In these weeks, the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is overloading the Argentine health system due to the large number of cases of bronchiolitis in infants and young children. But this virus not only affects especially the youngest, but also at the other end of life: those over 60 years of age. On Wednesday, an RSV vaccine for adults was authorized in the United States and tested in Argentina.
The FDA, the US regulatory agency, approved the Abrysvo vaccine, developed by the US laboratory Pfizer, for people over 60 years of age. It is the second RSV vaccine that the FDA approves in less than a month: it previously authorized GSK's vaccine for the same population, in a milestone because it is the first time in more than half a century of research that immunization for this virus has been achieved.
Unlike its Covid vaccine, which uses messenger RNA technology, Pfizer's RSV vaccine is based on protein subunit technology. To authorize it, the FDA took into account the results of the phase III Renoir study with 37,000 participants, which was done in Argentina, among other countries. Here it was tested with volunteers at the Central Military Hospital in Buenos Aires, where the company's vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 had also been tested before.
The first results of the trial, published in April in The New England Journal of Medicine, reported an overall efficacy of the vaccine of 66.7% and 85.7% against severe forms in older adults, with good tolerance and without safety problems.
Under the microscope. This is what respiratory syncytial virus looks like. Photo CDC/AP
On May 3, the FDA had approved the world's first RSV vaccine, Arexvy, developed by the British laboratory GSK, which in a clinical trial with approximately 25,000 participants was 82.6% effective in preventing lower respiratory tract infections, the company said in a statement after approval.
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