-- Scott Roberts
TUESDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The Prevnar 13 bacterial
pneumonia vaccine has been approved for people aged 50 and older,
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.
The vaccine targets pneumonia and other diseases caused by the
Streptococcus pneumoniae. The shot, targeting 13 serotypes of the bacterium, has already been approved for children aged 6 weeks through 5 years to prevent invasive disease and certain ear infections, the agency said in a news release.
In clinical testing for the expanded use of the vaccine, people
50 and older were either given Prevnar 13 or another licensed
pneumococcal vaccine, Pneumovax 23. The studies found Prevnar 13
induced levels of immune system antibodies that were either
comparable or higher than those of Pneumovax 23, the FDA said.
Common side effects of Prevnar 13 included injection-site
swelling, redness and pain, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain
and joint pain.
An additional study in 85,000 people aged 65 or older is
ongoing, the agency said.
Prevnar 13 is produced by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, based in
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
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