WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved Pfizer Inc.‘s best-selling Prevnar 13 vaccine for use in preventing pneumococcal disease in adults age 50 and older.
Pneumococcal disease causes meningitis, pneumonia and ear infection.
Prevnar 13 protects against 13 strains of the disease. It’s already a standard vaccination for infants and young children.
- By Mark Lennihan, AP–good job on this article!
- Two key late-stage studies of Pfizer’s blockbuster pneumococcal vaccine for children show it works at least as well as a rival in adults, a big market the drugmaker wants to tap.
What does this mean for you?
- If you have chronic sinus infections or pneumonias, I will check antibody levels to see how well you fight infection. If low, you will usually be immunized with Pneumovax™–0.50ml in adults, 0.25ml in children.
- Now, I have a choice: use Prevnar 13 or Pneumovax. Which one is better? You would have to ask!
- Studies haven’t been done with immunodeficient patients comparing the two vaccines, but the FDA now considers Prevnar 13 as effective in normal adults as Pneumovax.
- How about the cost? You guessed it….the Prevnar 13 is ~twice as expensive as Pneumovax™