What is Causing the Explosion of RSV?

Many of you have observed an explosion of RSV and to a lesser extent influenza (e.g. a friend called me up today to ask if it was linked to the vaccine and many colleagues have reached out to me about the unprecedented surge they are observing in patients). Although I expected this, it is still somewhat disconcerting to see this happen as RSV is typically not a major concern outside of very specific patient populations.

I first started seeing signs of this trend last year when Australia reported a huge spike in RSV over the summer. This summer, Australia experienced an unprecedented spike in both influenza and RSV. This has led many experts to become worried about the threat we were facing from these diseases and emphasize the urgent need to develop a vaccine for RSV (the last one was pulled because it caused enhanced respiratory disease). 

Many vaccines are currently in clinical trials (with vaccines expected to be available next year) and Moderna is presently developing an mRNA vaccine for RSV while Pfizer is opting for a more traditional design. Due to the “emergent” nature of the RSV situation, everyone appears to be going for an accelerated approval which skips the necessary time for the safety testing process, which as the last few years have shown, may not be the best idea when a vaccine already had known safety concerns.

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Excellent article, very clearly argued. Highly recommended. ABN

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