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From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
November 14, 2001

Decreased Availability of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

JAMA. 2001;286(18):2232. doi:10.1001/jama.286.18.2232-JWR10138-3-1

MMWR. 2001;50:783-4

In February 2000, Prevnar™, the new 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) marketed by Wyeth Lederle Vaccines (Pearl River, New York) was licensed for use among infants and young children.

CDC recommends this vaccine for all children aged <2 years and for children aged 2-5 years who are at increased risk for pneumococcal disease (e.g., children with sickle cell disease or anatomic asplenia, chronic illness, or who are immunosuppressed, including those with human immunodeficiency virus infection).

In August 2001, deliveries of Prevnar TM were delayed resulting in shortages for some health-care providers and health departments. Although the manufacturer projects shipping sufficient vaccine to meet needs throughout the remainder of 2001 and has sufficient manufacturing capacity to meet U.S. demand, health-care providers may continue to experience temporary shortages as supplies are replenished.

In the meantime, CDC recommends that all providers defer the vaccination of children aged >2 years except those aged 2-5 years who are at increased risk for pneumococcal disease (see previous examples). Providers should give highest priority to vaccinating all infants aged <12 months and children aged 1-5 years at increased risk. Catch-up vaccinations for healthy children aged 1-2 years and booster doses for healthy children who have completed the primary series may be deferred. Records should be kept so that the deferred vaccinations can be given when vaccine becomes available.