MAIDENHEAD, England, July 14 --
- 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
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
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
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.
SOURCE: Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Limited
Media contacts: Gill Markham, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, +44-1628-692536. Joanne
Wunder, OgilvyHealth PR, +44-207-108-6076