Author(s): Nunes MC, Madhi SA
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: The introduction of injectable vaccines targeting new diseases into childhood immunization programs has resulted in the need for combination vaccines to reduce the number of injections given during early childhood and maintain acceptability of targeting multiple pathogens by vaccination. Currently, there is only one licensed hexavalent combination vaccine which targets diphtheria, polio, tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis B and pertussis. A new, fully liquid formulation hexavalent vaccine ( Hexaxim ) has been developed and is currently undergoing licensure for use in childhood immunization programs. AREAS COVERED: Safety and immunogenicity studies of Hexaxim have been undertaken in a diversity of settings, been evaluated with different dosing schedules and in comparison to the other licensed hexavalent vaccine (Infanrix hexa). This review of published journal articles and conference proceeding is focused on the studies in which Hexaxim has been evaluated and which are contributing to its pending licensure. Non-inferiority was demonstrated at the level of proportion of children developing seroprotective titers or showing seroconversion following the primary series of vaccine compared to the same target-antigens included in licensed combination vaccines. Also, Hexaxim was associated with a favorable safety and tolerability profile when administered during the first 6 months of life. Adequate and robust memory responses were elicited following a booster dose in the second year of life. EXPERT OPINION: The development of new hexavalent combination vaccines targeting established pathogens is likely to assist in improving compliance and timeliness of vaccination in infants. These formulations will, however, need to be monitored for medium- and long-term effectiveness amidst growing concern of waning immunity against diseases such as pertussis when using acellular-pertussis vaccine and possibly hepatitis B when using combination vaccines. Nevertheless, the development of such combination vaccines remains necessary to help with the introduction of other new vaccines into an already crowded childhood immunization schedules.
This article was published in Expert Opin Biol Ther
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination