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Notice to Readers: Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Shortage Resolved

Since February 2004, CDC has recommended that 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), marketed as Prevnar® and manufactured by Wyeth Vaccines (Collegeville, Pennsylvania), be administered to healthy children on an abbreviated schedule to conserve the limited supply (1--3). Production capacity has been increased, and supply is now sufficient to meet the national demand for vaccine on the routine, 4-dose schedule. Effective immediately, CDC, in consultation with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommends that providers resume administration of PCV7 according to the routine schedule (4--6).

A vaccination schedule is provided for children who are incompletely vaccinated (Table). The highest priority for catch-up vaccination is to ensure that children aged <5 years at high risk for invasive pneumococcal disease because of certain immunocompromising or chronic conditions (e.g., sickle cell disease, asplenia, chronic heart or lung disease, diabetes, cerebrospinal fluid leak, cochlear implant, or human immunodeficiency virus infection) are fully vaccinated. Second priorities include vaccination of healthy children aged <24 months who have not received any doses of PCV7 and vaccination of healthy children aged <12 months who have not yet received 3 doses.

Because of the frequency of health-care provider visits by children during their first 18 months, catch-up vaccination might occur at regularly scheduled visits for most children who receive vaccines from their primary-care providers. Programs that provide vaccinations but do not see children routinely for other reasons should consider a notification process to contact undervaccinated children.

Providers with questions about obtaining Prevnar® should contact Wyeth's customer service department, telephone 800-666-7248. For public-purchased vaccine, including vaccines used in the Vaccines for Children Program, providers should contact their state/grantee immunization projects to obtain vaccine. These projects should contact their project officers at the National Immunization Program at CDC for information regarding vaccine supply.

References

  1. CDC. Limited supply of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine: suspension of recommendation for fourth dose. MMWR 2004;53:108--9.
  2. CDC. Updated recommendations on the use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine: suspension of recommendation for third and fourth dose. MMWR 2004;53:177--8.
  3. CDC. Updated recommendations for use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine: reinstatement of the third dose. MMWR 2004;53:589--90.
  4. CDC. Prevention of pneumococcal disease among infants and young children: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. MMWR 2000;49(No. RR-9).
  5. CDC. Pneumococcal vaccination for cochlear implant candidates and recipients: updated recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. MMWR 2003;52:739--40.
  6. CDC. Recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedule---United States, July--December 2004. MMWR 2004;53:Q1--3.


Table

Table 1
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