Pfizer’s Prevnar 13 vaccine reduced hospitalizations for pneumonia by 90 percent compared to placebo in women enrolled in a large prospective study, the pharmaceutical company reported on Thursday.
Plans to seek approval of Prevnar 13 for this indication have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The study, enrolled in 2017, involved up to 34,000 women ages 65 and older. Women who got the vaccine against pneumococcal disease had their annual doses of Prevnar 13 reduced in hospitalization for hospitalization and pneumonia by the FDA’s indicated level of 0 percent to 10 percent.
Pneumococcal disease is the most common infection caused by bacteria commonly found in the intestines, causing “yelling, cough and sore throat,” according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can cause serious bloodstream infections, severe bloodstream and pneumonia.
The vaccine is recommended for people ages 2 to 70 who have not received a pneumococcal vaccine as children and for pregnant women and newborns.
Vaccine recommendations should be made after completing other immunizations, such as influenza, for children and after pelvic exams, according to the CDC.
Prevnar 13, which was approved in 2009, was used in nearly $1.3 billion worth of global sales in 2015, Pfizer reported on Thursday.
In 2016, Prevnar 13 vaccines prevented 400,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths among children under 5, and 800,000 hospitalizations and 55,000 deaths among adults, the company reported. That year, there were more than 207 million total doses sold worldwide.
The vaccine also can be taken during childhood to prevent another type of infection. It can prevent invasive diseases such as meningitis, including associated neurological complications, and is given as two doses beginning in infancy, aged 4 to 6 months.