URMC working on clinical trials for RSV vaccine

[anvplayer video=”5098499″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Last year more than 100,000 infants in the United States were diagnosed with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). It’s one of the leading causes of hospitalization in young children.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 60,000 children around the world died as a result of the virus in 2017.

Now, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers are looking to recruit 30 infants with no previous exposure to be part of a clinical trial. As part of the trial, doctors will test the safety and efficacy of this RSV vaccine.

Doctors describe RSV as a significant lower airway disease that affects both premature babies and infants with underlying issues such as chronic lung disease.

Dr. Mary Caserta is one of two lead researchers at URMC. She says before the pandemic, the virus came in reliable waves every winter, usually before flu season. During the winter of 2020 into 2021, there were no reported cases, but RSV made a huge comeback last summer in some southern states.

A previous phase one study conducted back in 2015 identified no safety concerns, which is allowing this new trial to proceed. Caserta filled us in on when the vaccine could be available.

"For infants, I think it will be several years," Caserta said. "The trials for the older adults and pregnant women are much further along."

URMC is one of three institutions taking part in this Phase -b trial. The others are John Hopkins University and Vanderbilt University.

Click here for information on URMC’s clinical trials or to join them.