By Aaron Gould Sheinin
Dec. 28, 2018 — The FDA has approved a new vaccine to immunize children against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (also known as whooping cough), hepatitis B, polio, and an invasive disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b, sometimes known as Hib.
The vaccine will be for children 6 weeks to 4 years old. All will require a series of three doses. Developed through a joint partnership of Sanofi and Merck, Vaxelis is not expected to be available in the United States before 2020.
The six diseases covered by the new vaccine are part of the CDC’s “14 Diseases You Almost Forgot About (Thanks to Vaccines).” Each is already covered by other established vaccines.
Even though the vaccines are on hand, several of the diseases continue to infect children. The CDC says, for example, 15,000 to 50,000 cases of whooping cough have been reported each year since 2010.