MAIDENHEAD, England, March 23 /PRNewswire/ --
- Prevenar Helps Protect Children Against the Leading Vaccine-Preventable Cause of Death in Children Younger than Five Years of Age Worldwide
Wyeth today announced that Prevenar(TM) (Pneumococcal saccharide conjugated vaccine, Adsorbed) has been added to Saudi Arabia's national childhood immunisation programme to help protect infants and young children from pneumococcal disease - the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in children younger than five years of age worldwide. Prevenar is now included in the national immunisation programmes (NIPs) of 35 countries worldwide.
Prevenar (also referred to as PCV7), the global standard in pneumococcal disease prevention for infants and young children, helps protect against the seven pneumococcal serotypes contained in the vaccine that cause the majority of pneumococcal disease worldwide. Prevenar has both proven clinical efficacy and documented effectiveness resulting in significant public health impact. More than 235 million doses of Prevenar have been distributed across the world since its introduction.
Wyeth is pleased that 35 countries now share in the commitment to help protect current and future generations from pneumococcal disease - an urgent and pressing health issue. As a result, nearly 15 million children born this year will have the benefit of protection with Prevenar, says Dr. E. David McIntosh, paediatrician and Wyeth's Medical Director for Infectious Disease and Vaccines in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Since its introduction, Prevenar has had a substantial impact on public health, dramatically reducing the rate of invasive pneumococcal disease where it is routinely used.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, Oman included Prevenar as part of their NIP in 2009. Other notable NIPs initiated this year include Turkey, with an annual birth rate of more than 1 million, and Sweden. South Africa, which initiated a national immunisation programme in September 2008, plans to implement it nationwide on 1 April, covering more than 1 million children born this year. Of the 35 countries now including Prevenar on their NIP, 25 are in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which encompasses more than 7 million children born each year.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pneumococcal disease causes up to 1 million deaths in children each year. The WHO recommends priority inclusion of PCV7 in national childhood immunisation programs worldwide due to the significant burden of pneumococcal disease and demonstrated vaccine efficacy.
After inclusion of Prevenar on the national immunisation programme in the US, there was 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, the incidence of disease caused by the seven conjugate vaccine serotypes declined 55 percent (95% CI: 51-58) among adults 50 years of age and older, an unvaccinated group.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of illness and death worldwide and affects children and adults. Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and can result in multiple disease manifestations, including invasive infections, such as bacteremia/sepsis and meningitis, as well as pneumonia and otitis media.
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.
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