By SOLA OGUNDIPE
CHILDREN and adolescents aged 6-17 years can now benefit from Prevenar13-Pfizer’s pneumococcal conjugate vaccine approved for active immunisation for prevention of invasive pneumonia and acute otitis media caused by streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.
A statement by Pfizer Specialities Ltd., said Nigerian children in this age group who have not previously received the vaccine may now obtain a single dose of the vaccine.
The announcement is coming on the heels of approval by the European Commission expanding use of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, to older children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years
According to Dr. Emilio Emini, Chief scientific officer, Vaccine Research, Pfizer, “Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine has been administered to millions of infants and young children around the world and helps protect against the often fatal effects of pneumococcal disease. As the global leader in pneumococcal disease prevention, Pfizer continues to study the use of this life-saving vaccine across all ages.”
The EU approved the expanded indication following submission and review of a Phase 3, open-label trial of the vaccine in 592 healthy children and adolescents, including those with underlying medical conditions such as asthma. The study met all endpoints, demonstrating immunogenicity and establishing a safety profile in children and adolescents aged 6-17 years consistent with the safety profile established in previous trials in infants and young children.
“Children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 with underlying medical conditions have an increased risk of pneumococcal disease,” said Dr. Jodar, Vice President, Vaccines Global Medicines Development Group, Pfizer.