With New National Immunisation Programme in Saudi Arabia, Thirty-Five Countries Now Offer Routine Immunisation Against Pneumococcal Disease With Prevenar

By Prne, Gaea News Network
Sunday, March 22, 2009

MAIDENHEAD, England - Prevenar Helps Protect Children Against the Leading
Vaccine-Preventable Cause of Death in Children Younger than Five Years of Age

Wyeth today announced that Prevenar(TM) (Pneumococcal saccharide
conjugated vaccine, Adsorbed) has been added to Saudi Arabia’s national
childhood immunisation programme to help protect infants and young children
from pneumococcal disease - the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in
children younger than five years of age worldwide. Prevenar is now included
in the national immunisation programmes (NIPs) of 35 countries worldwide.

Prevenar (also referred to as PCV7), the global standard in pneumococcal
disease prevention for infants and young children, helps protect against the
seven pneumococcal serotypes contained in the vaccine that cause the majority
of pneumococcal disease worldwide. Prevenar has both proven clinical efficacy
and documented effectiveness resulting in significant public health impact.
More than 235 million doses of Prevenar have been distributed across the
world since its introduction.

“Wyeth is pleased that 35 countries now share in the commitment to help
protect current and future generations from pneumococcal disease - an urgent
and pressing health issue. As a result, nearly 15 million children born this
year will have the benefit of protection with Prevenar,” says Dr. E. David
McIntosh, paediatrician and Wyeth’s Medical Director for Infectious Disease
and Vaccines in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Since its introduction,
Prevenar has had a substantial impact on public health, dramatically reducing
the rate of invasive pneumococcal disease where it is routinely used.”

In addition to Saudi Arabia, Oman included Prevenar as part of their NIP
in 2009. Other notable NIPs initiated this year include Turkey, with an
annual birth rate of more than 1 million, and Sweden. South Africa, which
initiated a national immunisation programme in September 2008, plans to
implement it nationwide on 1 April, covering more than 1 million children
born this year. Of the 35 countries now including Prevenar on their NIP, 25
are in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which encompasses more than 7
million children born each year.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pneumococcal disease
causes up to 1 million deaths in children each year. The WHO recommends
priority inclusion of PCV7 in national childhood immunisation programs
worldwide due to the significant burden of pneumococcal disease and
demonstrated vaccine efficacy.

After inclusion of Prevenar on the national immunisation programme in the
US, there was a 98 percent (95% CI: 97-99) reduction in vaccine-type
pneumococcal disease among infants and toddlers younger than 5 years of age
compared with a prelicensure baseline. In addition, the incidence of disease
caused by the seven conjugate vaccine serotypes declined 55 percent (95% CI:
51-58) among adults 50 years of age and older, an unvaccinated group.


Pneumococcal Disease

Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of illness and death worldwide
and affects children and adults. Pneumococcal disease is caused by the
bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and can result in multiple disease
manifestations, including invasive infections, such as bacteremia/sepsis and
meningitis, as well as pneumonia and otitis media.


Wyeth is one of the world’s largest research-driven pharmaceutical and
health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development,
manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology
products, nutritionals and non-prescription medicines that improve the
quality of life for people worldwide. The Company’s major divisions include
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Fort Dodge Animal

Media Portal

To access further media information relating to this press release,
additional information on Prevenar and future media announcements, please
register on the media centre at www.wyeth.eu.

Source: Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Limited

Media Contacts: Gill Markham, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, +44(0)1628-692536, markhagl at wyeth.com; Joanne Wunder, OgilvyHealthPR, +44(0)207-108-6076, joanne.wunder at ohpr.com

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