Pfizer's RSV vaccine is looking promising based on Phase III trials

Pfizer, the leading pharmaceutical company in the world, has released their phase III trials for their latest vaccine candidate against Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV. Based on the phase III trials, the vaccine created by Pfizer has shown an efficacy of 81.8% for infants of age 0 to 90 days. For the children of age 90 days to six months, the efficacy rate was 69.4%. These results are looking promising enough to protect children from concerning infections by Respiratory Syncytial Virus. These results have come at a time when the cases of RSV infections are increasing in the US due to seasonal changes. The Respiratory Syncytial Virus or the human RSV is a commonly found virus that, as the name suggests, causes the infection of the respiratory system in infants and children. RSV is an RNA-based virus. The virus is so common that most children suffer from the infection at least once by the time they are two years old. It also affects adults and children of age higher than two years. But in adults, the infection is mild enough that the person may mistake it for the common cold. It is generally concerning for children below the age of two years, as they lack a properly developed immune system. For these children, RSV could be a life-threatening infection. Across the world, over 3.5 million children are hospitalized every year due to getting infected by RSV. Out of these, over 100,000 children suffer from death due to RSV infection. RSV is an aerial infection, meaning that it spreads through the air or the respiratory droplets from the infected person. Seeing the lethality of RSV infections in infants and children below the age of six months, the vaccine from Pfizer could assist the children in developing their immune systems against RSV.  The phase III trials conducted by Pfizer involved around 7,400 pregnant women. These women were divided into two groups, one of which received the vaccine dosage and the other received placebo. The initial findings showed that these women and their infants showed no safety concerns for over one year after the pregnancy. The vaccine showed effectiveness against severe lower respiratory tract illness caused by RSV. While the vaccine reported higher effectiveness against severe lower respiratory tract illness, its effectiveness against mild lower respiratory tract illness was low. For the first three months of a child's life, the vaccine showed 57.1% effectiveness against mild lower respiratory tract illness. For the first six months of the child’s life, the effectiveness of the vaccine against mild lower respiratory tract illness dropped down to 51.3%. Annaliesa Anderson, the Chief Scientific Officer at Pfizer stated that the data which has been obtained from the phase III trials of the first-ever investigational vaccine has thrilled everyone at Pfizer. She further stated that the vaccine by Pfizer will now be able to offer newborn babies protection from severe lower respiratory tract illness caused by RSV. Now that the RSV season is about to start in the US, the vaccine could prove a potential shield for newborn babies against such infection.