PNEUMOVAX 23 (pneumococcal vaccine, polyvalent, MSD), is a sterile, liquid vaccine for intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. It consists of a mixture of highly purified capsular polysaccharides from the 23 most prevalent or invasive pneumococcal types of Streptococcus pneumoniae, including the six serotypes that most frequently cause invasive drug-resistant pneumococcal infections among children and adults in the United States (see table). The 23-valent vaccine accounts for at least 90% of pneumococcal blood isolates and at least 85% of all pneumococcal isolates from sites which are generally sterile as determined by ongoing surveillance of United States data.
PNEUMOVAX 23 is manufactured according to methods developed by the MERCK RESEARCH LABORATORIES. Each 0.5 mL dose of vaccine contains 25 mcg of each polysaccharide type dissolved in isotonic saline solution containing 0.25% phenol as preservative.
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