New Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Vaccine – What You Need to Know
RSV is a highly contagious virus that causes respiratory infections in individuals of all age groups. It is the most frequent cause of lower respiratory tract illness in infants worldwide. In most parts of the U.S., RSV circulation is seasonal, typically starting during the fall and peaking in the winter. In infants and children, the risk of RSV-associated is highest during the first year of life and is the leading cause of infant hospitalization in the U.S. (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
There are two RSV vaccines approved for adults ages 60 years and older – RSVPreF3 (Arexvy, GSK) and RSVpreF (Abrysvo, Pfizer). Both vaccines are recombinant protein vaccines that cause the immune system to produce RSV antibodies. Both are currently approved as a single dose and were shown in clinical trials to protect against symptomatic lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV in adults ages 60 and older, with more than 80% percent efficacy in the first RSV season after vaccination.
The CDC recommends adults 60 years and older may get the RSV vaccine to help prevent lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV. Not everyone may need an RSV vaccination and we recommend talking with your doctor to determine if the RSV vaccine is recommended for you. The RSV vaccine can be given alongside other vaccines, including flu, COVID, pneumonia (pneumococcal) and certain other immunizations.
The RSV vaccine is also approved for pregnant women in the third trimester (after 32 weeks of gestation). This should also help protect the unborn babies through the antibodies mom makes and passes to the child during the pregnancy and the post-partum period. If you are currently pregnant, talk to your OB/GYN about the RSV vaccination to help protect your newborn.