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Surveillance Snapshot: History of COVID-19 Vaccination Among Air Force Recruits Arriving at Basic Training, March 2–June 15, 2021

Image of COVID-19 vaccine bottle and syringes. The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Whiteman Air Force Base, Dec. 30, 2020. The Whiteman AFB COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration plan will implement a phased, standardized and coordinated strategy for prioritizing, distributing, and administering COVID-19 vaccines to installation personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel)

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Early in 2021, Air Force basic military trainees began arriving at Lackland Air Force Base either partially or fully vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). During the defined 15-week time frame (March 2–June 15), 600–900 trainees entered basic military training (BMT) on a weekly basis. The rate of trainees who arrived partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19 per 1,000 trainees increased on a weekly basis in 12 out of the 15 weeks. The lowest rate was 16 previously vaccinated trainees per 1,000 trainees arriving in the week of March 23, 2021 and the peak rate was 313 per 1,000 trainees in the week of June 15, 2021. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were the predominant vaccines throughout the period. The majority of trainees who received vaccine against COVID-19 prior to arrival at BMT were fully vaccinated (range: 58%–98% per week).

Author affiliation: Office of the Command Surgeon, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command/SGPJ, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, TX (Maj Frankel).

Disclaimer: Material has been reviewed by the 59th Medical Wing Institutional Review Board, and there is no objection to its publication. The opinions or assertions contained herein are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

FIGURE. U.S. Air Force recruits arriving at basic military training (BMT) partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19, by week, dose, and vaccine type, 2 March–15 June 2021

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This report uses ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes (277.7 and E88.81, respectively) for the metabolic syndrome (MetS) to summarize trends in the incidence and prevalence of this condition among active component members of the U.S. Armed Forces between 2002 and 2017. During this period, the crude overall incidence rate of MetS was 7.5 cases per 100,000 person-years (p-yrs). Compared to their respective counterparts, overall incidence rates were highest among Asian/Pacific Islanders, Air Force members, and warrant officers and were lowest among those of other/unknown race/ethnicity, Marine Corps members, and junior enlisted personnel and officers. During 2002–2017, the annual incidence rates of MetS peaked in 2009 at 11.6 cases per 100,000 p-yrs and decreased to 5.9 cases per 100,000 p-yrs in 2017. Annual prevalence rates of MetS increased steadily during the first 11 years of the surveillance period reaching a high of 38.9 per 100,000 active component service members in 2012, after which rates declined slightly to 31.6 per 100,000 active component service members in 2017. Validation of ICD-9/ICD-10 diagnostic codes for MetS using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria is needed to establish the level of agreement between the two methods for identifying this condition.

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Last Updated: January 10, 2022
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