On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved a vaccine against the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, for adults aged 60 and older.
The vaccine, which will be sold under the brand name Arexvy, will only need to be given once. GSK, a big pharmaceutical company, makes it. In a late-stage clinical study, the shot prevented serious illness in 94% of older people who already had at least one health problem. RSV is usually linked to babies and young children but is also a serious threat to older people. Every year in the U.S., between 10,000 and 13,000 adults 65 and older die from RSV infections. The approval of the GSK vaccine comes approximately 60 years after scientists first attempted to develop a vaccine against the virus.
Dr. Ruth Karron, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who was not involved in making the vaccine, told CNN, “This really is a wonderful development.” It might be ready to sell by the fall, but the number of units made was unclear immediately.