2 options now available to prevent this lung infection
[00:00:02] Host Amber Smith: Here's some expert advice from Dr. Elizabeth Asiago-Reddy, the chief of infectious disease at Upstate Medical University. What do adults need to know about the R S V (respiratory syncytial virus) vaccine?
[00:00:13] Elizabeth Asiago-Reddy, MD: This is something new that has just come out. There were actually two vaccines that were evaluated in June by the F D A, (Food and Drug Administration) one that's made by G S K and one that's made by Pfizer. Those are called Arexvy and Abrysvo, respectively. And they're both highly effective in preventing severe lower respiratory tract infection from respiratory syncytial virus or R S V.
The G S K Arexvy appears to be slightly more effective when we look at the available data. And it had a unanimous vote of approval, versus a couple of dissenters on the Pfizer vaccine. But both were approved, and both, again, are effective in preventing severe disease and specifically lower respiratory tract disease -- so that means pneumonia -- in adults, age 60 and up.
So these are currently being recommended as a single dose for adults age 60 and up. What we don't know right now, to my awareness, is whether there'll be additional recommendations for others who might have risk for respiratory syncytial virus based on immune compromise. At this point, I'm only aware of the older adult recommendation at this point.
There is a monoclonal antibody available for children, which is new as well. So with these combinations of prevention options, we're hoping that we'll have a less severe R S V season than last year. So last year was a very severe R S V season that was somewhat unprecedented.
For right now there's no contraindication to getting all three vaccines together at the same time -- so that would be flu, R S V and COVID. I would definitely recommend anyone who's eligible asking their primary care provider about all of these vaccines and how best to give them in combination.
It looks like, because the R S V vaccine is adjuvanted -- what that means is that there's a medication put into the vaccine that boosts the immune response. There's a possibility that people might have some more symptoms associated with getting multiple vaccines delivered at once.
That having been said, when reviewing expert advice and realities on the ground, what happens when you split up vaccines is that people oftentimes just don't get them. And so it would be better to get all three, especially for those individuals who are at highest risks, so those include the people in the age groups recommended, and especially those with comorbidities.
[00:02:53] Host Amber Smith: You've been listening to Upstate infectious disease chief, Dr. Elizabeth Asiago-Reddy.