Understanding the New RSV Vaccine for Adults
Stay Informed, Stay Protected
- RSV is a virus that can cause respiratory infections, especially in vulnerable populations.
- The new RSV vaccine, AREXBY, is an active immunization for the prevention of lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) caused by respiratory syncytial virus in individuals 60 years of age and older.
- There are options for pregnant women that immunize the mother, protect the baby, and help prevent severe illnesses. Please notify your provider if you are pregnant.
- ABRYSVO is an active immunization of pregnant individuals at 32 through 36 weeks gestational age for the prevention of lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) and severe LRTD caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants from birth through 6 months of age.
- Safety and effectiveness are ensured through rigorous testing and research.
- Consult us for personalized guidance if you have questions before getting vaccinated.
Introduction to the RSV Vaccine:
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common virus that can cause respiratory infections, especially in infants and older adults. Recently, a new RSV vaccine has been developed specifically for adults and pregnant women to provide protection against RSV-related illnesses.
Indications for the RSV Vaccine:
The new RSV vaccine is recommended for the following groups:
- Pregnant Women: The vaccine is advised during pregnancy to help protect both the pregnant individual and their newborn from severe RSV infections. By getting vaccinated during pregnancy, you can pass on some immunity to your baby, offering protection during the first few months of life.
- Adults at Risk: Adults aged 50 and older, especially those with chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease, are at a higher risk of severe RSV infections. The vaccine can help prevent these serious illnesses. These include our patients with immunodeficiency diseases and severe asthma.
Importance of Getting the RSV Vaccine:
- Protect Yourself: RSV can cause a range of respiratory symptoms, from mild cold-like symptoms to severe pneumonia. By getting vaccinated, you reduce your risk of getting sick and experiencing severe symptoms.
- Protect Your Loved Ones: For pregnant women, getting vaccinated means passing on protective antibodies to your baby. This is crucial, as newborns are at higher risk of severe RSV infections. By keeping yourself healthy, you help safeguard your child’s health.
- Prevent Hospitalizations: RSV can lead to hospitalizations, especially for vulnerable populations. According to recent data, in the United States alone, RSV leads to about 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths among adults over the age of 65 each year. By getting vaccinated, you contribute to reducing the overall burden on healthcare systems, and prevent disability and death from RSV.
- Community Immunity: When more people are vaccinated, the spread of RSV is limited. This protects those who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical reasons.
About the RSV Vaccine:
- Timing: A single dose is administered before the RSV infection season begins and peaks, which is during late fall through spring, or October- March.
- Effectiveness: The vaccine has been shown to be effective in preventing severe RSV infections in adults and pregnant women. It is administered as a standard injection.
- Clinical trial information: During the clinical trial, approximately 12,500 participants received Arexvy and 12,500 participants received a placebo. The vaccine significantly reduced the risk of developing RSV-associated lower respiratory tract infections (such as pneumonia) by 82.6% and reduced the risk of developing severe infection by 94.1%.
- Safety: Extensive research and testing have gone into ensuring the safety of the RSV vaccine. Serious side effects are extremely rare. Among a subset of these clinical trial participants, the most commonly reported side effects by individuals who received Arexvy were injection site pain, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and joint stiffness/pain. Among all clinical trial participants, atrial fibrillation within 30 days of vaccination was reported in 10 participants who received Arexvy and 4 participants who received placebo.
Remember: Vaccination is a Key to Wellness
Who the Vaccine is not recommended for: Upon review of the scientific information, those with a history of ADEM (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis) or Guillain-Barre should discuss their health history with a physician and the appropriateness of the vaccine, and should consider not getting the vaccine at the same time as the flu shot.
For more information, visit asthma2.com or Arexvy.com. Sources: FDA, CDC, WHO.
This article has been corrected on September 21, 2023.