Pfizer’s new 80% RSV vaccine provides overloaded pediatric hospitals hope.

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By Creative Media News

Pfizer has reported that its experimental RSV vaccine is highly successful, providing parents and physicians a glimmer of optimism.

The pharmaceutical company said that its vaccine can minimize the risk of hospitalization among infants as young as six months afflicted with the seasonal virus.

If authorized, it would be the first vaccination for RSV, which kills between 100 and 500 children under the age of five and causes over 58,000 hospitalizations annually.

This could be a lifeline for hospitals currently overburdened by an abnormally high number of instances of the virus, which has been attributed to the immunization suppression of youngsters.

Vaccines are delivered to pregnant women during the late second to the early third trimester. Vaccination during pregnancy permits antibodies to cross the placenta and protect the fetus.

Pfizer's new 80% rsv vaccine provides overloaded pediatric hospitals hope.
Pfizer's new 80% rsv vaccine provides overloaded pediatric hospitals hope.

In the Pfizer trial, 7,400 pregnant women from 18 countries received either the experimental vaccine or a placebo.

Pfizer anticipates that its petition for approval from the Food and Drug Administration will be finalized by the end of 2022, potentially paving the way for government approval before the next respiratory infection season begins.

Vaccination of pregnant women was found to be about 82% effective in preventing serious RSV-related illness in infants within their first 90 days of life.

At six months, the vaccine’s effectiveness was still 69%.

Cases were deemed serious if infected infants breathed at a rate of > 70 breaths per minute.

Pediatric hospitals
Pfizer's new 80% rsv vaccine provides overloaded pediatric hospitals hope.

Cases of RSV were also deemed severe if the patient’s blood oxygen levels dropped below 93%, if they required high-flow supplementary oxygen, if they were admitted to the intensive care unit, or if they lost consciousness.

Pneumonia and bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the lung’s tiny airways, can be caused by severe infections.

RSV kills over 100,000 children annually, primarily in developing nations. However, no vaccine exists for respiratory illness.

Dr. Eric Simes, an expert in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado, praised the maternal vaccine, stating that it has the potential to significantly reduce the number of RSV cases in hospitals.

And, if allowed by regulatory authorities, will likely have a big influence on disease in the United States and around the world, Dr. Simes added.

Professor Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, stated that previous failures to create a viable RSV vaccine make Pfizer’s news all the more thrilling.

Prof. Ball exclaimed, “The news from Pfizer that their early clinical trial results suggest good protection against lung infection following vaccination of expectant moms (who will pass the immunity on to their newborns) is excellent news.”

Pfizer is anticipated to be the first business to receive permission, but the specific timing for approval is unknown.

Albert Bourla, the chief executive officer of Pfizer, told investors on Tuesday that he expects the vaccine to be available by late 2023 or early 2024.

In the past two years, children’s hospitals across the United States have been inundated with sick children whose immune systems have been guarded against many common viruses.

This year, millions of young infants will be exposed to RSV for the first time in their lives, following a two-year absence.

Effectively halting infectious viruses such as RSV was a mix of social distancing, masking, and remote learning implemented to protect individuals from Covid-19.

Now that these mitigation measures have been abandoned in significant part, RSV has made a spectacular comeback.

This year’s RSV season began around two months early. The influx of ill children into pediatric units of large hospitals has compelled medical staff to change who and where they provide care.

At the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, for example, floor nurses will be assigned to pediatric patient units to accommodate the surge.

In a reversal of the early pandemic routine, in which pediatricians were hired to handle the influx of adult Covid-19 patients, doctors who typically treat adults will now begin caring for youngsters.

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