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CDC approves RSV vaccine for older adults

June 30, 2023 – The CDC this week gave the green light to 2 recent vaccines to guard older adults from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

On Thursday, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, agreed with the recommendations Last week, CDC advisers announced that folks ages 60 and older can receive one in every of two recent vaccines against RSV. The decision ought to be made based on discussions with the person's doctor about whether the vaccine is acceptable for the patient, the federal health agency said.

The recent vaccines are the primary vaccines approved within the United States to guard against the respiratory disease and are expected to be available in the autumn.

On June 21, the CDC's independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) didn’t recommend vaccination for everybody age 65 and older, though that was the query the panel was originally asked to contemplate. The experts modified that query to ask whether the panel should recommend vaccination for people age 65 and older if the person and their doctor agreed. The panel voted 9-5 in favor.

RSV vaccines

RSV causes 6,000 to 10,000 deaths in people age 65 and older and 60,000 to 160,000 hospitalizations on this group annually within the United States. Seniors and young children are amongst probably the most vulnerable to this lower respiratory infection, which is characterised by runny nose, wheezing, sneezing, lack of appetite and fever.

The FDA approved two vaccines in May – Arexvy from GSK and Abrysvo from Pfizer – for adults aged 60 and over.

The vote, which recommends a collective decision on the vaccine fairly than routine vaccination for all, “is a weaker recommendation,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. Schaffner is a nonvoting member of the ACIP. He attended the meeting.

He said experts had expressed concern about a variety of issues, including what some experts said was insufficient data from studies of probably the most vulnerable groups, reminiscent of nursing home residents.

The experts also wanted more information in regards to the duration of protection and when exactly a second dose may be needed. At the meeting, a GSK representative said its vaccine was 84.6 percent effective after one and a half seasons, in comparison with 94.1 percent after one season. A Pfizer representative said its vaccine reduced the chance of RSV infection with three or more symptoms by 78.6 percent after one and a half seasons, in comparison with 88.9 percent after one season.

The panel also wanted more data on whether the RSV vaccines might be given similtaneously other vaccines advisable for adults.

Both firms gave a variety of cost estimates. Pfizer expects its vaccine to cost between $180 and $270, but said it couldn’t guarantee that range. GSK expects it to cost between $200 and $295. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, advisable vaccines are covered by Medicare for individuals with Part D plans, which is the case for 51 million of 65 million Medicare patients. Private insurers will likely cover the vaccines if the CDC recommends them.