New Supply of Childhood Vaccine May Ease Shortage

Government approves new formula made by same company

THURSDAY, May 16, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- With vaccines for childhood disease in such short supply, prevention by any other name would smell so sweet.

And that's the good news for drug maker Aventis Pasteur, a company that manufactures Tripedia, the most-widely accepted vaccine for childhood protection against a number diseases and infections.

Tripedia has been in short supply, but the company has announced FDA approval to market a new version, Daptacel. The reason this is important is because Aventis Pasteur now has two plants it can use to produce either Tripedia (Pennsylvania) or Daptacel (Canada), and this may ease the shortage.

The new formulation of the vaccine protects children against the same illnesses that Tripedia did: tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough. Both formulas are called DTaP vaccines.

"We are hopeful it will help to alleviate the shortage," the Associated Press quoted FDA spokesman Jason Brodsky as saying.

The two vaccines have slightly different formulas, but the company maintains that Daptacel is as safe and effective as Tripedia.

Here is the 1996 original approval letter for Tripedia from the FDA.

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