Compare New Pneumococcal Vaccines to Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23

You'll see two new pneumococcal vaccines for adults, Prevnar 20 and Vaxneuvance.

Think of them as similar to Prevnar 13...but with protection against more strains of the bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease.

Both new vaccines cover the same 13 strains as Prevnar 13.

But Prevnar 20 protects against 7 more strains than Prevnar 13... 15-valent Vaxneuvance protects against 2 more strains.

All three of these products are "conjugate vaccines."

Conjugate vaccines may lead to longer-lasting and better immunity compared to "polysaccharide vaccines," such as Pneumovax 23.

Pneumovax 23 still has broader coverage...for 23 strains.

And Pneumovax 23 costs about $120...compared to $230 for Prevnar 20 or Vaxneuvance.

But expect upcoming CDC adult pneumococcal guidelines to prefer Prevnar 20 or Vaxneuvance.

CDC models project that the better immunity with these new vaccines may reduce overall pneumococcal disease and healthcare costs.

Until the guidelines are finalized, get a side-by-side look at the various products in our chart, Comparison of Pneumococcal Vaccines.

Designate a spot in your fridge to store Prevnar 20 or Vaxneuvance...so they don't get mixed in with Prevnar 13 or Pneumovax 23.

Make sure to lay Prevnar 20 prefilled syringes HORIZONTALLY. This minimizes settling of the vaccine components, making it easier to shake the vaccine before administration.

Stay tuned for which adults should get Prevnar 20 or Vaxneuvance, and when, in a future Letter.

Key References

  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2021-10-20-21/02-Pneumococcal-Kobayashi-508.pdf (11-19-21)
  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2021-09-29/02-Pneumococcal-Leidner-508.pdf (11-19-21)
  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2021-06/02-Pneumococcal-Gierke-508.pdf (11-19-21)
  • Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Oct 5;73(7):e1489-e1497
  • Vaccine. 2021 Oct 15;39(43):6422-6436
  • Medication pricing by Elsevier, accessed Nov 2021
Pharmacy Technician's Letter. December 2021, No. 371202



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