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Combination Vaccine for Infants Approved

March 31, 1993|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration approved a combination vaccine Tuesday that will spare infants four of the shots they now must get, officials said.

The vaccine developed by Lederle-Praxis Biologicals, called Tetramune, will protect infants against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) as well as Haemophilus influenza Type B, the leading cause of meningitis. It will be administered in four shots at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 15 months.

Now, four separate shots are required for DTP and four for Haemophilus influenza Type B at those same ages. Toddlers also need oral polio vaccine as well as shots for measles-mumps-rubella and hepatitis B.

"As secretary of health and human services, I call this good news," Donna Shalala said. "If I were an infant about to get four fewer shots, I'd call it great news."

Craig Engesser, a company spokesman, said the new vaccine will be in doctors' offices in a month.

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