The Commission approved Abrysvo, the first vaccine to protect the elderly and infants up to six months of age from lower respiratory tract disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), notes the Commission in its announcement.

This type of vaccine is particularly important considering the increased RSV infections in the EU last winter. The vaccine, which is now approved across the EU, will help boost the immune response to the virus. Authorization follows a rigorous assessment under the EMA’s rapid assessment mechanism. Considering that the prevention of RSV infection in children is of major public health concern, the Commission accelerated the approval of the vaccine.

The Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakidou, stated that “this is the first EU approved RSV vaccine that protects not only the elderly but also infants, from birth. With the coming fall and winter season ahead, this vaccine can help prevent the serious consequences of RSV for some of our most vulnerable citizens. This is particularly important for our children for whom RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization in the EU. This is the European Health Union keeping its promises and determined to tackle health threats with decisive action. I look forward to seeing Member States start using this first vaccine as part of their national vaccination campaigns.”

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild cold-like symptoms. Most people recover within one to two weeks, but RSV can be serious in vulnerable people, including the elderly and those with lung or heart disease and diabetes.