Respiratory pathogens cause morbidity and mortality in US military basic trainees. Following the influenza pandemic of 1918, and stimulated by WWII, the need to protect military personnel against epidemic respiratory disease was evident. Over several decades, the US military elucidated etiologies of acute respiratory diseases and invented and deployed vaccines to prevent disease caused by influenza, meningococcus, and adenoviruses. In 1994, the Adenovirus Vaccine manufacturer stopped its production. By 1999, supplies were exhausted and adenovirus-associated disease, especially serotype 4-associated febrile respiratory illness, returned to basic training installations. Advisory bodies persuaded Department of Defense leaders to initiate restoration of Adenovirus Vaccine. In 2011, after 10 years of effort by government and contractor personnel and at a cost of about $100 million, the Adenovirus Vaccine was restored to use at all military basic training installations. Disease and adenovirus serotype 4 isolation rates have fallen dramatically since vaccinations resumed in October 2011 and remain very low. Mindful of the adage that "The more successful a vaccine is, the more quickly the need for it will be forgotten.", sustainment of the supply of the Adenovirus Vaccine may be a challenge, and careful management will be required for such sustainment.
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