The Food and Drug Administration has approved Prevnar 20, the first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to protect against 20 Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes in adults aged 18 years and older, drugmaker Pfizer announced Tuesday.
Prevnar 20 protects against the 13 serotypes already included in its Prevnar 13 vaccine. And it adds protection against seven additional microorganisms that are commonly linked to high fatality rates, antibiotic resistance and/or meningitis in pneumonia, Pfizer stated.
In the United States, more than half of all cases of invasive pneumococcal disease in adults aged 65 and older are due to these 20 serotypes, including bacteremia and meningitis, the company said. And the seven new serotypes in Prevnar 20 account for approximately 40% of all pneumococcal disease cases and deaths in the U.S., it added.
In related news, Pfizer began testing Prevnar 20 alongside a COVID-19 booster shot in older adults in May. The trial will assess the safety of co-administering the two drugs and track each vaccine’s effect on immunity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, is scheduled to convene in October to update its recommendations on appropriate use of pneumococcal vaccines in adults.