Merck yesterday announced the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) unanimously voted in favour of updates to pneumococcal vaccination recommendations for adults 65 years and older, and for adults aged 19 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions (e.g., chronic conditions such as diabetes, chronic heart disease, chronic lung disease, or chronic liver disease, as well as HIV, an immunocompromising condition) or other disease risk factors (e.g., smoking, alcoholism).
In both groups, the ACIP voted to provisionally recommend vaccination either with a sequential regimen of Vaxneuvance followed by Pneumovax 23, or with a single dose of 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. These updates would apply to adults who have not previously received a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or whose previous pneumococcal vaccination history is unknown, a statement from Merck said.
The statement also notified that these provisional recommendations will be reviewed by the director of the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services, and final recommendations will become official when published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
According to the statement, Vaxneuvance is indicated for active immunisation for the prevention of 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. It is contraindicated for individuals with a history of severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of Vaxneuvance or to diphtheria toxoid.
Pneumovax 23 is indicated for active immunisation for the prevention of pneumococcal disease caused by the 23 serotypes contained in the vaccine (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6B, 7F, 8, 9N, 9V, 10A, 11A, 12F, 14, 15B, 17F, 18C, 19F, 19A, 20, 22F, 23F and 33F), in persons 50 years of age or older and persons aged ≥2 years who are at increased risk for pneumococcal disease. It will not prevent disease caused by capsular types of pneumococcus other than those contained in the vaccine. Pneumovax 23 is contraindicated in individuals with a history of a hypersensitivity reaction to any component of Pneumovax 23, added the statement.
“Today’s vote reinforces the potential for Vaxneuvance in series with Pneumovax 23 to help address a significant unmet need in the US 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,” the statement quoted Dr Roy Baynes, Senior Vice President and Head, Global Clinical Development, Chief Medical Officer, Merck Research Laboratories as saying.