COVID vaccine in hands of caregiver

A vaccine that could prevent a respiratory virus responsible for more than 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths annually in older adults is moving closer to market.

Pfizer reported its RSVpreF vaccine was 86% effective in preventing severe illness from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in patients 60 and older in a phase 3 clinical trial. It was also 67% effective in preventing milder illness from the virus and caused no serious safety concerns, the company said. The protein-based vaccine is administered in a single dose.  

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually begins occurring in the fall and causes mild, cold-like symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although most people recover from the virus in a week or two, it can be especially serious in older adults and infants. RSV is one of the most common causes of bronchitis and pneumonia.145

Experts are encouraged by Pfizer’s latest trials for the vaccine because there currently isn’t a drug on the market to prevent RSV infections.

Last March, the Food and Drug Administration granted the RSVpreF vaccine Breakthrough Therapy Designation. The designation helps expedite the development and review of drugs and vaccines that are intended to prevent or treat serious conditions and in clinical trials can demonstrate substantial improvement over other available therapies.