On Friday, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) said it was suggesting a new vaccine to help protect newborn babies against RSV and severe respiratory syncytial virus.
Dr. Mandy Cohen, CDC Director, said this is just another innovative technique that we can employ this autumn and winter to help safeguard lives, and he said he is suggesting parents take advice from their doctor about how to save their new babies from serious RSV illness using RSV immunization given to babies after birth or a vaccine given during pregnancy.
On Friday, the CDC’s independent vaccine advisers voted to endorse the maternal vaccine. The voting to recommend the vaccine took place from 11 to 1. The particular question advisers voted on was whether the maternal RSV vaccine is advised for pregnant people during 32–36 weeks of gestation, using seasonal administration, to avoid RSV lower respiratory tract infection in newborns.
The vaccine is made by Pfizer and called Abrysvo. Pfizer’s Abrysvo vaccine would be delivered to pregnant women in a single dose late in their pregnancy. In the United States, the RSV season is mostly from September to January. In the other months of RSV season, vaccines will not be given to pregnant women. But a new RSV prevention vaccine called Nirsevimab could be suggested to protect newborn babies.
The CDC’s committee also voted on a resolution to include the RSV vaccination in the Immunization for Children program. The CDC informed the committee on Friday that it would amend its vaccine schedule the following week to include all of the independent committee’s vaccine proposals for this year, including this one.
The vaccine schedule is typically issued in February, and it does not include the most recent proposals from this group. The experts stressed the importance of keeping the schedule up to date because it is commonly utilized by insurance firms to determine which vaccines they would cover. It’s also significant for clinicians, who rely on it to determine which vaccines to give to their clients. There are multiple vaccine schedules: one that recommends vaccines for adults and another that recommends vaccines for kids and teens.
CDC on RSV Vaccine
According to committee members, the RSV vaccination could make an enormous impact on the health of the U.S.
Dr. Katherine Poehling, professor of pediatrics and epidemiology and prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine, and the committee member who voted for the vaccine said that in his entire career, this has been a tough disease with just supportive care treatment accessible due to a lack of options. So it is a happy day.
According to studies, the vaccination would shield infants against severe lower respiratory tract disease and RSV lower respiratory tract disease for at least the first six months of life.
The US Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccination in August, voting unanimously that it was efficacious and safe. In a trial involving almost 7,000 pregnant women and their babies, the vaccine reduced the likelihood that babies needed to see a doctor or receive treatment at the hospital. According to Pfizer, the most prevalent side effects experienced by less than 10% of participants were pain at the injection site, nausea, muscle soreness, and headaches.
The vaccination was given to pregnant women even sooner than the CDC’s independent committee recommends, although experts intended to give the vaccine between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy to reduce the danger of very preterm birth.
A GSK trial of a comparable RSV vaccine was halted due to the risk of preterm birth. Another change was the vaccine’s pricing. Pfizer told the board that the vaccine would cost around $295 per dosage, nearly 50% more than the predicted price they submitted in June. Some members of the CDC committee questioned why the vaccination was so expensive. For instance, the Tdap vaccine for pregnant women costs between $46 and $52. According to studies, the cost of the new RSV vaccine is anticipated to be one of the most significant barriers to vaccination.
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