RSV vaccine reviewed; seniors at risk & More Trending News

 

TORONTO –


As pediatric hospitals refill with younger kids sickened by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), medical doctors are apprehensive that older adults would be the subsequent wave to change into severely unwell.


“Right now everyone is razor focused on kind of what’s happening in our pediatric hospitals,” mentioned Dr. Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at Sinai Health and University Health Network in Toronto.


“It’s almost a snapshot of what we think will happen in our adult hospitals as well.”


Infectious illness consultants have reported an earlier and harsher than standard RSV and flu season, partly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic well being measures in earlier years protected towards these viruses as effectively.


But seniors are additionally susceptible to severe sickness this 12 months as extra RSV circulates – and it is solely a matter of time earlier than the unfold strikes from kids to grandparents, Sinha mentioned.


“We are worried this year that we are going to see a record number of older adults get exposed to RSV,” he mentioned.


Although knowledge on present RSV admissions by age groupis restricted, medical doctors are already beginning to see “a growing number” of adults admitted to hospital for RSV, together with influenza and COVID-19, Sinha mentioned.


The Public Health Agency of Canada doesn’t accumulate age-specific knowledge on RSV hospitalizations, it mentioned in a press release to The Canadian Press.


“RSV and influenza are two infections that have always had a disproportionate impact on the very young and the very old,” mentioned Dawn Bowdish, Canada Research Chair in Aging and Immunity and an immunologist at McMaster University in Hamilton.


That’s as a result of a toddler’s first RSV an infection tends to make them the sickest after which they’ve some immunity over the course of their life. But that capability to mount a robust immune response and battle off an infection declines amongst seniors, she mentioned.


On prime of that, these 65 years and older are inclined to have much less resilient lungs, she mentioned, in order that they’re “much more vulnerable to lung damage” from respiratory infections like RSV.


Even although there are lots of younger kids sick with RSV, they have an inclination to get well, whereas aged sufferers couldbe a lot more durable hit, Sinha mentioned.


“Our big concern right now is that we know the actual burden of disease, annually, tends to be the greatest when it comes to RSV amongst older people. That’s where we see the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths occur,” he mentioned.


HOW TO PROTECT SENIORS AS THE HOLIDAYS APPROACH


Families could resolve to guard seniors by minimizing contact with susceptible seniors throughout this surge in respiratory diseases, however that will not be lifelike when the vacations arrive, Bowdish mentioned.


“(If) you’ve got an older adult living in long-term care, or a family member who’s a little bit socially isolated … the pull of togetherness is just so strong and so important,” she mentioned. “I would never recommend complete isolation.”


Unlike COVID-19 or the flu, there may be at the moment no vaccine for RSV – making different prevention measures much more essential, she mentioned. Those embrace carrying a masks and never visiting your older beloved one in the event you’re feeling unwell.


POTENTIAL RSV VACCINE FOR SENIORS


In a press release on Thursday, Health Canada mentioned it had acquired a submission from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on Oct. 25 for an RSV vaccine for adults 60 years of age and older.


In addition, Pfizer has notified Health Canada that it’s planning to submit two RSV vaccine candidates for consideration: one for seniors and one for pregnant girls, the assertion mentioned.


“Once a submission is received, as with all vaccine submissions, Health Canada reviews it using an independent process that is based on scientific rigour and medical evidence,” it mentioned.


Both Sinha and Bowdish say a secure and efficient RSV vaccine can be an essential device for safeguarding seniors.


“The preliminary data that I’ve seen from the various manufacturers is actually quite promising,” Sinha mentioned.


That knowledge seems to indicate a “pretty good level of efficacy” and a capability to considerably scale back hospitalizations and different extreme outcomes from RSV amongst seniors, he mentioned.


“We’re quite hopeful … that we could potentially have an RSV vaccine approved for older adults as early as next year.”


This report by The Canadian Press was first printed on Nov. 25, 2022.


This story was produced with monetary help from the Canadian Medical Association.

RSV vaccine reviewed; seniors at risk

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RSV vaccine reviewed; seniors at risk

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RSV vaccine reviewed; seniors at risk

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