James Wee, medical director at Pfizer, said that of the three pneumonia serotypes still prevalent in the Philippines, 19A is the most virulent and is also associated with antibiotic resistance, reported Inquirer.net.
"Our children are at risk and vaccination is key," said Wee, noting that the vaccine PCV13 was found to be effective against the strains.
The Philippino Department of Health has been using PCV13 since 2014. Globally, the vaccine is used by 126 out of 159 countries with ongoing national immunization programs, while the US and China are on PCV13 exclusively, the news source said.
The news source added that PCV13 use globally has been on the rise since 2015 as it is thought to ultimately reduce expenses compared with lower cost vaccines like PCV10 that do not offer protection against the three strains.
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