Pfizer has launched ‘Apexxnar’ in Spaina 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV20) from Pfizer, is now available in Spain for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal pneumonia caused by 20 serotypes of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae in adults over 18 years of age.
The new vaccine includes the largest number of serotypes that cause pneumococcal disease, more than any other pneumococcal conjugate vaccine available. Specifically, it includes 20 serotypes (1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 8, 9V, 10A, 11A, 12F, 14, 15B, 18C, 19A, 19F, 22F, 23F and 33F) that are currently responsible for 70 percent of pneumococcal pneumonia requiring hospitalization in adults in Spain.
Therefore, it includes capsular polysaccharide conjugates for the 13 serotypes already included in ‘PREVENAR 13’, it also contains capsular polysaccharide conjugates for seven additional serotypes that cause invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and have been associated with high case fatality rates, antibiotic resistance, and/or meningitis.
PCV20 is expected to induce immunological memory and help provide protection against pneumococcal disease, including nonbacteremic pneumonia, particularly in older adults. “In principle it is only one dose, and only with time will we know if it will be the only one that has to be administered,” said the coordinator of the Pneumoexperts in Prevention Group, Federico Martinón Torres.
The expert has thus pronounced in the presentation of the vaccine in which they have also been present the professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid, Ángel Gil; the Primary Care physician and head of the Vaccine Group of the Spanish Society of General and Family Physicians (SEMG), Isabel Jimeno; and the medical director of Pfizer vaccines for southern Europe, Cristina Méndez.
All of them have highlighted the importance of launching this vaccine since, as Professor Gil has explained, in In Spain, between 180,000 and 200,000 cases of pneumococcal pneumonia occur each yearhalf of which are diagnosed in people over 60 years of age, which increases the risk of hospitalization and death.
«For these people over 60-65 years of age and for patients with chronic pathologies, protection against pneumococcal infection is essentialnot only because of the mortality associated with this pathology, but also in the case of patients with chronic pathologies who are admitted for pneumococcal pneumonia, their quality of life is affected and diminished”, emphasized Dr. Jimeno.
At the same time, Martinon has stressed that vaccination throughout life has to put more emphasis on the protection of adults, because, as stated, avoiding disease is also improving the quantity and quality of life of the vaccinated. “For this reason, this new vaccine against pneumonia, along with other vaccines recommended for adults, should be part of the healthy lifestyle of adults,” she asserted.
Professor Gil expressed the same opinion, commenting that this vaccine has “great and enormous benefits”, as well as the doctor who has insisted on the importance of helping to prevent 70 percent of pneumococcal pneumonias and that the adult population be made aware of the importance of vaccination.
Pfizer’s Phase 3 adult clinical program for PCV20 included three clinical trials (‘NCT03760146’, ‘NCT03828617’ and ‘NCT03835975’) that evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate to support use for disease prevention invasive and pneumococcal pneumonia in adults 18 years of age and older. More than 6,000 adults have participated in these three trials.including adult populations without prior pneumococcal vaccination and adults with prior pneumococcal vaccination.
“Respiratory infectious diseases are the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. For this reason, at Pfizer we decided to bet on this area of innovation with such a high impact on society through the development of vaccines against infectious diseases such as pneumococcal disease and also to combat meningococcal disease, the disease caused by the respiratory syncytial virus or SARS-CoV-2 ”, Méndez has settled.