MAIDENHEAD, England, July 8
- PREVENAR Vaccine to Help Protect Children Against the LeadingVaccine-Preventable Cause of Death in Young Children
Wyeth applauds the countries of Cyprus, Hungary, the Kingdom of Bahrain,Republic of Ireland, Slovak Republic and Sweden for announcing theirdecisions to routinely immunize infants and young children againstpneumococcal disease by adding PREVENAR(TM) PCV7 (Pneumococcal SaccharideConjugated Vaccine, Adsorbed) to their national immunization programs(1).This announcement makes it 24 countries across the world that have nowincluded Prevenar in their immunizations schedules(1).
"We share these countries' commitment to protecting children from thepotentially devastating effects of pneumococcal disease and applaud the swiftaction they have taken in addressing this urgent and pressing health issue,"says Bernard Fritzell, Vice President, International Scientific & ClinicalAffairs, Wyeth Vaccines Research, in Paris, France. "Wyeth is dedicated tothe wellbeing of children and to working with other governments and agenciesto further expand the access to Prevenar. This includes accelerating theintroduction of the vaccine in those countries that have announced theirdecision to incorporate Prevenar in their National Immunisation Programmesbut have yet to introduce the vaccine as part of their immunization schedule."
This is important news as pneumococcal disease results in 1.6 milliondeaths per year worldwide, of which up to 1 million deaths are in childrenyounger than five years of age(2). Pneumococcal disease is the leadingvaccine-preventable cause of death in children younger than five years of ageworldwide(3).
"Specifically, since the introduction of PCV7, into Germany's paediatricimmunization schedule in 2006, there has been a 50 percent reduction invaccine-type invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in children younger than 2years old compared with a pre-vaccine baseline(3). In addition, a slightreduction in vaccine-type IPD among children aged 2-5 years old, anunvaccinated group, also was documented, suggesting a potential "indirect"effect among older children who were not immunized(3). Recent data fromGermany, France and the UK highlight the impact of the vaccine in countrieswhere it is part of the national immunization schedule," says Dr Mark van derLinden, Head of the National Reference Center for Streptococci at theInstitute of Medical Microbiology, RWTH-Aachen, Germany.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends priority inclusion of the7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in national childhood immunizationprograms worldwide due to the significant burden of pneumococcal disease anddemonstrated vaccine efficac(6). Recently, the Strategic Advisory Group ofExperts (SAGE) to WHO issued a preliminary recommendation that pneumococcaldisease prevention be ranked as a very high priority on a global basis(6).
PREVENAR, the only licensed pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, is nowavailable in 88 countries around the world, with more than 180 million dosesdistributed(1).
Pneumococcal disease affects both children and adults and is a leadingcause of illness and death worldwide(6). Pneumococcal disease is caused bythe bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and describes a group of illnesses,including invasive infections, such as bacteremia/sepsis and meningitis, aswell as pneumonia and upper respiratory tract infections, including otitismedia(7). PREVENAR is the first and only pneumococcal conjugate vaccineapproved to help protect infants and young children against pneumococcaldisease caused by the serotypes included in the vaccine(7).
References available on request.
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