Pfizer's pneumococcal vaccine approved for use in Europeans aged six to 17

Pfizer, Inc., recently announced that the European Commission has approved expanding the use of Prevenar 13, its pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

The EC has approved Prevenar 13 for older children and adolescents aged six to 17 years to prevent pneumonia and acute otitis media caused by Streptococcus pneumonia. The decision to approve the expanded indication came after Pfizer submitted the results of Phase III clinical testing for review.

"Prevenar 13 has been administered to millions of infants and young children around the world and helps protect against the often fatal effects of pneumococcal disease," Dr. Emilio Emini, the chief scientific officer of Vaccine Research at Pfizer, said. "As the global leader in pneumococcal disease prevention, Pfizer continues to study the use of this life-saving vaccine across all ages."

The vaccine was first approved in Europe in 2009 and is now approved in more than 120 countries worldwide. It is considered the most widely used pneumococcal vaccine. More than 500 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed around the world.

"Children and adolescents aged 6 to seventeen with underlying medical conditions have an increased risk of pneumococcal disease," Dr. Luis Jodar, the vice president of the Vaccines Global Medicines Development Group of Pfizer, said. "Pfizer will continue working with health authorities worldwide in an effort to provide access to Prevenar 13 to those at risk of disease."