January 4, 2019 — The FDA has just approved a 6-in-1 shot that combines immunizations against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, and Hib disease.
Sanofi Pasteur and Merck & Co. developed the hexavalent (“six-in-one”) vaccine in a joint partnership. They are calling it Vaxelis.
The vaccine combines DTP antigens, which are manufactured by Sanofi, with Hib and HBV antigens manufactured by Merck.
Vaxelis is intended to be administered in 3 separate doses to infants and children who are at least 6 weeks old and under 5 years old.
The vaccine will not be offered until 2020 at the earliest in the U.S., according to Sanofi, which said it was working with Merck to “allow for a sustainable supply to meet anticipated US demand.”
Vaxelis was approved 3 years ago in Europe and it reached the market in 2016.
It is the latest effort from drug-makers to reduce the number of shots for children. The vaccine also cuts back on the number of vaccines that need to be stored and transported, which helps simplify the role of medical staff.