FDA approves triple vaccine for seniors

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved GlaxoSmithKline’s triple vaccine “Boostrix,” a combination vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis for patients over the age of 65 years old, on Friday.

Currently, there are only individual vaccines available in the market to prevent each of the diseases and multiple vaccines offering protection against tetanus and diphtheria. The FDA said the Boostrix is the first vaccine approved for the prevention of all three diseases in the senior age group, Top News reports.

Boostrix was previously approved as a booster vaccine for adolescents between the ages of 10 to 18 years and for adults between the ages of 19 and 64 years of age.

Karen Midthun of the FDA’s center for biologics evaluated told Top News that pertussis is a highly contagious disease with outbreaks reported among multiple 65-plus patients in hospitals and nursing homes.

“With this approval, adults 65 and older now have the opportunity to receive a vaccine that prevents pertussis, as well as tetanus and diphtheria,” Midthun said, according to Top News.

The FDA evaluated a study involving 1,300 patients at least 65 years of age who received Boostrix and found that the antibody levels of the patients were found to be comparable to the levels of infants who had been inoculated against pertussis. The antibody levels against diphtheria and tetanus were also analogous with those who had received the licensed vaccines that are currently available.