LOS ANGELES, May 3 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine on Wednesday.
The vaccine, named Arexvy, is approved for the prevention of lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV in individuals 60 years of age and older.
RSV is a highly contagious virus that causes infections of the lungs and breathing passages in individuals of all age groups.
In older adults, RSV is a common cause of lower respiratory tract disease, which affects the lungs and can cause life-threatening pneumonia and bronchiolitis, according to the FDA.
Each year, RSV leads to approximately 60,000 to 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,000 to 10,000 deaths among adults 65 years of age and older in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Today's approval of the first RSV vaccine is an important public health achievement to prevent a disease which can be life-threatening and reflects the FDA's continued commitment to facilitating the development of safe and effective vaccines for use in the United States," said Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.