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C. difficile Vaccine: A Primary Prevention Modality for At-Risk Individuals


Richard Haupt, MD, MPH, vice president of Medical Development at Pfizer Vaccines, explains how a vaccine can serve as a primary prevention modality against C. difficile.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

C. difficile infection, if it occurs, is treated with antibiotics and the treatments can be successful, but there are high recurrence rates; 25% of people who get CDI can have a recurrence. Those who have one recurrence can have even a greater chance of having recurrence beyond that. And remember, treatment, with that, comes the fact that people are sick and you’re trying to treat them and make them better and they can have really long-term sequela from their disease. So, although the treatment can be effective, it doesn’t prevent the disease.

A vaccine is really designed as a primary prevention modality, so it is given to people who are at risk for CDI, and it can [help] prevent them from ever getting it. So, you don’t ever have to have the disease that brings with it all the consequence of disease, and you don’t ever have to be on an antibiotic that can also have consequences as well. And so, it’s a primary prevention as opposed to a treatment after-the-fact.”

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