CDC Recommends Consultation with Doctors for Older Americans Seeking RSV Vaccine in Fall

by Madison Thomas
RSV vaccine

On Thursday, U.S. health officials recommended that Americans aged 60 and older, who are interested in obtaining a new RSV vaccine, should first consult with their doctors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that the newly approved vaccines are expected to be available in the fall, coinciding with the availability of flu shots and updated COVID-19 vaccines. The CDC emphasized the importance of discussing the RSV vaccine with healthcare professionals to determine its suitability for individuals.

According to the CDC, adults with chronic heart or lung disease, weakened immune systems, and those residing in long-term care facilities are at higher risk of contracting the respiratory infection caused by RSV.

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RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, commonly results in cold-like symptoms but poses a significant risk to infants and the elderly. Hospitals experienced an influx of wheezing children during a surge in cases last year. While there is currently no vaccine available for children, a vaccine for pregnant women to prevent illness in infants may be on the horizon pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the outgoing CDC director, approved the recommendation for a single dose of Pfizer and GSK vaccines for adults aged 60 and older, following the endorsement made by an advisory panel of external experts last week. The FDA granted approval for these shots last month.

Initially, the CDC panel considered a stronger recommendation for all individuals aged 65 and older to receive the vaccine. However, they revised their endorsement due to concerns raised by some members regarding its efficacy in the most vulnerable patients, the potential need for boosters and their effectiveness, as well as the cost.

During the panel discussion, GSK, the pharmaceutical company, stated that its RSV vaccine would cost between $200 and $295, while Pfizer has not disclosed its price. The durability of the vaccines across multiple seasons and the necessity for boosters are still under evaluation.

Some individuals advocated for a more forceful endorsement for those aged 65 and older. They argued that asking individuals to consult their doctors acts as a barrier to higher vaccination rates and adds an additional burden on healthcare providers. Robert Blancato, executive director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, expressed these concerns on Thursday.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about RSV vaccine

Can older Americans get the RSV vaccine without consulting their doctor first?

No, U.S. health officials recommend that older Americans consult with their doctor before getting the RSV vaccine.

When will the RSV vaccine be available for older Americans?

The newly approved RSV vaccines are expected to be ready in the fall, along with flu shots and updated COVID-19 shots.

Who should consider getting the RSV vaccine?

Adults aged 60 and older, especially those with chronic heart or lung disease, weakened immune systems, or living in long-term care facilities, are at higher risk for RSV and should consider discussing the vaccine with their doctor.

What is RSV and why is it a concern?

RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a common cause of cold-like symptoms, but it can be dangerous for infants and the elderly. It can lead to severe respiratory infections and hospitalizations, particularly in vulnerable populations.

Is there an RSV vaccine available for children?

Currently, there is no vaccine available for children. However, a vaccine for pregnant women to prevent illness in infants may be on the horizon pending approval from the FDA.

Why did the CDC recommend consulting doctors instead of issuing a stronger endorsement for the RSV vaccine?

The CDC panel initially considered a stronger recommendation for all individuals aged 65 and older to get the vaccine. However, concerns about efficacy, need for boosters, and cost led to a revision of the endorsement. Consulting doctors ensures personalized assessment and decision-making.

More about RSV vaccine

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HealthEnthusiast June 30, 2023 - 2:00 am

when will the rsv vaccine b available 4 seniors?

JohnDoe42 June 30, 2023 - 2:44 am

hey cdc, can older peeps get rsv vaccine w/o asking doc 1st?

CuriousGeorge June 30, 2023 - 5:23 am

ne news on the price of rsv vaccines? $$$??

InfoSeeker123 June 30, 2023 - 5:26 am

y didn’t cdc strongly endorse rsv vax? r they unsure abt it?

VaxAwareness June 30, 2023 - 10:38 am

who shud get rsv vax? wht’s the big deal abt rsv?

ConcernedParent June 30, 2023 - 11:30 am

no vax for kids? smh! we need 2 protect them!


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