CDC recommends Pfizer and GSK vaccinations for older adults
Vial of respiratory syncytial virus.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended that adults age 60 and older receive a single dose of RSV vaccines Pfizer And GSK after consultation with the doctor.
Outgoing CDC director Rochelle Walensky signed the recommendation, which was made by an advisory panel of outside experts last week. This recommendation states that seniors should work with them Healthcare providers must decide if vaccination is right for them.
The CDC said the shots are expected to be available to the public in the fall, when respiratory syncytial virus — along with Covid and the flu — typically begins to spread at higher levels.
“These vaccines offer the opportunity to protect older adults from serious RSV disease at a time when multiple respiratory infections are likely to occur,” the CDC said in a statement.
The virus is a common respiratory infection that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms but causes more severe cases in older adults and children. According to CDC data, 6,000 to 10,000 seniors and a few hundred children under the age of 5 die from RSV each year.
Walensky’s decision comes a month after the US Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccines, making them the world’s first approved vaccines against RSV.
Pfizer and GSK spokespersons did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Both companies released late-stage clinical data last week suggesting their respective vaccines generally maintain protection against RSV after a viral season, which typically lasts from October to March in the US.
However, the panel expressed concern about the lack of efficacy data for subgroups of the elderly population at highest risk for severe RSV.
dr Michael Melgar, a CDC medical officer who reviewed data from both vaccines, said during an advisory panel meeting that adults ages 75 and older and those with an underlying condition are underrepresented in Phase III clinical trials by both companies.
He said seniors with weakened immune systems were completely excluded from the trials.
Both companies said studies of these populations are ongoing.
The CDC panel also raised concerns about the price of the vaccines, which could limit their accessibility for some Americans.
GSK said its vaccine will be priced between $200 and $295. Pfizer said the price of his shot will range from $180 to $270.
The companies declined a price guarantee.
Pfizer has also developed a vaccine to protect newborns from RSV.
An FDA advisory panel last month supported this vaccine but raised safety concerns about preterm births that may be associated with the vaccine. The FDA is expected to make a final decision on this vaccine in August.