RSV Vaccines May Be Approved as Early as Spring 20
This Fall, the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has hospitalized children at a rate not seen in recent years. In November RSV hospitalized children 6 months and younger at a rate seven times the weekly rate seen in the 2018 season. These nationwide outbreaks have led to overwhelmed emergency departments, urgent care centers and physician’s offices. Even during a typical year, the RSV infections cause between 58,000–80,000 hospitalizations in US children younger than 5 years. People aged 65 and up are also vulnerable, as the virus hospitalizes 60,000–120,000 older Americans. Fortunately the first promising RSV vaccines in decades could be approved sometime next year. In phase III clinical trials, Pfizer’s vaccine prevented severe illness in 81.8% of infants and 85.7% of people aged 60 and older. GSK’s vaccine prevented severe disease in 94.1% of adults older than age 60.