New RSV Vaccines Could Change Cold Season

There are three RSV vaccines for adults that are in phase 3 trials, and two more candidates in early stages of development.

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Respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV, creates cold-like symptoms but can lead to much more serious issues such as severe lung inflammation or infection. Each year tens of thousands of kids are hospitalized for RSV, and hundreds die, and those numbers are on the rise. For example, babies under twelve months old are being hospitalized at a rate six times higher than three years ago. A recent Vox article discussed vaccines for said virus and how they could fundamentally change cold season.

Last Tuesday, Pfizer announced that its RSV vaccine prevented 69% of severe RSV cases in kids under the age of 6 months. Interestingly, the vaccine is actually administered to the pregnant mother, which protects the infants after birth. There is also a vaccine in development for older adults as well as monoclonal antibodies that boost the immune system and prevent infection. Experts say that these products could cumulate to prevent over ¾ of severe disease in both age groups.