Science & Tech

The FDA has approved the first Respiratory Syncytial Virus vaccination

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first vaccination ‘Arexvy’ for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) to reduce respiratory tract disease in persons over the age of 60.

What exactly is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)?

  • RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is a common respiratory virus that can infect people of all ages.
  • It is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infections in newborns and young children, but it can also afflict older adults and people with compromised immune systems.
  • RSV is highly contagious and spreads by droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or by touching a virus-infested surface and then touching one’s face.
  • RSV symptoms range from moderate to severe, and include a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fever, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
  • It can cause pneumonia, bronchiolitis, or death in extreme cases.

Protein F Identification

  • In 2013, Barney Graham and colleagues discovered the critical protein, protein F, that allows the RSV virus to infect human cells.
  • When the protein was put into people, it produced antiviral antibodies.

Arexvy’s Acceptance and Efficacy

  • The FDA has authorised Arexvy, GSK’s first RSV vaccine to be approved anywhere in the globe.
  • The approval was based on a phase-3 trial involving roughly 25,000 people.
  • In persons over the age of 60, a single dose of the vaccine reduced the probability of getting lower respiratory tract disease caused by the RSV virus by 82.6% and severe disease by 94.1%.
  • The vaccine will be accessible in the United States for older persons before the 2023-2024 RSV season.
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