US approves 1st vaccine for RSV after decades of attempts
May 3, 2023 -WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. approved the first vaccine for RSV on Wednesday, shots to protect older adults against a respiratory virus that’s most notorious for attacking babies but endangers their grandparents, too.
The Food and Drug Administration decision makes GSK’s shot, called Arexvy, the first of several potential vaccines in the pipeline for RSV to be licensed anywhere.
The move sets the stage for adults 60 and older to get vaccinated this fall — but first, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must decide if every senior really needs RSV protection or only those considered at high risk from the respiratory syncytial virus. CDC’s advisers will debate that question in June.
After decades of failure in the quest for an RSV vaccine, doctors are anxious to finally have something to offer — especially after a virus surge that strained hospitals last fall.
“This is a great first step … to protect older persons from serious RSV disease,” said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, who wasn’t involved with its development. Next, “we’re going to be working our way down the age ladder” for what’s expected to be a string of new protections.