As COVID-19 numbers rise across the country and we enter a second lockdown, the demand for Pneumovax 23(PPV-23) has risen substantially, causing a shortage across various areas in Europe, and also in the United Kingdom.
The Pneumonia shot, which is a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine(PPSV), is used to prevent bacterial lung infections and has recently hit record international sales. The current global pandemic has inadvertently increased the international sales of Pneumovax 23 by more than double. Whilst the US-Based drugmaker is working to create more of this vaccine, there are currently shortages in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and more.
We are currently looking at a delay of 3 months before we get another supply of the vaccine, with an expected resurgence of the drug in January 2021. Although there is a shortage, national health authorities are working to prioritise those at risk, primarily elderly and those with health conditions that may put them in risk.
In spite of this, there are over 40 different companies working towards testing and creating a vaccine against coronavirus, although there is currently none that have been approved in the United Kingdom. Pneumovax 23 is not the only drug to combat bacterial lung infections, although it is the most effective. Alternatives to Pneumovax-23 include; Prevenar 13 and Synflorix, which is designed for children. Prevenar 13 is available for both infants and elderly, but is less effective than Pneumovax 23, and protects against less bacterial strains. For more Coronavirus news, please visit our blog page or stay up to date with the latest Government guidelines.