RSV vaccines for babies, adults on the way. Here’s what could be coming.

Respiratory syncytial virus infects nearly everyone by age 2, usually causing nothing beyond cold symptoms. But it’s also the top cause of hospitalizations among kids under 5.

SHARE RSV vaccines for babies, adults on the way. Here’s what could be coming.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s basic advice for protecting children from RSV — respiratory syncytial virus.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s basic advice for protecting children from RSV — respiratory syncytial virus.

CDC

A federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory panel is weighing recommendations for RSV vaccines for older adults and pregnant people and a monoclonal antibody for babies and toddlers.

Respiratory syncytial virus infects nearly everyone by age 2, usually causing nothing beyond cold symptoms. But it’s also the leading cause of hospitalizations among children under 5. RSV also causes more than 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths a year among older adults.

What’s on the horizon:

A monoclonal antibody from Sanofi and AstraZeneca called nirsevimab helps prevent RSV lower respiratory tract disease in newborns and infants during their first RSV season.

If the federal Food and Drug Administration approves nirsevimab, it would be the second monoclonal antibody for infants. The other — palivizumab — is recommended only for high-risk infants born severely premature.

Nirsevimab isn’t technically a vaccine, but experts on the CDC panel think it should get vaccine perks that could include being made available at no cost to families through the Vaccines For Children program and appearing on immunization records.

The manufacturer’s cost analysis model put its price at $500, though no price would be set until it comes to market.

The FDA also is reviewing Pfizer’s vaccine candidate, RSVpreF, which would be given during pregnancy to help protect against RSV severe disease in infants through 6 months old.

The federal advisory panel also discussed RSV vaccines for older adults developed by GlaxoSmithKline called AReSVi and Pfizer under the same name, RSVpreF.

The big debate among CDC panel members on these vaccines was whether to recommend them for adults 60 and older or 65 and older. Some panel experts think the vaccines should be recommended to an older population because the risk for severe illness, hospitalization and death tends to increase with age.

But others argued the vaccines should be recommended for people 60 and older to narrow gaps in health equity, as adults from racially diverse and low-income communities tend to suffer the worst outcomes of RSV at earlier ages.

Read more at USA Today.

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