Since the introduction of Wyeth's Prevnar (pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine (diphtheria CRM197 protein)), in the U.S. in 2000, the rate of antibiotic-resistant invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) has substantially decreased in infants and young children, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In addition, the study found, the rate of antibiotic-resistant IPD decreased in adults over 65 years of age -- which implies an indirect effect in the non-vaccinated population.
The study analyzed population-based research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It found that in the years since Prevnar became widely available, IPD caused by penicillin-resistant strains has been reduced by 98 percent among children younger than two years of age, and by 79 percent among adults aged 65 years or older.
Prevnar is the only vaccine indicated for the immunization of infants and toddlers against invasive diseases caused by staphylococcus pneumoniae. It is typically administered to children at 2, 4, 6, and 15 months of age.