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FDA approves combo vaccine for elderly patients

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a vaccine for preventing tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough in elderly patients.

The FDA announced the approval of GlaxoSmithKline’s Boostrix, a single-dose booster shot described as the first vaccine approved for preventing all three diseases in patients ages 65 years and older.

All three diseases can cause serious complications if not properly diagnosed and treated, and whooping cough, also known as pertussis, has been on the rise in the United States since 2007, with outbreaks in California, Michigan and Ohio occurring in 2010.

“Pertussis is a highly contagious diseases, and outbreaks have occurred among the elderly in nursing homes and hospitals,” FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research director Karen Midthun stated. “With this approval, adults 65 [years] and older now have the opportunity to receive a vaccine that prevents pertussis, as well as tetanus and diphtheria.”

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