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Vaccine. 2013 Oct 25;31(45):5289-95. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.08.025. Epub 2013 Aug 20.

Safety of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in infants and children: meta-analysis of 13 clinical trials in 9 countries.

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Pfizer Vaccines Research, 401 North Middletown Road, Pearl River, NY, USA. Electronic address:



Meta-analyses enable summarization and interpretation of data across clinical trials. When applied to safety data they allow for detection of rare events. Recently, a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) was approved in multiple countries worldwide for routine immunization of infants and young children. This meta-analysis was conducted to identify potentially clinically important rare safety events associated with PCV13.


To summarize the safety of PCV13 compared with 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) administered to infants and toddlers.


A meta-analysis was performed of integrated safety data from 13 infant studies (PCV13 n=4729 and PCV7 n=2760) conducted in 9 North American, European, and Asian countries. Local reactions at the vaccine injection site and systemic events were collected for 4-7 days after each dose into electronic diaries. Adverse events (AEs) were collected after each vaccination.


Overall, rates of local reactions after any dose of the infant series were similar between PCV13 and PCV7 groups: tenderness (46.7% vs 44.8%, respectively); swelling (28.5% vs 26.9%); and redness (36.4% vs 33.9%). After the toddler dose, tenderness was significantly higher among PCV7 subjects than PCV13 subjects (54.4% vs 48.8%; P=0.005). Frequencies of fever (≥38°C) were similar in both groups and mostly mild (≤39°C); incidence of moderate fever (>39°C to ≤40°C) with PCV13 was ≤2.8% after any infant dose and 5.0% after the toddler dose, compared with ≤2.6% and 7.3%, respectively, with PCV7. Fever >40°C was uncommon in both groups. Frequencies of decreased appetite, irritability, and sleep disturbances were similar in both groups. AEs were the types of conditions and symptoms expected in infants and children, and clinically significant differences between vaccine groups were not observed.


PCV13 has a favorable safety profile similar to that of PCV7, a vaccine for which there is >10 years clinical experience.


13-Valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Adverse events; Meta-analysis; Safety; Vaccination

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