Former U.S. Secretary of State and current Democratic candidate for the U.S. Presidency Hillary Clinton is reported to be recovering from a bout of bacterial pneumonia.1 2 According to Clinton’s doctor, Lisa Bardack, MD, Secretary Clinton is currently being treated with the oral fluoroquinolone antibiotic Levaquin (Levofloxacin).2
Dr. Bardack, who serves as chair of internal medicine at CareMount Medical in Mount Kisco, NY, has also stated that Secretary Clinton was “up to date” on her pneumonia vaccines—both Prevnar and Pneumovax.3 It is unclear when Secretary Clinton received the vaccines. According to The Washington Post, Secretary Clinton also had a sinus and ear infection in January 2016, which required the insertion of a myringotomy tube in her left ear.4
The Prevnar 13 pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 to prevent pneumonia and invasive disease in infants over six weeks old, children and adults and for prevention of otitis media (ear infection) in children up to five years old caused by 13 strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae.5 Prevnar 13 is manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, formerly a subsidiary of Lederle Labs/American Cyanamid, and now a subsidiary of Pfizer.
In 2000, the FDA licensed the first vaccine for invasive pneumococcal disease, Prevnar 7, and expanded that approval in 2002 to include prevention of otitis media in infants and toddlers.6 The Pneumovax 23 pneumococcal polyvalent vaccine, approved by the FDA in 2009, is a 23-strain vaccine produced by Merck & Co for persons over 50 years old or for children over two years old at increased risk for pneumococcal disease.7
Ingredients in Prevnar 13 include polysaccharides of the capsular antigens of Streptococcus pneumoniae types (1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F and 23F), CRM197 protein, aluminium phosphate, sodium chloride, succinic acid, yeast, soy peptone broth, and polysorbate 80.8 9
Pneumovax 23 ingredients include polysaccharides from antigens of Streptococcus pneumoniae types (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6B, 7F, 8, 9N, 9V, 10A, 11A, 12F, 14, 15B, 17F, 18C, 19F, 19A, 20, 22F, 23F and 33F), sodium chloride, bovine protein, and phenol.10 11 12
Prevnar 7 was replaced by Prevnar 13 in 2010 because other strains of pneumococcal had become more prevalent between 2000 and 2008 after widespread use of Prevnar 7 by infants and toddlers between two and 18 months old, which resulted in more severe antibiotic resistant invasive pneumococcal and otitis media infections in the U.S.13
According to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), reported pneumoccocal vaccine reactions include: “fever, severe local reactions (swelling, redness, pain at site of injection), irritability, drowsiness, restless sleep, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, decreased appetite, convulsions, asthma, pneumonia and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).”14
Prevnar 13 is the world’s top selling vaccine. It accounted for sales revenue of $6.02 billion for Pfizer in 2015. Sales of the vaccine are projected to grow to $6.9 billion by 2020.15 Sales for Pneumovax 23 last year totaled $746 million.16
1 Cillizza C. Hillary Clinton may not recover from her pneumonia until late October. The Washington Post Sept. 13, 2016.
2 Phillip A and Gearan A. Clinton campaign releases doctor’s letter describing ‘mild’ pneumonia. The Washington Post Sept. 14, 2016.
3 Taylor J. Clinton’s Doctor Says She Is ‘Recovering Well,’ Releases More Health Information. NPR Sept. 14, 2016.
4 Phillips A. Hillary Clinton’s new doctor’s letter, annotated. The Washington Post Sept. 14, 2016.
5 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Vaccines, Blood & Biologics—Prevnar 13. FDA.gov.
6 FDA. Approval Letter—Prevnar—from FDA to Lederle Lab. Oct. 1, 2002.
7 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Vaccines, Blood & Biologics—Pneumovax 23 – Pneumococcal Vaccine, Polyvalent. FDA.gov.
8 RxList. Prevnar 13. RxList.com.
9 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary. CDC.gov.
10 RxList. Pneumovax 23. RxList.com.
11 Pneumovax 23. News-Medical.net.
12 List of vaccine ingredients.Wikipedia.
13 Mercola J. Prevnar Vaccine Shown to Actually Increase Bacterial Infections It Is Supposed to Prevent. Mercola.com May 22, 2012.
14 National Vaccine Information Center. Pneumococcal (S. Pneumoniae). NVIC.org.
15 Gibney M. 5. Prevnar 13. FiercePharma.
16 Merck. Merck Announces Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2015 Financial Results. BusinessWire.com Feb. 3, 2016.