Combination vaccines, which can prevent more viruses with fewer injections, have recently come to the market one after the other.
According to a report released recently by Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC)질병관리본부, the number of primary preventive injections of human papillomavirus (HPV) registered with its vaccination management system totaled 288,855 between July 20, 2016, and March 30, 2017. Quadrivalent vaccines accounted for 77.5 percent of the total with divalent vaccines taking up the other 22.5 percent.
These figures show people have increasingly preferred combination vaccines that can prevent several inflammatory diseases, the report said.
Currently, the national inoculation program to prevent HPV includes quadrivalent vaccine Gardasil Prefilled Syringe (MSD Korea한국MSD, approved in 2007) and bivalent vaccine Cervarix Prefilled Syringe (GSK, approved in 2008).
The 9-valent vaccine Gardasil 9 Prefilled Syringe(MSD Korea) approved in 2016 isn’t included in national inoculation items. Gardasil 9 is composed of HPV 6, 11, 19, 18, 31, 33, 45, and 52 and 58 type nine serovar. Quadrivalent vaccines can prevent HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 types.
Sanofi Pasteur’s Pentaxim approved last year is a pentavalent vaccine to combine trivalent combination vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) with polio and Haemophilus influenza vaccine. It was included in the national inoculation program on June 19.
Pfizer’s Prevenar 13 is 13-valent vaccine to prevent diplococcus pneumoniae
Prevenar 13 prevents pneumoniae and acute otitis media caused by 13 diplococcus pneumoniae and is included in national inoculation.
A series of recent reports, domestic and foreign, said the occurrence rates of invasive diseases, pneumoniae and acute otitis media have declined after the inclusion of Prevenar 13 in national inoculation program.
"If the vaccine’s number of values increases, it not only increases the prevention rate of diseases but expands the range of preventable diseases,” said an official at a pharmaceutical company selling combination vaccines. “Internationally, too, vaccines have tended to add more values."
Experts, however, caution higher valued-vaccines aren’t always good.
"Combination vaccines have different shapes and features. In the case of pneumonia- preventing vaccines, there are 23-valent and 13-valent vaccines, and researches showed it’s better to get shot of 13-valent vaccine first, regarding effectiveness and immunogenicity," said a professor at the infectious disease department of a university hospital. “We are following a guideline on using vaccines issued by related academic societies.”
Meanwhile, researchers conducted a face-to-face survey using a questionnaire on 10 medical institutions and 12 people using vaccination service, and collected opinions about the website, including “vaccination aid,” operated by the center.
"With the development of vaccine technology, drugmakers have produced more combination vaccines that combine more than two vaccines in one,” a researcher said. “Because parents want to know whether their children get the right vaccine for inflammatory diseases, and providers have to computerize the information of combination vaccines, there is a difference in the ways of expressing the information they need.”
"Vaccine providers input combination vaccines in separate vaccine form that fits the national standard vaccination timetable. However, they have to register injected vaccines as such and make payment claims as a combination vaccine. And the date for the next injection should be based on the combination vaccine," the researcher proposed.
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