Pneumococcal Vaccines

At least 90 serotypes of pneumococcal bacterium are known, and up to one third of all U.S. types demonstrate moderate to high-level resistance to antibiotics.

A conjugate vaccine that contains the seven serotypes responsible for 80% of invasive disease was licensed in 2000 for use in infants and children, and is now recommended for use in all infants. (CDC, 2000).

The vaccine is relatively ineffective in adults (it does not prevent pneumonia), but is effective in preventing pneumonia and other invasive disease in children.

The Vaccine Guide: Risks and Benefits for Children and Adults, Randall Neustaedter, OMD

The vaccine does not prevent ear infections (See Prevnar Product Insert).

The widespread use of vaccine may cause shifts in disease pathogens to serotypes not contained in the currently licensed vaccine, thus leaving the overall incidence of problems caused by the bacterial group relatively unchanged (See Prevnar Package Insert).

This is exactly what has happened.  Therefore the original pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar has been replaced by Prevnar 13.


Prevnar – Pneumococcal 7-valent Conjugate Vaccine – Wyeth – Product Insert

The Prevnar Vaccine is a solution of saccharides of seven capsular antigens of Streptococcus pneumoniae individually conjugated to a diphtheria protein.

“Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important cause of acute otitis media (ear infections).”  See page 2.  However, “because otitis media is caused by many organisms other than serotypes of S. pneumoniae represented in the vaccine, protection against all causes of otitis media is expected to be low.” (Page 11)

Although one of the studies cited in the product insert found that Prevnar reduced the overall pneumococcal otitis ear infections, it stated “children who received Prevnar appeared to be at increased risk of otitis media due to pneumococcal serotypes not represented in the vaccine, compared to children who received the control vaccine.” (See page 6)

“The minimum serum antibody concentration necessary for protection against invasive pneumococcal disease or against pneumococcal otitis media has not been determined for any serotype.” (Bottom of page 9)

Adverse Reactions:  See pages 15-26.

In one study (Kaiser Efficacy study) there were 11 deaths (4 SIDS) that occurred among subjects receiving Prevnar.  In comparison, in the control group there were 21 deaths (8 SIDS).  However, the control group received an investigational meningococcal group C conjugate vaccine, so all this tells us that the latter vaccine was twice as deadly as Prevnar.  It was noted that the number of SIDS deaths in kids from California during the same time period (1995-1997) was similar as seen in the efficacy study, which again tells us nothing as those children would have been vaccinated with the routine childhood vaccines. (See page 21)

Prevnar Ingredients: Aluminum Phosphate, Amino Acid, Soy Peptone, Yeast Extract.

MDH recommends Prevnar vaccine in 4 shots at 2, 4, 6, and 12-18 months.
March 2011- 5 deaths in Japan from Prevnar and Hib vaccines

Prevnar 13

Prevnar 13 (Pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine) – Wyeth - Product Insert

The Prevnar 13 vaccine is a solution of saccharides of thirteen capsular antigens of Streptococcus pneumoniae individually conjugated to a diphtheria protein.  This vaccine replaces the original Prevnar vaccine which contained 7 capsular antigens.

Prevnar 13 is licensed for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age and to be administered as a 4-dose series at 2, 4, 6, and 12-15 months of age.

Safety studies compared children who received Prevnar 13 to those who received Prevnar.  Overall, the safety data show a similar proportion of Prevnar 13 and Prevnar subjects reporting serious adverse events, with 8.2% occurring in the Prevnar 13 recipients and 7.2% among the Prevnar recipients (Page 6)

The most commonly reported serious adverse events were in the ‘Infections and infestations’ system organ class including bronchiolitis, gastroenteritis and pneumonia.  (Page 6) 

Post-marketing experience: vaccination-site dermatitis, pruritis, and urticaria, lymphadenopathy localized ot the region of the injection site, cyanosis, anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reaction including shock, hypotonia, angioneurotic edema, erythema multiforme, apnea, pallor (p. 21)

There were 3 deaths in the Prevnar 13 recipients and 1 death in the Prevnar recipients, all labeled as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). (Page 6)

Prevnar 13 Ingredients:  Casamino acids and yeast extract-based medium, CRM197 carrier protein, Polysorbate 80, succinate buffer, aluminum phosphate, soy peptone broth

© 2011 - •