by Linda A. Johnson
U.S. regulators have approved a new Merck pneumonia vaccine, more than a month after accepting an improved version of rival Pfizer’s shot.
Both new prey offer better protection against bacteria that can cause pneumonia, and meningitis blood infections, as well as garden variety ear and sinus infections.
Merck said Friday that the Food and Drug Administration approved its shot, called Vaxneuvance, for people over 18 years of age. It protects against 15 of the approximately 100 pneumococcal strains, including those most responsible for serious illness.
Merck has not revealed the price of its shot or the timing of its launch.
Pfizer’s updated vaccine, Prevnar 20, was approved on June 8 for adults. It has a list price of $ 232, but Pfizer said insured patients could probably be vaccinated for free or at low cost.
A panel of vaccine experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will review both vaccines in October and recommend who should take them.
Pfizer’s new vaccine protects against seven more strains than the decade-old Prevnar 13, the world’s most lucrative vaccine, with annual revenues of nearly $ 6 billion. In a large study, the new shot was 75% effective against the most serious disease.
Merck said tests showed its new vaccine works just like Prevnar 13 against strains that fight both vaccines, but that it is more effective against a single strain.
Merck and Pfizer have been testing their shots on children and babies and plan to seek approval from these age groups.
Meanwhile, Merck will continue to sell its 38-year-old Pneumovax 23 vaccine, which protects against 23 strains and is approved for children. It uses older technology that does not elicit an immune response as strong or long-lasting as the two recently passed shots.
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Citation: The new Merck pneumonia vaccine ran in the weeks in the United States after Pfizer (2021, July 17) recovered on July 17, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-merck- pneumonia-vaccine-okd-weeks.html
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