First RSV Vaccine Could Be Approved by August
The world’s first vaccine for RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, could be approved by August 2023. The The vaccine is given to pregnant mothers, who then pass on protective antibodies to their baby. Infants who are 12 weeks of age or younger are especially vulnerable to the virus, as are young kids with weakened immune systems, congenital heart disease or chronic lung disease. Pfizer, the manufacturer, showed excellent results in its large trial, as the vaccine prevented severe RSV infections in 82% of babies three months and younger. By 6 months old, the effectiveness was 69%. The FDA will review Pfizer’s data and if the agency approves the application, it will advance to the CDC for final review. If greenlighted by August, the vaccine could prevent thousands of hospitalizations next fall and winter. Every year RSV hospitalizes between 58,000-80,000 kids younger than 5 years old. The virus is the leading cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in children less than 1 year old.