Pfizer's blockbuster pneumonia vaccine, Prevnar 13, wins approval for adults in European Union

Associated Press

Pfizer's blockbuster vaccine against pneumonia and other bacterial infections has won another approval, for use in European Union residents aged 18 and older.

Prevnar 13, called Prevenar 13 in some countries, is the best-selling vaccine ever.

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It protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal disease, the most common bacterial cause of pneumonia and a top cause of death and hospitalization worldwide. It also causes children's ear infections, bloodstream infections and other illnesses.

New York-based Pfizer says more than 750 million doses have been distributed worldwide. Last year, Prevnar's global sales reached $4.5 billion, making it the No. 2 product for the company, which also makes Lipitor and Viagra.

Prevnar 13 is approved in more than 120 countries. In the U.S., it's approved for children from six weeks through 17 years old and adults over 49.