Merck scored big with a U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for an expanded indication of Vaxneuvance, a pneumococcal 15-valent conjugate vaccine. The new indication includes children 6 weeks through 17 years of age.

The vaccine is now designated for active immunization for the prevention of invasive disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae in individuals six weeks of age and older. This news is the latest in a series of approvals for the vaccine.

Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, is a bacterium that causes pneumococcal disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states some of the most common parts of the body that can get the invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) are the lungs (pneumonia), ears, sinuses, brain, spinal cord (meningitis) and blood.

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