said that, the 'DEET and permethrin' combo seems to stand up as PART of the issue. My impression is that when DEET and permethrin were in use, AND COMBINED WITH other factors, a 'probably cause' of SOME GWS is evident. For example, we bombed the hell out of Saddams supply points, and we pretty much know we hit some chemical weapon supply points, thereby releasing agent (tend to happen when you drop bombs on a chem weapon supply point). There is also good evidence some of folks got some 'trace' chemical weapons exposure (should be a non-issue, 'normally'). I have real suspicion about those trace exposures when combined with DEET and permethrin. Furthermore, the "Nerve Agent Pre-Treatment Tablets" further complicate the issue.
Any one or even two of these things does not seem to hold water as 'cause', but together hold 'better'. (a lot better than the vaccine theories anyway, although I will freely admit that I can't absolutely rule them out....).
I've lightly followed the GWS new over the last decade. There seems to a consensus now that its not just one thing (both on there being completely different 'types' of GWS, and at least some of them being caused a 'cocktail' of causes).