A disease that drew headlines last year for an increase in children now has a vaccine for seniors.
The disease is known as respiratory syncytial virus, also more commonly called RSV. A couple of years ago, there was a growing number of infants who were being hospitalized for RSV. However, Megan McCall, a nurse practitioner with Independence Health System, says RSV also has an impact on seniors. The disease, which can have similar symptoms to a cold, can lead those 60 and older having a greater risk of potentially having a hospital stay if they contract RSV.
But, the FDA and CDC recently approved new RSV vaccines specifically for seniors.
“The current research shows that the efficacy or the effectiveness of the vaccine is very effective. Right now, we know that research shows that this vaccine is protective for a year, and there is research currently being done to see if it lasts longer than that,” McCall said.
McCall suggested speaking with your primary care provider before getting the vaccine. The shot is available at local pharmacies and coverage for the vaccine depends on insurance.
McCall says that doctor’s offices can test for RSV in order to properly diagnose if it is a common cold or RSV. Infants under 8-months-old can receive an RSV immunization as they enter their first RSV season, which is typically in the fall.