Merck’s pneumococcal vaccine gets CDC panel backing

  • Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday unanimously recommended Merck & Co.’s recently approved pneumococcal vaccine for use in adults aged 65 years and older and in younger adults with certain health conditions who haven’t previously received a shot.
  • The recommendation puts Merck’s vaccine, called Capvaxive, in the same bucket as Pfizer’s Prevnar 20 shot and Merck’s earlier pneumococcal products Vaxneuvance and Pneumovax. Capvaxive was approved by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this month to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia.
  • Pfizer’s Prevnar franchise has long been dominant in the pneumococcal market. Merck hopes to compete with Vaxneuvance and Capvaxive, although it’s not clear how much share it might yet win.

Pneumococcal disease can lead to severe infections in the lungs such as pneumonia or meningitis. Older adults and people with certain health conditions are at higher risk of disease.

Capvaxive is…
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