New vaccine formulation in the childhood vaccination programme

DiTeKiPol/Hib to be replaced by Pentavac starting in March.

The syringe looks the same, but the contents are changing brands. Starting in March, one of the cornerstone vaccines in the Danish childhood vaccination programme will come from a different manufacturer.

From now on, the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, and Haemophilus influenzae infection (Hib) will be provided by the Pentavac vaccine manufactured by the pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur.

The Pentavac vaccine will replace the currently-used DiTeKiPol/Hib vaccine, made by AJ Vaccines and previously produced by Statens Serum Institut until the divestiture of its vaccine production unit.

“The vaccine [DiTeKiPol/Hib] is an improved version of the original vaccine against diphtheria and tetanus, which has been supplied from here [by SSI] since 1950. So in a way, you could say it’s the end of an era”, says staff specialist Peter H. S. Andersen from SSI.

The change in vaccine results from Sanofi Pasteur having won the most recent tender to supply vaccine to the Danish childhood vaccination programme. 160 million doses of Pentavac have been administered globally, with Sweden among the countries in which the vaccine is already in use. Initially, Pentavac will be supplied to the vaccination programme for four years.

Children who have already been vaccinated with AJ Vaccines’ DiTeKiPol/Hib vaccine should complete their vaccination series with this product, if possible. Physicians administering childhood vaccines should therefore keep the vaccine shift in mind when ordering vaccines in the coming months.

The vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, and Hib is normally administered in three doses, at the age of 3, 5, and 12 months. At the age of 5 years, a fourth final booster shot is given against four of the illnesses: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, and polio.

According to the plan, after the summer holidays, the booster vaccine will also switch suppliers, from AJ Vaccines’ DiTeKiPolBooster to the Tetravac vaccine, also manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur.