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CDC ACIP Unanimously Votes to Provisionally Recommend Merck’s Pneumococcal Vaccinations

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) updated their pneumococcal vaccination recommendations, adding Merck’s sequential vaccine regimen.

Yesterday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) unanimously voted to update their pneumococcal vaccination recommendations. ACIP provisionally recommended vaccination with a sequential regimen of VAXNEUVANCE followed by PNEUMOVAX23, or with a single dose of 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

These updates are applicable to adults 65 years of age and older, adults ages 19-64 with certain underlying medical conditions (chronic conditions such as diabetes, chronic heart disease, chronic lung disease, or chronic liver disease, HIV, an immunocompromising condition) or other disease risk factors (smoking, alcoholism). These vaccine recommendations are for adults who have not previously received a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or whose previous pneumococcal vaccination history is unknown.

VAXNEUVANCE and PNEUMOVAX23 were developed by Merck. VAXNEUVANCE is intended to immunize and prevent invasive disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F, 22F, 23F and 33F in adults (18 years of age and older). VAXNEUVANCE is not recommended for persons with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of VAXNEUVANCE or to diphtheria toxoid.

PNEUMOVAX 23 is indicated for active immunization to prevent pneumococcal disease caused by the 23 serotypes contained in the vaccine in individuals 50 years of age and older, as well as persons older than 2 years who are at increased risk of pneumococcal disease. PNEUMOVAX 23 does not prevent disease caused by capsular types of pneumococci other than those contained in the vaccine, and is not recommended for anyone with a history of a hypersensitivity reaction to any component of PNEUMOVAX 23.

Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president, head of global clinical development, and chief medical officer at Merck Research Laboratories, stated, “Today’s vote reinforces the potential for VAXNEUVANCE in series with PNEUMOVAX 23 to help address a significant unmet need in the U.S. for adult populations at increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). VAXNEUVANCE in series with PNEUMOVAX 23 elicits a strong immune response to the serotypes shared by both vaccines, and together this regimen can help protect against pneumococcal serotypes responsible for about two-thirds of IPD cases in adults at increased risk.”

These provisional recommendations are subject to approval by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Director of the CDC; they will become official when published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).