Coronavirus – Disease, Medical Sciences Involved & Preventive Measures

FDA approves first vaccine for Respiratory Syncytial Virus


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Respiratory Syncytial Virus, F Protein

Mains level: NA


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first vaccine ‘Arexvy’ for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) to lower respiratory tract disease in people older than 60 years.

What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus?

  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus that can cause illness in people of all ages.
  • It is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and young children, and it can also affect older adults and people with weakened immune systems.
  • RSV is highly contagious and spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or by touching a surface contaminated with the virus and then touching one’s face.
  • Symptoms of RSV can range from mild to severe, including runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fever, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
  • In severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, bronchiolitis, or death.

Identification of Protein F

  • In 2013, Barney Graham and other scientists identified the key protein, protein F, responsible for the RSV virus to infect human cells.
  • The protein, introduced in humans, elicited neutralizing antibodies against the virus.

Approval and Efficacy of Arexvy

  • The FDA has approved Arexvy, the first RSV vaccine to be approved anywhere in the world, manufactured by GSK.
  • The approval was based on a phase-3 trial carried out on nearly 25,000 participants.
  • It showed a single dose of the vaccine reduced the risk of developing lower respiratory tract disease caused by the RSV virus by 82.6% and severe disease by 94.1% in people older than 60 years.
  • The vaccine will be available for older adults in the U.S. before the 2023-2024 RSV season.


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