Words by GOLD newsdesk
A new paediatric vaccine has been approved by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), in efforts to protect children against pneumococcal disease, including pneumonia and meningitis.
The the first approval of its kind in 10 years, MSD’s Vaxneuvance, which is already approved for the prevention of invasive disease and pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae for those aged 18 and over, has had its indication expanded to include infants, children and adolescents from six weeks old.
This approval was based on pivotal results from clinical trials, which found that a three- or four-dose regimen of MSD’s vaccine was deemed the most effective for healthy infants to children, and a single dose most effective for healthy children and adolescents.
Commenting on the approval, Dr Dilruwan Herath, Executive Medical Affairs Director, MSD UK & Ireland, said: “Infants less than one year of age typically experience the highest rates of disease, therefore this approval provides an important new option to protect and reassure families across the UK. As the first new PCV in over a decade, we hope to see the new generation of pneumococcal vaccines assessed holistically by the UK health system.”
Pneumococcal disease is caused by S. pneumoniae – a World Health Organization Global Priority Pathogen. Cases of invasive pneumococcal disease have historically risen during winter, and can lead to serious complications such as bactermia, bactermic pneumonia and meningitis.