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June 24, 2017

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Vaccine cuts pneumonia in elderly patients: study

TRENTON, New Jersey -- Pfizer Inc. said Wednesday that its blockbuster vaccine against pneumonia, blood and other infections met its goal of preventing illness in vulnerable elderly patients in a huge study required by U.S. regulators.

The New York-based company's Prevnar 13 protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal disease, which can cause painful children's ear infections, pneumonia and life-threatening bloodstream infections.

The study, known by the acronym CAPiTA, included about 85,000 patients aged 65 or older. It found that compared to study participants getting a dummy shot, those getting the vaccine had about 46 percent fewer cases of pneumonia and about 75 percent fewer cases of invasive pneumococcal disease such as bloodstream infections.

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