Merck updates status of hepatitis A, MMR vaccines
- Copyright © 2009 by the American Academy of Pediatrics
Merck & Co. resumed taking orders on Dec. 1 for its hepatitis A vaccine formulation for children, Pediatric Vaqta.
Production delays with Merck’s pediatric and adult formulations of hepatitis A vaccine last year led to exhaustion of the company’s supplies of its hepatitis A vaccines. Production delays have been resolved, and the pediatric formulation now is available.
GlaxoSmithKline was able to produce an adequate amount of its hepatitis A vaccine (Havrix) to meet demand. Therefore, throughout this supply disruption, quantities of hepatitis A vaccine have been adequate to follow recommendations for use in children and adolescents.
Merck’s Adult Vaqta is expected to be available in late first quarter 2009 or early second quarter 2009.
Merck also has prioritized production of its combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine (M-M-R II) to meet United States and international customer needs. As a result, Merck has suspended production of monovalent measles vaccine, monovalent mumps vaccine and monovalent rubella vaccine and no longer is taking orders for these products.
The Academy recommends the combination MMR formulation for routine vaccination against these viral agents.
Dr. Bocchini is chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases.