UK health regulator approves GSK’s vaccine for common respiratory virus RSV

LONDON (Reuters): Britain’s health regulator approved GSK’s vaccine for the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes thousands of hospitalisations and deaths annually, the drugmaker said on Monday.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorised GSK’s shot, called Arexvy, for active immunisation to prevent lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV in adults 60 years and older, the company said.

RSV typically causes cold-like symptoms but is a leading cause of pneumonia in toddlers and the elderly.

The complex molecular structure of the virus and safety concerns with previous vaccine attempts had stymied efforts to successfully develop a shot since the virus was first discovered in 1956.

Arexvy has recently got the green light from the United States and European regulators.