CDC pan­el rec­om­mends Pfiz­er mater­nal RSV vac­cine to pro­tect babies

An inde­pen­dent pan­el of inde­pen­dent advis­ers for the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion backed Pfiz­er’s res­pi­ra­to­ry syn­cy­tial virus, or RSV, vac­cine for preg­nant women to con­fer immu­ni­ty to new­borns on Fri­day.
The pan­el rec­om­mend­ed that preg­nant women between 32 and 36 weeks ges­ta­tion dur­ing cold and flu sea­son take the RSV vac­cine that was recent­ly approved by the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion for adults over the age of 60.
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In July, the FDA also approved an RSV vac­cine for infants and tod­dlers over eight months old, which was rec­om­mend­ed by CDC Direc­tor Mandy Cohen in August.
RSV caus­es mild symp­toms in most peo­ple with healthy immune sys­tems, but elder­ly adults and chil­dren under the age of 3 are at greater risk.
RSV kills upwards of 6,000 and hos­pi­tal­izes over 60,000 old­er adults per year, accord­ing to the CDC.
Over 2 mil­lion chil­dren under the age of 5 are treat­ed out­side of the hos­pi­tal for RSV annu­al­ly, and up to 80,000 chil­dren less than 5 are hos­pi­tal­ized. Between 100 and 300 child deaths year­ly are attrib­ut­able to RSV.
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Pfiz­er’s chief med­ical offi­cer for vac­cines told CNBC that the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal giant is pre­pared “for the first time in his­to­ry” to pro­vide an RSV vac­cine to both pop­u­la­tions most at risk for devel­op­ing severe dis­ease.
Cohen will need to issue the final approval of the pan­el’s rec­om­men­da­tion before the vac­cine can be admin­is­tered to moth­ers.