8. November 2011 16:11
Pfizer’s Prevenar 13 (Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine [13-valent, Adsorbed]) has been launched in the UK for active immunisation of invasive disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae in adults aged 50 and over.
It becomes the first and only pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to be licensed for adults aged 50 and over after gaining a new indication from the EMA.
Dr George Kassianos, GP and immunisation lead for the Royal College of GPs and the British Travel Health Association, says its introduction is an “important achievement and step forward” for adult patients.
The vaccine was first licensed for infants and young children in December 2009 in Europe and used during the UK’s Childhood Immunisation Schedule in April last year.
The new indication provides a new treatment option for the prevention of adult invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), which includes the potentially fatal bacteraemic pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia.
Chris Head, CEO of the Meningitis Research Foundation, welcomed the vaccine’s launch in the UK. “The new license for Prevenar 13 provides an opportunity to protect adults over 50, who are more at risk of serious pneumococcal disease than younger adults,” he said.
Until Prevenar 13’s new indication, adults over 65 and those in clinical risk groups were treated with the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. But in clinical trials, patients given Prevenar 13 had significantly higher antibody responses with the vaccine expected to protect against seven out of the most ten most comment serotypes which causes IPD.