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FDA approves new child vaccine to guard against 6 diseases

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a French-made vaccine that can immunize children against six different diseases.

The regulatory agency green-lit VAXELIS Wednesday, pharma giant Sanofi S.A. announced. The company says the drug immunizes against diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomeyelitis, hepatitis B and invasive disease due to Haemophilus influenzae type B in children between 6 months and 5 years of age. Children take it in three doses.

Sanofi said the pediatric combination vaccine will be available in the United States in 2020. It was developed in a joint-venture between Sanofi and Merck.

"Sanofi and MSD are working to maximize production of VAXELIS to allow for a sustainable supply to meet anticipated U.S. demand," Sanofi said in a statement.

Shares of Merck were down 0.86 percent in mid-day trading Wednesday.

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