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CDC Recommends RSV Vaccines for Adults 60 and Above
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a recommendation for adults aged 60 and above to receive a single dose of RSV vaccines from Pfizer and GSK after consulting with their doctors. The recommendation was made by an advisory panel of outside experts and approved by outgoing CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. The CDC suggests that seniors work with their healthcare providers to determine if getting the vaccine is the right choice for them.
Availability and Benefits of the Vaccines
The CDC has announced that the RSV vaccines are expected to be available to the public this fall, when respiratory syncytial virus, along with Covid and the flu, typically spreads at higher levels. These vaccines provide an opportunity to help protect older adults against severe RSV illness, especially during a time when multiple respiratory infections are likely to circulate. RSV is a common respiratory infection that can cause mild symptoms, but it can lead to more severe cases in older adults and children. According to CDC data, RSV kills 6,000 to 10,000 seniors and several hundred children under the age of 5 every year.
Clinical Data and Concerns
Pfizer and GSK have released late-stage clinical data demonstrating that their vaccines maintain protection against RSV for one season of the virus, which typically lasts from October to March in the United States. However, concerns were raised by the advisory panel regarding the lack of efficacy data on subgroups of the elderly population who are at the highest risk of severe RSV. The panel pointed out that adults aged 75 and older and those with underlying medical conditions were underrepresented in the phase three clinical trials conducted by both companies. It was also noted that seniors with weak immune systems were excluded from the trials altogether, although ongoing studies are being conducted to address these concerns.
The CDC panel also expressed concerns about the pricing of the RSV vaccines, which may limit accessibility for some Americans. GSK has stated that its vaccine will be priced between $200 and $295, while Pfizer's shot will be priced between $180 and $270. However, neither company has provided a guarantee regarding the pricing.
The CDC's recommendation for adults aged 60 and above to receive RSV vaccines from Pfizer and GSK aims to protect older adults against severe RSV illness, particularly during a time when respiratory infections are more prevalent. While clinical data on the efficacy of the vaccines in specific high-risk populations is still limited, ongoing studies are being conducted to address these concerns. It is important for seniors to consult with their healthcare providers to determine if getting the RSV vaccine is the right choice for them.
The CDC's recommendation for adults aged 60 and above to receive RSV vaccines from Pfizer and GSK presents both opportunities and challenges for a new business in the healthcare industry. On the positive side, the increased demand for RSV vaccines among older adults will create a market niche that a new business could potentially tap into. The availability of the vaccines this fall, coinciding with the higher spread of respiratory infections, presents a timely opportunity for a new business to provide these vaccines to the target demographic.
However, there are potential hurdles that a new business would need to consider. The concerns raised by the CDC advisory panel regarding the limited efficacy data in high-risk populations and the pricing concerns could impact the accessibility and acceptance of these vaccines among older adults. If these concerns are not adequately addressed, it may affect the demand for the vaccines and subsequently impact the viability of a business solely focused on providing RSV vaccines to adults aged 60 and above.
To navigate these challenges, a new business should prioritize collaboration with healthcare providers and engage in ongoing research and clinical trials to establish the efficacy and safety of the vaccines in high-risk populations. Additionally, developing strategic pricing structures and exploring partnerships with insurance providers or government programs that could potentially mitigate the pricing concerns may help increase accessibility to the vaccines.
In conclusion, while the CDC's recommendation for RSV vaccines in older adults presents a potential business opportunity, a new business must carefully consider the existing concerns and navigate the evolving landscape to succeed in this market. Adaptability, collaboration, and a focus on addressing these concerns will be crucial in establishing a successful business model in providing RSV vaccines to adults aged 60 and above.
Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/06/29/rsv-vaccine-cdc-recommends-pfizer-gsk-shots-for-older-adults.html