A vaccine against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), for which there are presently no authorized shots, showed promising results in elderly patients on Thursday, according to pharmaceutical behemoth Pfizer.
The virus can cause pneumonia in elderly people and causes bronchiolitis, a respiratory condition that primarily affects newborns. RSV infection causes more than 177,000 older patients to be hospitalised each year in the US, and 14,000 of them eventually die, according to US health authorities.
In an ongoing clinical trial, the vaccine is being evaluated on individuals 60 years of age and older. A preliminary investigation revealed that it was roughly 85% successful in averting severe cases, or those with three or more symptoms.
In the upcoming months, Pfizer said it intends to submit applications for the vaccine to the US Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory bodies. “Scientists and researchers have worked to develop RSV vaccines with little success for over half a century. These findings are an important step in our effort to help protect against RSV disease,” Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, Annaliesa Anderson, who oversees vaccine development, stated in a statement.
The company reported that the vaccination was well received and that there were no safety issues. They added that they would submit the findings for publication in a scientific journal. Out of the anticipated 40,000 participants, around 37,000 have already been enrolled in the clinical trial.
The vaccine, which targets two strains of the virus, is given to half of them, while the other half receives a placebo. In addition to Moderna, other companies are striving to create an RSV vaccine.