A combination vaccine is a mixture of two or more than two vaccines that could be administered separately, which is put into a single shot. The combination vaccine offers the same protection to children as the two vaccines administered separately, but with a few number of shots. Disease prevention and eradication of preventable diseases are eventual and instant goals of immunization and the method to achieve these goals is maintaining vaccine coverage. Vaccine coverage can be maintained by using combination vaccines, as they simplify the schedule of vaccination and reduce the number of injections required.
The development of combination vaccines for protection against multiple diseases was initiated by combining separate vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis into a single product. This combination of diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus vaccines into a single product has been crucial for protection of children. Similarly, the combination of inactivated polio, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae vaccines has enabled the inclusion of these vaccines into recommended immunization schedules, by reducing the number of injections required. This has also increased the immunization compliance. However, numerous challenges are faced while developing these combinations including the abridged response to the Haemophilus influenzae vaccine when administered in combination. There is immediate need to expand the safety profile of the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis combination vaccine.
An important development in the field of combination vaccines was replacement of whole-cell pertussis antigens with less reactogenic acellular antigens. This paved the way for combining of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis antigens with other routinely used vaccines such as inactivated Haemophilus influenzae vaccine, polio vaccine, and hepatitis B vaccine. Another significant combination vaccine that gives protection against more than one disease is the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. A few examples of commonly used combination vaccines in children are: ProQuad, which combines MMR and varicella; Pediarix, which combines Hep B, DTaP, and IPV; Pentacel, which combines DTaP, IPV, and Hib; and Kinrix, which combines IPV and DTaP.
The global combination vaccines market is driven by increase in the prevalence of infectious diseases. Infectious diseases is one of the most leading causes of illnesses and deaths worldwide. In developing countries with weak health care infrastructure, influence of infectious diseases is even devastating, leading to reduced survival rates, particularly in children and hampering the economy. The increase in pediatric population is one of the primary drivers for the global combination vaccines market. With the increase in pediatric population, the demand for combination vaccines for immunization has increased, as infants are more susceptible to various infectious diseases due to their weak immune systems. Occurrence of viral infections and diseases such as polio, tetanus, diphtheria, smallpox, chickenpox, and measles has been observed to be high among children in developing countries. This is anticipated to drive the demand for combination vaccines during the forecast period. As scientists are developing and testing new vaccines to protect children from more diseases, more combination vaccines may become available in the near future. This would allow children to get additional protection with a fewer number of shots.
The global combination vaccines market can be segmented into five major regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is projected to register a high CAGR during the forecast period, due to rising pediatric population and increasing awareness about vaccination in the region. Continuous efforts by market players and national organizations to promote the use of combination vaccines would drive the market in developed countries in the near future.
Key players operating in the global combination vaccines market include GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., Inc., Sanofi Aventis, Pfizer, Inc., Novartis AG, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.
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