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Federal Advisory Committee Votes to Include Newly Licensed Pentacel(R) Vaccine in Vaccines for Children Program
Date:6/26/2008

- New combination vaccine offers good fit to childhood immunization

schedule providing protection with fewer shots -

SWIFTWATER, Pa., June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, announced today that its Pentacel(R), Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Adsorbed, Inactivated Poliovirus and Haemophilus b Conjugate (Tetanus Toxoid Conjugate) Vaccine will be included in the federal government's Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted today to add Pentacel vaccine to the VFC program. The VFC program provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay.

Pentacel vaccine was licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 20, 2008, for active immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, and invasive disease due to Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). It is the first and only four-dose diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP)-based combination vaccine licensed in the U.S. that includes both poliovirus and Hib vaccine antigens. Pentacel vaccine is approved for use in infants and children 6 weeks through 4 years of age (prior to fifth birthday) and is administered as a four-dose series at 2, 4, 6, and 15-18 months of age. The use of the five-in-one combination Pentacel vaccine for immunization could reduce the number of shots a child receives by 2 years of age by almost one third as compared to immunization with single-entity vaccines.

The ACIP, American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) prefer combination vaccines because they offer a way to reduce the constraints associated with the administration of separate vaccines. Using combination vaccines may help avoid missed opportunities to protect children through vacc
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SOURCE sanofi pasteur
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