Why Pfizer's Decades-Long Success With Its RSV Vaccine Is Significant

Nov, 2022 - by CMI

Following an experiment that tragically went wrong in the 1960s, research on RSV vaccinations stalled.

The world's largest pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, delivered a ray of optimism on Tuesday in the shape of top-line, phase three clinical trial data as an unusually big and early seasonal spike of RSV cases inundated children's hospitals throughout the nation.

In the first three months of an infant's life, the company's investigational RSV vaccine was 82% effective in avoiding serious RSV-related lower respiratory tract infection in pregnant study participants. Pfizer said that throughout the first six months, it was 69 percent effective.

Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer Annaliesa Anderson stated in a statement, "We are excited with these findings since this is the first-ever experimental vaccination demonstrated to effectively protect babies against severe RSV-related respiratory disease right after delivery."

Before filing for regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year, the corporation indicated that a vaccine may be accessible in time for the RSV season the following year.

Although the announcement is encouraging, there are nevertheless some causes for worry. For starters, the corporation has merely published top-line figures in a news statement. The data must undergo a more thorough external examination. The vaccine did not achieve the predetermined statistical requirements for effectiveness against non-severe RSV-related lower respiratory tract infection, according to Pfizer, even though the firm claims that some efficacy was clinically significant. This was the second of the trial's two main objectives.

Even still, the revelation from Tuesday, which comes after decades of research into RSV, is cause for celebration. This includes a failed vaccination study from the 1960s that resulted in more severe sickness from an RSV infection in children who had received the vaccine and tragically resulted in the deaths of two infants.