Home » Health » New Vaccine for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) to Include Pregnant Women and Elderly Adults in Fall 2021

New Vaccine for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) to Include Pregnant Women and Elderly Adults in Fall 2021

The siege on respiratory viruses typical of autumn and winter is tightening. If until 2019 older people and the most vulnerable groups only had to be vaccinated against the flu, and for some time now the jab against covid has been added, This coming fall the cocktail will incorporate a new vaccine: the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), causing pneumonia, complications of asthma or COPD or bronchial diseases in the adult population. This type of health problem continues to generate numerous serious conditions every year, particularly in older age groups, with the consequent decompensation of previous illnesses that even end up causing numerous deaths.

As this newspaper has been reporting, this fall-winter has brought the good news of a drastic decrease in cases of bronchiolitis in children, thanks to the immunization – for the first time – of infants against the same RSV that is now targeted. fight in adults. In Asturias, this action has resulted in very favorable results: 97 percent coverage among babies under six months. The consequence has been a notable reduction in visits to emergency services and even hospital admissions. An antibody is applied in the child population. In the elderly, a population in which the respiratory syncytial virus causes other types of damage other than bronchiolitis, a vaccine itself will be administered.

What is bronchiolitis and how does it affect babies?

The complete opposite of bronchiolitis has happened with the flu vaccination campaign for children under five years of age. Because the new program was not accompanied by the necessary information support for families, flu vaccine coverage in the 6 to 59 month age group has barely reached 30 percent, a fact that professionals value as a resounding failure.

As this newspaper has learned from specialized sources, RSV infections usually cause a cold, or little more, in people without underlying health problems. However, in the elderly or immunocompromised they can cause death. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has given the green light to two vaccines for the population aged 60 and over. So far only one of them has been approved in Spain. This vaccine can also be administered to pregnant women, “not so much to protect them, but also in part, as well as the baby,” indicate the aforementioned sources. Experts add that “we are faced with an additional tool to protect newborns,” since once they arrive into this world they will also receive the antibody. The adult RSV vaccine that is pending approval in Spain is only designed for people aged 60 and over, not for pregnant women.

There are two basic types of respiratory syncytial viruses, A and B.. Some of them usually come into circulation just after the summer, as the opening act for the flu. Consequently, experts estimate that the vaccine should be administered in September. As it is a pathogen that does not usually mutate, the hassle of having to design a different vaccine each year is not expected, as is the case with the flu. On paper, it protects for at least two seasons, although in the second its defensive effectiveness already decreases.

A medium intensity virus wave

Between 100,000 and 120,000 Asturians have attended a health center this fall and winter for an acute respiratory infection (ARI). We must add those who went directly to a hospital emergency service and those who have had the flu, covid or other conditions without medical help. Experts understand that the impact of this season’s respiratory pathology is intermediate, both in frequency of cases and their severity.

2024-01-16 03:00:40
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