Pfizer’s pneumonia jab Prevnar 13 has picked up another approval in Europe, with regulators issuing a green light for its use in adults aged 18 years and older.

The vaccine offers protection against 13 different strains of pneumococcal pneumonia, one of the leading causes of death and hospitalisation worldwide, and its new approval is “particularly important for older adults and those with medical conditions that may make them more vulnerable to this serious, debilitating and potentially deadly disease”, said Rene Reinert, who leads Pfizer Vaccines Medical and Scientific Affairs in Europe.

Prevnar 13 is already available in Europe for children aged six weeks to 17 years old for protection against invasive pneumococcal disease, pneumonia and acute otitis media, and in adults aged 50 years and older for invasive pneumococcal disease.

The European Commission also updated the product’s label to include data from Pfizer’s landmark Community-Acquired Pneumonia Immunisation Trial in Adults (CAPiTA), which showed statistically significant reductions in first episodes of vaccine-type pneumococcal CAP and invasive pneumococcal disease in adults aged 65 and older.

Prevnar 13 was first introduced for use in infants and young children in December 2009 in Europe and is now approved for a various age groups across the globe.