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CDC Recommends RSV Vaccine for Older Adults

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CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendations for use of new Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccines from GSK and Pfizer for people ages 60 years and older. Image for illustration purposes
CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendations for use of new Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccines from GSK and Pfizer for people ages 60 years and older. Image for illustration purposes

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CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendations for use of new Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccines from GSK and Pfizer for people ages 60 years and older, using shared clinical decision-making. This means these individuals may receive a single dose of the vaccine based on discussions with their healthcare provider about whether RSV vaccination is right for them.

Adults at the highest risk for severe RSV illness include older adults, adults with chronic heart or lung disease, adults with weakened immune systems, and adults living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. CDC estimates that every year, RSV causes approximately 60,000–160,000 hospitalizations and 6,000–10,000 deaths among older adults.

These new vaccines – which are the first ones licensed in the U.S. to protect against RSV – are expected to be available this fall. These vaccines provide an opportunity to help protect older adults against severe RSV illness at a time when multiple respiratory infections are likely to circulate. Healthcare providers should also talk to their adult patients about what other vaccines they will need this fall to help prevent respiratory infections.

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