(TheLastPatriotNews.com) – A new vaccine has been added to the list of recommended fall shots for senior citizens – yet many older Americans are unwilling to get it against the backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, according to a report.
Federal officials and drugmakers are now calling upon seniors to take a new vaccine for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), The Washington Times reports.
The first vaccines for RSV, which usually infects newborns but could be lethal for older people, have been rolled out by drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer.
The GSK’s shot, named “Arexvy,” was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in May, with the company claiming it would benefit seniors in the US. Pfizer’s RSV vaccine version is called ABRYSVO.
However, the reception of a third primary annual vaccine, after those for COVID and flu, among senior citizens has been lukewarm, according to The Times.
“Adding a third shot will be a key test of seniors’ willingness to roll up their sleeves this fall. Interest in the COVID-19 shots lagged over time, and the pandemic and associated mandates fueled an era of vaccine hesitancy in activist circles and corners of the internet,” the report comments.
GSK stresses federal data, according to which RSV leads to some 177,000 hospitalizations and about 14,000 deaths of US seniors annually.
The drugmaker has been advertising its new RSV vaccine with NBA star Earvin “Magic” Johnson, but it remains a “hard sell,” especially in combination with flu and coronavirus shots.
“We anticipate a harder effort to get people to come get vaccinated,” commented Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers.
“I think that’s why it’s so important to educate the providers, really talking to patients about the importance of getting all three vaccines,” she elaborated.
According to medical experts, older patients, especially those with heart and lung problems, are the leading candidates for getting three vaccines – against COVID-19, flu, and RSV.
“I’d think there will be a substantial number of people who say, ‘OK, two at the same time, but I’ll come back for the third. That third shot is likely to be RSV,” said Vanderbilt University infectious diseases expert William Schaffner.
“I think we’ll have to be persuasive to get them back for that third visit. This is going to be a learning year,” he added.