RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With more seniors being hospitalized with respiratory syncytial virus — or RSV — this season, a vaccine for the virus for older adults could be coming soon.
Pfizer announced on Dec. 7 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would be fast-tracking its review of the company’s experimental vaccine for RSV in people 60 years of age and older.
Expediting a Biologics License Application (BLA) review of the vaccine reduces the standard review period by four months, which would mean that the FDA will make a decision on whether or not it approves the vaccine by May 2023, according to a release from Pfizer.
“With no RSV vaccines currently available, older adults remain at-risk for RSV disease and potential severe outcomes, including serious respiratory symptoms, hospitalization, and in some cases, even death,” said Annaliesa Anderson, a senior vice president and chief scientific officer for vaccine research and development at Pfizer.
“The FDA’s acceptance of the BLA for our RSV vaccine candidate is an important regulatory milestone in Pfizer’s efforts to help protect older adults against RSV and demonstrates additional progress toward what has been an elusive public health goal – reducing the overall burden associated with this infectious disease,” Anderson added.
If the FDA approves Pfizer’s vaccine, it will be the first vaccine available in the country to protect against RSV.