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Japan Approves First RSV Vaccine Aimed at Adults 60 Years or Older

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry on Monday formally approved the respiratory syncytial virus vaccine developed by British pharmaceutical company GSK PLC. It is the first time Japan has approved an RSV vaccine for use in adults aged 60 or older.

The RS virus causes symptoms like those of the common cold but can lead to severe pneumonia for those with weakened immune systems, including infants and elderly people.

According to GSK, the vaccine lowered the risk of pneumonia and bronchitis by about 80% in adults aged 60 or older in its vaccine efficacy trials.

U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. has also applied for approval of its RSV vaccine.