Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Israel Adds Wyeth's 7-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV7) to their National Immunisation Programme

    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 other populations.

    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

    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 products.

    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 Health.

ots Originaltext: Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
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