The US Medicines Agency (FDA) on Wednesday authorized a second vaccine, developed by the Pfizer laboratory, against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), responsible for bronchiolitis, a month after approving the first.
At the beginning of May, the FDA had already authorized the Arexvy vaccine from the British laboratory GSK, a world first. The Arexvy, like the Abrysvo from Pfizer, is reserved for the elderly.
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading public health authority in the United States, are to meet on June 21 to define recommendations for the use of RSV vaccines in the elderly .
Subject to the conclusions of this meeting, Pfizer intends to market its Abrysvo vaccine in the third quarter, ie before the fall, which traditionally marks the beginning of a seasonal resurgence of cases of bronchiolitis.
Pfizer has also requested authorization for a vaccine intended for pregnant women, which should allow the immunization of young children. A panel of independent experts recommended mid-May to the FDA to approve this vaccine, but the agency has not yet rendered its decision.
RSV is a very common and contagious virus, best known for causing bronchiolitis (infection of the small bronchi) in young children during the winter. It also affects adults and can be dangerous for the elderly when it degenerates into a respiratory infection (bronchiolitis or pneumonia).
According to US health authorities, this virus causes the death of between 6,000 and 10,000 people aged 65 and over in the United States each year, and between 60,000 and 160,000 hospitalizations. It is also responsible for hospitalizing 58,000 to 80,000 children under the age of five each year, according to the CDC.