Health Advisory

New Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV)
A 13-Valent PCV Will Replace 7-Valent PCV

To: VFC Providers
From: Christine Finley, MSN, MPH, Immunization Program Chief
Date: December 14, 2009

– Please Distribute Widely –

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has informed the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) to prepare for the pending approval and licensure of a new pneumococcal conjugate vaccine that provides expanded protection against invasive pneumococcal disease.  Wyeth (now Pfizer) has manufactured a 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13) which will replace their 7-valent pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar® (PCV7).  The new vaccine includes the original seven serotypes and six additional serotypes.

The CDC anticipates that the new vaccine will be licensed and available for ordering by providers beginning in February.  Over the next several weeks the CDC will be adjusting (downward) the PCV7 inventory that is available for states to order in an effort to reduce vaccine lost when PCV13 becomes available.  In order to minimize vaccine wastage at provider offices, VDH requests that you request smaller amounts of PCV7 at this time.  This should minimize waste and facilitate a smooth transition to PCV13 in February.  If you find that you reduced your orders too much, VDH will allow additional small orders for PCV7 in January.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) draft recommendations are comprehensive.  They do recommend that children who have begin their vaccination series with PCV-7 may complete the series by switching to PCV-13 at any point in the schedule.

VDH will provide timely updates as we learn about licensure and final ACIP recommendations.  If you have any questions, please contact the Immunization Program at 802-863-7638.  Thank you for your cooperation.

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