New Study Supported by CDC Indicates Potential Reduction in Severity of RSV Disease with Vaccine, Findings Contradict Previous Data

A recent study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that newly approved vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) could reduce the severity of the disease, similar to how COVID-19 vaccines lessen the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections.

The study compared disease severity in patients who received routine COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations with those who were unvaccinated. It found that unvaccinated patients with RSV experienced disease severity similar to unvaccinated patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or influenza. However, vaccinated patients hospitalized with RSV had lower odds of dying compared to vaccinated patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or influenza.

The study analyzed data from adults aged 18 and older who tested positive for RSV, COVID-19, or influenza and were hospitalized within 10 days of illness onset. The analysis included clinical outcomes such as invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) and in-hospital deaths. Among the patients hospitalized with RSV, 12 percent of unvaccinated adults experienced a severe outcome of IMV or death. In comparison, 14.1 percent of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients and 10.3 percent of unvaccinated influenza patients experienced a severe outcome.

However, there are concerns about the study’s methodology and interpretation of the data. Some experts argue that the study’s focus on aggregated IMV and death data instead of reporting each separately raises suspicion. Additionally, the study did not provide information on the cause of death or disclose the underlying medical conditions and vaccination status of patients in each group.

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By Kate Stephenson
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