Pfizer's RSV vaccine candidate 85% effective

In the race between drugmakers to develop a respiratory syncytial virus vaccine, Pfizer said Aug. 25 its candidate was 85.7 percent effective in preventing severe disease among adults 60 and older. 

Pfizer said it plans to ask for regulatory approval this fall based on the phase 3 results, and the vaccine-maker said the vaccine "was well-tolerated with no safety concerns."

Currently, there isn't an authorized vaccine or treatment for RSV, a common virus that results in cold-like symptoms but can be deadly for infants and the elderly. Annually in the U.S., 14,000 adults older than 65 and about 100 to 300 children younger than 5 die from the disease, according to the CDC. In infants, RSV is the most common cause for bronchitis and pneumonia. 

"Scientists and researchers have worked to develop RSV vaccines with little success for over half a century," Annaliesa Anderson, PhD, Pfizer's senior vice president and chief scientific officer of vaccine research and development, said in a statement. 

Other drugmakers involved in the race include GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. GSK is the closest to Pfizer's heels, as it said in June its phase 3 trial showed "statistically significant and clinically meaningful" results in older populations. Johnson & Johnson hasn't released data since October 2021, and Moderna has been mum lately, but both are testing their candidates in late stage trials.

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