Panel OKs 1st RSV Vaccine in Japan

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo
A GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) logo is seen at the GSK research centre in Stevenage, Britain November 26, 2019. 

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A health ministry panel Monday agreed to approve a vaccine developed by GSK PLC to protect people from the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

If the British pharmaceutical firm’s vaccine is formally approved, it will be the first for RSV available in Japan.

People eligible for the vaccination will be those aged 60 or older.

The main symptoms of RSV are fever and runny nose. RSV can cause pneumonia and bronchitis in infants and elderly people with underlying conditions.

The virus can be transmitted through contact or droplets, but there is no specific treatment for it.

The number of RSV infection cases in Japan grew briefly around May, when the country downgraded COVID-19 to a lower-risk category of infectious diseases. GSK said the vaccine was 82.6% effective in clinical trials with people aged 60 and older.

U.S. rival Pfizer Inc. has also filed for Japanese regulatory approval of an RSV vaccine.