The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
An Expanded Pneumococcal Vaccine (Prevnar 13) for Infants and Children
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The FDA has licensed a 13-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13; Prevnar 13 – Pfizer) for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in infants and children <6 years old. It replaces Prevnar (PCV7). An unconjugated 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23; Pneumovax 23 – Merck) is FDA-approved for use in adults.

THE NEW VACCINEPrevnar 13 contains the polysaccharides of the capsular antigens of the 7 serotypes included in PCV7 (serotypes 4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F and 23F) and 6 additional serotypes (1, 3, 5, 6A, 7F, and 19A), each conjugated to a nontoxic diphtheria carrier protein (CRM197). The vaccine contains an aluminum phosphate adjuvant and is thimerosal-free. It is available as a pre-filled syringe for intramuscular injection.

INVASIVE PNEUMOCOCCAL DISEASE — IPD remains a leading cause of serious illness and death in ... more      

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Title: An Expanded Pneumococcal Vaccine (Prevnar 13) for Infants and Children
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