GSK and Merck vaccines approved for U.K. vaccine schedule

Two companies in the United Kingdom, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, have seen an increase in sales due to the inclusion of their vaccines in the national immunization schedule.

The U.K. runs a national immunization schedule, which may require residents to be vaccinated for different diseases. The amount of the dosage and the time the vaccination must occur are both covered by the schedule. Numerous countries have an immunization schedule, some of which are mandatory.

Going through different companies, the U.K. finally settled on two vaccines from GSK and Merck, pharmaceutical companies known for manufacturing medicine and vaccines.

GSK will have its rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix, included in the U.K.'s immunization schedule. All babies will receive the vaccine at two to three months of age to help reduce the 14,000 cases of hospitalization caused by rotavirus each year.

Merck, a competitor in the rotavirus market, saw its shingles vaccine, Zostavax, approved and added to the U.K. immunization schedule. Zostavax and will be offered to anyone over the age of 70.

The National Health Service choose these companies because of their lower cost vaccines. The NHS expects to save up to $31 million due to a reduction in shingles and rotavirus healthcare interventions.