LOS ANGELES: The U S Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) approved the first Respiratory Syncytial Virus vaccine.
The vaccine, under the title 'Arexvy', was approved on Wednesday, May 3, for the prevention of lower respiratory tract disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus in individuals 60 years of age and older, as per media reports
Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a highly contagious virus that affects people of all ages by infecting their lungs and breathing systems. The FDA said, Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a frequent cause of lower respiratory tract disease in older persons. This condition damages the lungs and can result in bronchiolitis and potentially fatal pneumonia.
According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, RSV causes 60,000 to 120,000 hospitalisations and 6,000 to 10,000 fatalities each year among adults 65 and older.
In older adults, Respiratory Syncytial Virus infections can lead to lung infection or pneumonia, and also could cause complications in those who have heart disease, asthma, weak immune systems or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as per the CDC.
Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Centre for Biologics Evaluation and Research said, "Today's approval of the first Respiratory Syncytial Virus vaccine is a major 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."