Prevnar  (Pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine)

Manufacturer: Wyeth-Ayerst

Indication(s):  Active immunization of infants and toddlers against invasive disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae including meningitis and bacteremia due to capsular serotypes included in the vaccine (4,6B,9V,14,18C,19F,23F).

Administration:  Series of 4 inoculations, usually at 2, 4, 6, and 12-15 months of age.

Pharmacology:  Stimulation of antibody production to prevent pneumococcal disease.

WebRx Editorial Notes:  Prevnar targets the seven serotypes or strains of pneumococcus that cause about 80 percent of all pneumococcal invasive disease in children less than six years of age in the U.S.  It is estimated that each year in the U.S. there are about 16,000 cases of pneumococcal bacteremia and 1400 cases of pneumococcal meningitis among children under age five. Children under the age of two are at highest risk for infection. In up to half the cases of meningitis, brain damage and hearing loss occurs and about 10 percent die. 

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