Vaccine Info

Pneumococcal Vaccines

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Last reviewed
April 8, 2021

Pneumococcal Vaccines

Pneumococcal vaccines prevent pneumococcal disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium with more than 90 serotypes. A few of these serotypes produce the most invasive pneumococcal disease, says the U.S. CDC.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices vaccine recommendations is published on this webpage.

Pneumococcal Vaccines Approved

Pneumovax 23 is a vaccine that protects against infection by 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria, which are common and often cause serious illnesses.

Prevnar 13 is a vaccine that protects against invasive disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F, and 23F.

Synflorix PCV10 is a decavalent vaccine that contains ten serotypes of pneumococcus, which are conjugated to a carrier protein produced by GlaxoSmithKline. Synflorix received a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency for use in the European Union in January 2009.

Sinovac PPV23 is a Chinese vaccine that protects against infection by 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.

Serum Institute of India PNEUMOSIL is a Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine – adsorbed, 10 Valent, a well-designed vaccine with relevant serotypes and provides comparable protection by targeting the most prevalent serotypes of the bacterium causing serious illness in developing countries.

Pneumococcal Vaccine Candidates

Merck - V114 is a phase 3 investigational 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine candidate. 

Pfizer - 20vPnC (PF-06482077) is a 20-Valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine candidate to help protect from a substantial invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia burden. 

Vaxcyte -  VAX-24 is a 24-valent investigational pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease, designed to provide the broad-spectrum coverage of Pneumovax 23 with an immunogenicity profile comparable to Prevnar 13.

Pneumococcal Vaccine News

April 6, 2021 - The Serum Institute of India confirmed it would start supplying 2.4 crore doses of the first indigenously developed pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PNEUMOSIL to the Centre by December 2021.

March 29, 2021 - Vaxcyte announcing that the company would delay filing an Investigational New Drug (“IND”) application for VAX-24 to H1 2022 from an earlier timeline of H2 2021. VAX-24 is a 24-valent investigational pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease. Vaxcyte stated it achieved several key manufacturing milestones for VAX-24 in preparation for the anticipated IND application submission and Phase 1/2 clinical study initiation.

March 23, 2021 - Pfizer Inc. announced plans to expand its vaccine business. Pfizer will develop new vaccines using mRNA technology to target other viruses and pathogens beyond the coronavirus, Chief Executive Albert Bourla said in an interview with the WSJ.

March 9, 2021 - Kaiser Study: Prevention of COVID-19 among older adults receiving pneumococcal conjugate vaccine suggests interactions between Streptococcus pneumoniae and SARS-CoV-2 in the respiratory tract. Discussion - Reduced risk of COVID-19 among PCV13 recipients, transiently attenuated by antibiotic exposure, suggests pneumococci may interact with SARS-CoV-2.

February 26, 2021 - Mayo Clinic study published by the journal Nature: Exploratory analysis of immunization records highlights decreased SARS-CoV-2 rates in individuals with recent non-COVID-19 vaccinations.

February 26, 2021 - Pfizer Inc. announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) accepted for review the Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for its 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (20vPnC) candidate, as submitted for the prevention of invasive disease and pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes in the vaccine in adults ages 18 years and older. With the MAA acceptance, the formal review process by the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use begins.

February 16, 2021 - PLOS published RESEARCH ARTICLE: Estimated impact of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on pneumonia mortality in South Africa, 1999 through 2016: An ecological modeling study. This study found that the introduction of PCV was associated with a substantial reduction in all-cause pneumonia deaths in children aged 1 month to <19 years. The model predicted an effect of PCV in age groups who were eligible for vaccination (1 month to 4 years) and an indirect effect in those too old (8 to 18 years) to be vaccinated. These findings support sustaining pneumococcal vaccination to reduce pneumonia-related mortality in children.

January 28, 2021 - Study: Effectiveness of the seven- and thirteen valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines against vaccine-serotype otitis media. PCV7 and PCV13 vaccines were found effective against complex OM caused by the targeted serotypes.

January 28, 2021 - The Lancet study: Immunogenicity and safety of a novel ten-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in healthy infants in The Gambia: a phase 3, randomized, double-blind, non-inferiority trial. Interpretation: The immunogenicity of SIIPL-PCV was non-inferior to that of PHiD-CV, for which efficacy and effectiveness data against pneumococcal disease are available. The vaccine is safe and can be co-administered with routine EPI vaccines. The data generated in this trial have supported the licensure and pre-qualification of SIIPL-PCV, making the vaccine available for introduction into national immunization programs. Generating post-implementation data confirming vaccine impact remains important.

January 12, 2021 - New Jersey-based Merck announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepted for priority review a Biologics License Application for V114. The FDA set a Prescription Drug User Fee Act of July 18, 2021.

January 12, 2021 - PNAS RESEARCH ARTICLE: Synthesis and delivery of Streptococcus pneumoniae capsular polysaccharides by recombinant attenuated Salmonella vaccines. 'Our work provides an innovative strategy for mass-producing low-cost bioconjugated polysaccharide vaccines for needle-free mucosal delivery against pneumococcal infections.'

January 9, 2021 - Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd. announced that the China National Medical Products Administration has approved and issued a Product license for the Company’s 23-Valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide (“PPV”) Vaccine to prevent the infection by streptococcus pneumonia in adults and children ages 2 years old and above.

