MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Gary S. Marshall, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Director, Pediatric Clinical Trials Unit
University of Louisville School of Medicine
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Marshall: The infant immunization schedule has become crowded. That’s great news, in a sense, because it means that our children have become better protected against more diseases. At the same time, this has led to well child visits during which many shots are recommended, and some parents want to limit the number of injections their children receive at one time. This leads to deferrals, poor timeliness and decreased coverage rates, all of which could impair protection. This study shows that a hexavalent vaccine—one that combines diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and hepatitis B vaccines in one syringe—is safe and just as immunogenic as the currently used component vaccines.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Marshall: Pending FDA approval, pediatric practices should have a new option for infant immunization, one that will allow for fewer shots without compromising protection.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Marshall: The more vaccine antigens that can be combined into single injections the better, as long as safety and protection are preserved. The performance of higher-valency combination vaccines cannot be predicted a priori, so the formulations have to be prepared and the clinical studies have to be done to assess reactogenicity, safety and immunogenicity.
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Gary S. Marshall, M.D. (2015). Single Vaccine Can Protect Against Six Common Childhood Diseases