Maidenhead, England (ots/PRNewswire)
- Prevenar Vaccine to Help Protect Children Against the Leading
Vaccine-Preventable Cause of Death in Young Children Worldwide
Israel has initiated a national immunisation programme (NIP)
against pneumococcal disease with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals' vaccine
Prevenar(tm) (Pneumococcal Saccharide Conjugated Vaccine, [Adsorbed])
- which helps protect infants and young children against the
serotypes contained in the vaccine. There are now 37 countries that
include Prevenar in their childhood NIP.
"Given the public health benefits of Prevenar in countries where
it is part of the national immunisation programme, this is an
important step in helping to protect the more than 150,000 babies
born in our country each year against pneumococcal disease - a
serious public health threat," says Professor Ron Dagan, Director of
the Paediatric Infectious Disease Unit, Department of Paediatrics,
Soroka University, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
Prevenar will be included as part of the routine medical
programme offered by Israel's Family Health Services (Tipat Halav).
Infants will receive one dose at two and four months of age, followed
by a booster dose at 12 months of age. Recognising the importance of
protection against pneumococcal disease, the Israeli Ministry of
Health will also include immunisation of children born after December
31, 2007 who will be older than two months at the time the programme
commences. These children will receive two doses of the vaccine
during their second year of life.
"The Israeli Ministry of Health's decision to include Prevenar in
the national childhood immunisation programme is testament to the
country's strong commitment to address this urgent public health
issue," says David McIntosh, paediatrician and Wyeth's Medical
Director for Infectious Disease and Vaccines in Europe, the Middle
East and Africa.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pneumococcal
disease causes up to 1 million deaths in children each year and is
the leading vaccine-preventable cause of death in children younger
than five years of age worldwide.
Given the significant burden of pneumococcal disease and the
demonstrated vaccine efficacy, in March 2007, WHO recommended
priority inclusion of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in
national childhood immunisation programmes worldwide.
Following inclusion of Prevenar into the routine U.S. paediatric
immunisation schedule, there has been a 98 percent (95% CI: 97%-99%)
reduction in vaccine-type pneumococcal disease among infants and
toddlers younger than 5 years of age compared with a prelicensure
baseline. In addition, incidence of disease caused by the seven
conjugate vaccine serotypes declined by 55 percent (95% CI: 51%-58%)
among adults 50 years of age and older, an unvaccinated group. The
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported an
increase in the incidence of IPD due to non-vaccine serotypes in
children younger than 5 years of age and in adults 40 years of age
and older; it is unknown whether these effects would be observed in
Most recently, serotype 19A, which is included in Wyeth's
13-valent candidate vaccine, has been increasing in prevalence in
many regions of the world and is frequently resistant to
antibiotics. In fact, serotype 19A has emerged as the predominant
invasive pneumococcal serotype in the United States.
Prevenar, the first licensed pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, is
now available in more than 90 countries around the world, with more
than 235 million doses distributed.
Pneumococcal disease is complex and describes a group of
illnesses, all caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Pneumococcal disease affects both children and adults, and includes
invasive infections such as bacteremia/sepsis and meningitis, as well
as pneumonia and otitis media (middle ear infection).
About Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, has leading products
in the areas of women's health care, infectious disease,
gastrointestinal health, central nervous system, inflammation,
transplantation, haemophilia, oncology, vaccines and nutritional
Wyeth is one of the world's largest research-driven
pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in
the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of
pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products, nutritionals and
non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life for
people worldwide. The Company's major divisions include Wyeth
Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Fort Dodge Animal
ots Originaltext: Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
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Media contacts: Gill Markham, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, +44-1628-692536.
Joanne Wunder, OgilvyHealth PR, +44-207-108-6076