January 5, 2020 - Although the U.S. CDC recommends vaccinating health care workers to reduce disease transmission and patient risk, the effect of these laws on pneumonia and influenza mortality is unknown. A new quasi-experimental observational study reported that implementing state laws requiring hospitals to offer influenza vaccination to their employees was associated with a 2.5% reduction in monthly pneumonia and influenza mortality rate during the years when the flu vaccine was well matched to the circulating influenza strains. These researchers concluded 'state laws promoting hospital worker vaccination against influenza may effectively prevent pneumonia- and influenza-related deaths, particularly among elderly persons.'

December 28, 2020 - Serum Institute of India announced the launch of India’s first indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine – PNEUMOSIL®, which has been developed through a collaboration spanning over a decade among Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd, PATH, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  PNEUMOSIL® is WHO pre-qualified for its procurement by United Nations Agencies and GAVI.

December 14, 2020 - Research: An in vivo atlas of host-pathogen transcriptomes during Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization and disease. We identified and experimentally verified host-defense pathways induced by Spn during invasive disease, including proinflammatory responses and the interferon response. These results shed light on the pathogenesis of Spn and identify therapeutic targets.

December 9, 2020 - Sinovac Biotech Ltd. announced that the China National Medical Products Administration has approved and issued a Product license for the Company’s 23-Valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine to prevent the infection by streptococcus pneumonia in adults and children ages 2 years old and above.

December 8, 2020 - Pfizer Inc. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepted for priority review a Biologics License Application for its 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine candidate, as submitted for the prevention of invasive disease and pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes in the vaccine in adults ages 18 years and older.

November 23, 2020 - Merck announced the company had submitted applications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency for licensure of V114, Merck’s investigational 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, for use in adults 18 years of age and older. The company awaits acceptance of the U.S. and European regulatory authorities' submissions.

October 23, 2020 - In the setting of an established national childhood PCV13 vaccination program, PPV23 vaccination of clinical at-risk patient groups and adults aged ≥65 years provided moderate long-term protection against hospitalization with PPV23 serotype pneumonia. These findings suggest that PPV23 vaccination may continue to have an important role in adult pneumococcal vaccine policy, including the possibility of revaccination of older adults.

October 20, 2020 - Merck announced findings from two additional Phase 3 studies evaluating the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of V114, the company’s investigational 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

October 1, 2020 - US Health Officials Urge Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccination Amid COVID-19 Pandemic.

September 30, 2020 - Study: Impact of 23‐valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination on the frequency of pneumonia‐related hospitalization and survival in elderly patients with prostate cancer: A seven‐year nationwide matched cohort study.

September 27, 2020 - Study: Pneumococcal vaccine uptake and vaccine effectiveness in older adults with invasive pneumococcal disease in Germany.

September 25, 2020 - The direct effect of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines on the invasive pneumococcal disease in children in the Latin American and Caribbean region (SIREVA 2006–17): a multicentre, retrospective observational study.

August 25, 2020 - The Lancet published: Assessing reduced-dose pneumococcal vaccine schedules in South Africa.

August 25, 2020 - Immunogenicity of a single-dose compared with a two-dose primary series followed by a booster dose of ten-valent or 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in South African children: an open-label, randomized, non-inferiority trial - The non-inferiority in post-booster immune responses following a single-dose compared with a 2-dose primary series of PCV13 or PCV10 indicates the potential for reducing PCV dosing schedules from a 2 + 1 to 1 + 1 series in low-income and middle-income settings with well-established PCV immunization programs.

August 10, 2020 - Study: Factors associated with pneumococcal vaccination uptake by cancer survivors.

July 31, 2020 - Study: Pneumococcal vaccination in older adults: An initial analysis of social determinants of health and vaccine uptake. Social determinants of health, including local health literacy, poverty, residing in more liberal areas, and access to information, may be influencing the pneumococcal vaccine-related decisions of older adults. However, additional factors associated with the vaccine hesitancy matrix and more granular data (e.g., zip code-level) are needed to determine the impact of this thoroughly and other vaccines recommended in older adults.

July 31, 2020 - Study: Can Flu and Pneumonia Vaccines Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

July 28, 2020 - The protective effect of pneumococcal vaccination on cardiovascular disease in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine protects against adverse cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and congestive heart failure, according to a meta-analysis of 18 studies published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

July 27, 2020 - Influenza and pneumonia vaccinations are associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to new research reported at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2020.

July 20, 2020 - The Lancet study: Invasive pneumococcal disease incidence in children and adults in France during the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine era: an interrupted time-series analysis of data 17-year national prospective surveillance study. PCV13 implementation led to a major reduction in invasive pneumococcal disease incidence. However, a rebound in cases among children and adults since 2015, driven by several emerging non-PCV13 serotypes, jeopardizes the long-term PCV benefits. If confirmed in the coming years, these findings should be considered in developing next-generation PCVs and might guide policymakers in selecting future pneumococcal vaccines.

July 15, 2020 - Serum Institute became the first research institute in India to manufacture a domestically developed, fully indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine.

July 13, 2020 - The risk for invasive pneumococcal disease is increased when contracting influenza, but could be lessened in environments of high humidity, according to a study involving approximately 20,000 individuals in 3 countries, reported JAMA.

January 23, 2020 - Exposure to diesel exhaust particles linked to pneumococcal disease susceptibility.

Note: This content is reviewed by healthcare professionals such as Dr. Robert Carlson.