HSA Approves Arexvy, World's First RSV Vaccine, for Older Adults in Singapore

16 May 2024 | Thursday | News

Arexvy prevents lower respiratory tract disease in individuals aged 60 and older, strengthening GSK's adult vaccine portfolio.
Image Source : Public Domain

Image Source : Public Domain

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) of Singapore has approved Arexvy (recombinant, AS01E adjuvanted) for active immunisation to prevent lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in individuals aged 60 and older. This marks the first approval of an RSV vaccine in Singapore and the first RSV vaccine in the world.

"Our RSV vaccine has been over 60 years in the making – we are proud to bring this vaccine to the over one million older adults aged 60 years or above in Singapore. With our growing adult vaccine portfolio, we continue to deliver on our commitment to disease prevention in line with healthier ageing for the people of Singapore," said Raakhi Sippy, Vice President & General Manager, GSK Singapore.

In 2019, RSV infection accounted for an estimated 5.2 million cases of acute respiratory infection, 470,000 hospitalisations, and 33,000 in-hospital deaths among adults aged 60 and older in industrialised countries. In a four-year study conducted in Singapore, one out of every 20 older adults aged 65 and older tested positive for RSV.

RSV is a common, contagious virus that affects the lungs and respiratory airways. Symptoms can be similar to other acute respiratory infections, such as colds or influenza, and include a blocked nose, cough, fatigue, fever, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, and headache. A test is needed to confirm an RSV diagnosis. The impact of RSV in those over 60 years of age is significant, especially among those with underlying medical conditions.

Older adults with underlying medical conditions have a greater risk of being hospitalised due to RSV compared to those without these conditions. In this group, RSV can cause lower respiratory tract disease, leading to exacerbation of underlying diseases, hospitalisation, and death.

Data from the AReSVi-006 Phase III trial showed an efficacy of 94.6% for Arexvy in preventing LRTD caused by RSV in older adults aged 60 and older with at least one underlying medical condition, such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, or congestive heart failure. Overall, in adults aged 60 and older, the vaccine demonstrated high efficacy of 82.6% against LRTD caused by RSV.

"People aged 60 years or over could be our parents, grandparents, uncles, or aunts, whom we live with at home - and they could be exposed to RSV. By 2030, one in four Singaporeans are expected to be over 65 years of age. This indicates a large cohort who could be at risk for RSV. The downstream costs and burden on the healthcare system and economy will further increase as the population ages," said Dr. Stephanie Cinthu Stephen Ambrose, Country Medical Director, GSK Singapore.

"As we move towards being a 'super-aged' society, there is a clearer need to prioritise prevention of infectious diseases, like RSV, and keep our older adults healthy as they enjoy their golden years," Dr. Ambrose added.


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