First-ever Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine Gets Approved by The US

US Becomes 1st Country To Approve Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine. Arexvy, manufactured by GSK, has received approval for usage in individuals aged 60 and above. Other vaccine manufacturers, such as Pfizer and Moderna, are also expected to receive approval for similar shots shortly.

After years of searching for ways to safeguard individuals from the widespread illness, the United States finally authorized the world’s first vaccine for the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) on Wednesday. Arexvy, developed by GSK, has been approved for use in adults aged 60 and above. Other vaccine manufacturers, including Pfizer and Moderna, are expected to receive approval for similar shots in the near future.

“Today’s approval of the first RSV vaccine is an important public health achievement to prevent a disease which can be life-threatening,” said senior US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official Peter Marks in a statement. The decision “marks a turning point in our effort to reduce the significant burden of RSV,” added Tony Wood, GSK’s chief scientific officer.

RSV is a prevalent virus that typically leads to minor symptoms similar to the common cold. However, it can be severe for infants, older adults, individuals with weakened immune systems, and those with underlying medical conditions.

In severe cases, RSV infection can lead to pneumonia and bronchiolitis, which is an inflammation of the small airways deep within the lungs. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that RSV causes approximately 60,000 to 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,000 to 10,000 deaths among adults aged 65 and above.

In recent years, awareness of the disease has grown, partly due to the burden it has placed on hospital systems during the last two winters. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, the rates of RSV and flu decreased, but they surged when restrictions were lifted, causing a severe impact on young children.

Pharmaceutical companies have been attempting to develop an RSV vaccine for several years. With the recent achievements in the industry, analysts anticipate that the market could surpass $10 billion in the next ten years.