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Pneumococcal Vaccination Lock Rss

I have tracked down some more information on the shotage of the Pneumoccocal Vaccine in case anybody is interested...! Maybe by the time it is available the government will be funding it - seems to be a hot topic at the moment!


Wyeth is the only stockist of Prevenar (pneumococcal vaccine) in Australia. There is a supply shortage until June 2004.

Questions & Answers
Wyeth, the manufacturer of Prevenar Vaccine (for childhood pneumococcal disease) has supplied the following question and answer information due to the current shortage of Prevenar vaccine for the commercial market.

There is no shortage of Prevenar vaccine for the funded schedule for children with medical risk problems and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children according to Victorian requirements.

Q. Why is there a shortage of stock available in Australia for Prevenar?
A. Due to a temporary shutdown of the Prevenar filling line in the US manufacturing facility to make modification and upgrades, the company will experience some supply constraints of Prevenar, Pneumococcal 7-valent Conjugate Vaccine (Diphtheria CRM197 Protein) until June.

Q. What are the modifications causing this delay?
A. Wyeth voluntarily extended the shutdown of one of the operations within our manufacturing facility. The operation was shut down to complete preventive maintenance activities, equipment repair and upgrades, and operator training on these changes. We are working to restart operations as quickly as possible to ensure consistent delivery of Prevenar.

Q. How much downtime are you expecting?
A. We are working to implement the planned manufacturing enhancements as quickly as possible and hope to resume supply of Prevenar in June.

Q. Is this product safety related?
A. No. The temporary shut down of the Prevenar filling line in the US manufacturing facility is to undertake preventative maintenance activities, equipment upgrades and operator training on the changes.

Q. Who will get the limited supply of Prevenar in Australia?
A. During the limited period of restricted supply, Wyeth will work in partnership with health authorities to distribute available stocks of Prevenar in the most appropriate manner. Priority has been given to the following groups of infants:

Those infants that identified as being at highest risk and part of the National Childhood Pneumococcal Vaccination Program.
Those infants who less than 12 months of age have already commenced vaccination Prevenar will be set aside for second and third doses.
Q. Can I use another vaccine instead of Prevenar for healthy infants?
A. No, there are no alternatives vaccines for children under two years. Two different types of pneumococcal vaccines are available - Prevenar (conjugate) and Pneumovax 23 (polysaccharide).

The other pneumococcal vaccine available is a polysaccharide type vaccine, Pneumovax 23 from Merck, Sharp & Dohme. This vaccine is effective in older children and adults but does not work well in children younger than two years of age as their immature immune system cannot respond to the vaccine. As such, Pneumovax 23 is not indicated for routine use in children under two years of age.

Prevenar is the only pneumococcal vaccine approved for use in children under two years and is the only one recommended on the Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule for use in all children under 2 years. This is because Prevenar is a conjugate vaccine and young children's immature immune systems are able to generate a good immune response.

Q. How long can I wait for my next Prevenar dose if my child has already commenced vaccination with Prevenar?
A. Doses of Prevenar are usually given at 2, 4 and 6 months on the Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule. There is a minimum interval between doses of 4 weeks however there is no maximum interval between doses of Prevenar, e.g. child who has received one dose of Prevenar at 2 months may be given subsequent doses at 6 and 10 months to complete the primary series. Full protection will not occur until all doses are given.

Q. What do I do if my child has started on Prevenar? ie How do I get the next doses?
A. Children who are less than 12 months of age who have already commenced vaccination need to take their script for their remaining doses (2nd and 3rd doses) to their local pharmacy. Pharmacies will need to call Wyeth customer service directly on 1800 700 802 to place an order. Wyeth will ship Prevenar directly to the pharmacy with the patient's initials. Only 2 doses per patient will be supplied. All wholesalers will be notified of the supply situation in the last week of December. Pharmacists and doctors will be notified in the first week of January. For those doctors with direct accounts with Wyeth, we will continue to supply for children who have commenced vaccination. No new accounts will be opened.

Children who have started their vaccines with the council do not need a script. Please see top of page for children who have started their doses

Q. Will the restricted supply mean higher prices?
A. No. Wyeth will not be changing the wholesale price and would therefore not expect to see any retail price increases.

