FDA approves first U.S. RSV vaccine

RSV vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the Arexvy shot for adults aged 60 and older. It’s the first respiratory syncytial virus vaccine approved in the United States.

RSV affects the lungs and breathing passages. Children and older people are those most at risk of complications from the highly-contagious virus—for instance, in older adults RSV can cause pneumonia. RSV kills between 6,000 and 10,000 adults over the age of 65 every year.

How effective is the vaccine? A study that the FDA’s approval is based on found that one dose of the vaccine reduced by almost 95 percent the risk of developing a severe infection caused by RSV. About 25,000 people participated in the international study.

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Participants will remain in the study through three RSV seasons to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine over time and whether more doses would be necessary. The vaccine could be available by this fall. 

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2023, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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