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Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority Approves Pfizer’s Pneumococcal 20-Valent Conjugate Vaccine For Adults 18 Years Or Older

  • First pneumococcal conjugate vaccine that protects against 20 serotypes responsible for the majority of invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia[1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7]. In Singapore, pneumonia is the third leading cause of death[8] and fourth most common cause of hospitalisations[9]
  • Offers the broadest serotype coverage of any pneumococcal conjugate vaccine currently available, building on Pfizer’s more than 20-year legacy and innovation in developing pneumococcal conjugate vaccines
  • Approval of APEXXNAR in Singapore, the first in Southeast Asia, aligns with Singapore’s Healthier SG Strategy to place a sustained focus on preventive care in achieving overall healthier living
SINGAPORE  18 March 2023 – Pfizer announced today that the Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has approved its 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV20) that protects against invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia caused by 20 Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) serotypes. Marketed under the brand name APEXXNAR, this vaccine is approved for active immunisation for individuals aged 18 years and older, advancing the company’s ongoing commitment to help prevent certain potentially-serious infectious respiratory diseases.

The approval of APEXXNAR in Singapore, being the first in Southeast Asia, underscores Pfizer’s 20 years of growing legacy and experience in developing and supplying innovative pneumococcal conjugate vaccines that have had a pivotal impact on the global disease burden. This approval also supports Singapore’s Healthier SG initiative that focuses on improving population health and quality of life through proactive preventive care, regular screening and recommended vaccinations.

“Singapore’s approval of APEXXNAR today signals the importance of continually addressing the ever-evolving burden of pneumococcal disease. This is especially critical against the rapidly ageing landscape to ensure comprehensive coverage for the population,” said Erika Pagani, Country Manager, Pfizer Singapore. “As the country progresses towards a Healthier SG, Pfizer looks forward to continue playing a key role to protect adults from this widespread life-threatening disease.”

According to the Singapore Ministry of Health, pneumonia is the fourth most common cause for hospitalisation[9] and third leading cause of death[8], responsible for more than 4000 deaths annually[10]. Singapore continues to face a rising burden of the disease in light of the increasing prevalence of new infectious variants and a rapidly ageing population.

“Despite its severity and burden on the population, the awareness surrounding pneumococcal disease and the uptake of the vaccine in Singapore remains relatively low,” said Dr Leong Hoe Nam, Infectious Disease expert at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. “With the approval of APEXXNAR, and in line with the Healthier SG initiative, we encourage all adults to take proactive steps towards preventive care and vaccinate against this disease.”

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Active Bacterial Core (ABCs) surveillance. National Center for
Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Atlanta, GA.
[2] Ladhani, SN, Collins S, Djennad A, et al. Rapid increase in non-vaccine serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal
disease in England and Wales, 2000–17: a prospective national observational cohort study. Lancet Infect Dis.
[3] Menéndez R, España PP, Pérez-Trallero E, et al. The burden of PCV13 serotypes in hospitalized pneumococcal
pneumonia in Spain using a novel urinary antigen detection test. CAPA study. Vaccine. 2017;35(39):5264-5270.
[4] Azzari C, Cortimiglia M, Nieddu F, et al. Pneumococcal serotype distribution in adults with invasive disease and in
carrier children in Italy: Should we expect herd protection of adults through infants’ vaccination? Hum Vaccin
Immunother. 2016;12(2):344-350.
[5] Pivlishi T. Impact of PCV13 on invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) burden and the serotype distribution in the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. October 24th,
[6] European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Invasive pneumococcal disease. In: ECDC. Annual
epidemiological report for 2016. Stockholm: ECDC; 2018.
[7] Beall B, Chochua S, Gertz RE Jr, et al. A population-based descriptive atlas of invasive pneumococcal strains
recovered within the U.S. during 2015-2016. Front Microbiol. 2018;19(9).
[8] Singapore Ministry of Health. Principal Causes of Death
[9] Singapore Ministry of Health. Top 10 Conditions of Hospitalisation
[10] The Straits Times. What’s behind the recent rise in Covid-19 deaths in S’pore? Here are some facts you may not know