Gabriella, Chiara & angel called home

Hi Lili,

Just wanted to thanks for all that information!

I guess we will have to wait and see what happens in June!


DD5, DS3, DS lost to SIDS at 6mths & DD6m

i have just read your post and wanted to personally thankyou for putting some much effort into it.

You would think that the pharmacists or doctors would be the ones to provide this info. Yet it is a trusty mum herself !!!!

thankyou again

michelle, mom to maxwell (11.03) & isaac (10.05)

Hi Michelle

Thanks for your message! I am just one of those mums that needs to know when I found the information I thought I would share it! I hope other Mums find it useful

Nice to be appreciated though!


Gabriella, Chiara & angel called home

Hello all

Just a quick update to all those who are following this post...

You have probably heard the good news that the government will now be funding the pneumococcal vaccine - the only thing is it starts next year! So in the meantime we have to fork out a few hundred dollars!

I am still waiting on the vaccine to arrive in from the US - was told early June...still waiting...

Gabriella, Chiara & angel called home

Hi to all following this post

For your information the pneumococcal vaccination is now available in Australia. I have been advised to purchase the required three vaccination shots at the same time and to store the vaccine with my doctor until the next shot is due. This is necessary in case the vaccine runs out again. If you have one shot then wait too long for the follow on shots then the first shot is basically ineffective! Hope this makes sense!

I am off to collect my vaccine this weekend and Gabriella will have her first injection at 7 mths, another at 8 mths and the final one at 10 mths. The total cost is $400!!! Very expensive - but the price is irrelevant when you are talking about your child's health I suppose. I will let you know how baby goes with the vaccination!


Gabriella, Chiara & angel called home

hi everyone,

my little girl (now 12 months) had her 3 shots starting at 2 months (i think), 2...4 & 6. $150 per shot, very expensive, but you can't put a price on your babies health. she had no reaction at all. thank god the govt is now subsidising!

Mummy of 2 little angels. 6/6/03 & 3/8/05 & No 3

Just wanted to let you all know that it will be funded by the government soon. Newborns get it free, as of July the 1st, and babies born after Jan 2003 will be put on a catch up program!

Good luck everyone,


DD5, DS3, DS lost to SIDS at 6mths & DD6m

Hello All,

What a great post! I too have been following all the news and information on this vaccine and since I have an 18 month old daughter and am due to give birth to my baby boy in just over 4 weeks time I am thrilled to hear it is going to be free and available to all newborns after July 1. If I have to pay for my daughter to have the vaccine I will do it happily, but knowing my baby boy will get it done with the standard vaccination program is wonderful... about time the govt. changed this! My sis-in-law who lives in NT had her son vaccinated for free this year, so now it only seems fair every baby should be protected.

Great to see so many mum's taking a keen interest in their babies and childrens health.


Just wanted to let you know that Gabriella had her first immunistaion shot for Pneumoccal today. She cried for a minute just after the injection and has been her same smiley, happy self since. No problems at all - it's as if she never had it.


Gabriella, Chiara & angel called home

Hello everyone. I can believe the government backed down!! Power to the people. One the babies from my mothers group caught this terrible bug.. lucky they took her straight to hospital where they did some blood tests. Originally they said she was fine to go home and gave her some antibiotics then when she just walked in the door the phone was ringing. Of course it was the hospital saying they needed to give her different antibiotics and to come straight back. It wasnt until they arrived and they were met at the car with a team of medical staff that she knew some thing was wrong and it was major!! She was lucky as they had caught it early but now her daughter has a sleeping problem where she forgets to breath. They said it is a side effect from having Pneumococcal. They will moniter her, but the worse thing is had this vaccination been openly available all of this could have been avoided. I had never heard of this before I saw an interview on TV then a few weeks later my friends daughter come down with it.

Thank you so much to the powers that be, to put this injection on the approved list is fantastic. Even if only one life is saved then it has been worth it!!
Meghan had her first shot today. Its not cheap is it! We are lucky in that we are friends with the pharmacist and he gave it to me cheaper than normal. I also found out my HCF cover will rebate me some back - so thats nice to know. I decided not to wait until January when its free. The six months was too long to wait.


Mum to DD 08.08.03 and DS 12.05.05

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