The 5-in-1 pediatric combination vaccine Pentacel has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in infants and children ages 6 weeks through 4 years, maker Sanofi Pasteur announced.
Pentacel -- which includes immunization against influenza type B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis) and poliomyelitis -- was approved for administration as a four-dose series at 2, 4, 6 and 15 to 18 months of age, United Press International reported. The first dose can be given as early as 6 weeks of age.
Currently, children in the United States receive up to 23 injections by the time they're 18 months old, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The use of Pentacel could reduce that number of shots by as many as seven, said Wayne Pisano, president and chief executive officer of Sanofi Pasteur, UPI reported.