By this fall, doctors in the U.S. expect the new respiratory syncytial (RSV), vaccine to be available for Americans aged 60 or older.
This projection comes as the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approved of the vaccine last week, a landmark achievement after six decades were spent by researchers to develop such protection against the virus. Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, called the vaccine’s approval last week “an important public health achievement” in a statement.
RSV, which is highly contagious according to National Institutes of Health(NIH), affects most Americans at least twice in the first two years of their life.
FDA reports that it is a common cause of lung infections and sinusitis, but also can result in pneumonia and bronchiolitis among vulnerable groups, such as older adults. “Older adults, in particular those with underlying health conditions such as heart or lung disease or weakened immune systems, are at a high risk for severe disease caused by RSV,” Marks said.
According to the NIH, Arexvy is expected to save thousands of lives and hospitalizations across the nation.
The FDA has also announced that more RSV vaccinations, such as those from Pfizer and Moderna are under consideration and will be available in the near future. Washington Post.
RSV is responsible for approximately 6,000-10,000 deaths annually among those 65 years or older. 100-300 deaths occur in children less than five years of age.