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URMC seeks FDA approval for groundbreaking RSV vaccine

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) are seeking FDA approval for a groundbreaking vaccine designed to combat Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). This pioneering vaccine is the first of its kind and aims to alleviate some of the pressure on the healthcare system after RSV infections contributed to last year’s “tripledemic.”

The vaccine would be available to individuals aged 60 and above or those deemed immunocompromised, as this group was the primary focus of the study.

According to CDC data, RSV is responsible for up to 10,000 deaths annually among adults aged 65 and older and hospitalizes around 120,000 patients in the same age group. The new vaccine has demonstrated promising efficacy in preventing hospitalizations.

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Unlike COVID-19 and flu vaccines, the RSV vaccine candidate offers broad immunity, meaning it doesn’t require regular updates and can protect against multiple RSV strains. Dr. Falsey explained that RSV is more stable, with two major types, A and B, and a conserved fusion protein. The vaccine incorporates both A and B strains.

The study, a collaboration between Pfizer and URMC doctors, utilized a vaccine that does not contain a live virus but incorporates the fusion protein present on the RSV surface, which facilitates fusion to host cells. The FDA is expected to decide on the approval of this RSV vaccine by the end of the year.