On Wednesday, full results from two large clinical trials run by Pfizer were published in The New England Journal of Medicine, giving the medical community a fuller look at the data supporting that company’s vaccine in older adults and in pregnant women. The same journal published study results of GSK’s vaccine in older adults in February.
Pfizer’s data “move us closer to prevention of RSV illness in the young and old,” wrote Ruth Karron, a pediatrician and virologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in an editorial published alongside the results.
The company is currently expecting the Food and Drug Administration to decide on its vaccine’s approval for older adults by the end of May, and for pregnant women by August.
Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is particularly dangerous for infants and the elderly. Children younger than six months are at higher risk of health complications and deaths, while older adults with underlying conditions are more likely to be hospitalized for RSV infection.
Pfizer’s RSV vaccine is a bivalent shot that targets both the A and B strains of the virus. In the larger of the two trials, a study called RENOIR that enrolled nearly 36,000 adults 60 years or older, vaccination proved 67% effective in preventing infections with at least two symptoms. The shot was 86% against more severe disease, with three related symptoms. READ MORE
by Delilah Alvarado
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