RSV Vaccine Approved by Health Canada

We are very excited to report Health Canada’s recent approval of a long-awaited vaccine for RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) for those aged 60 and older. It will be marketed under the name Arexvy and is produced by GSK.

RSV is a common contagious virus that affects the lungs and respiratory airways. Although all ages can be affected by the virus causing cold-like symptoms, those over age 60 years of age have increased risk which can lead to complications such as pneumonia, hospitalization, and even death. The risk is even greater in people with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic heart disease, and lung disease. RSV caused an estimated 470,000 hospitalizations and 33,000 deaths in those aged 60 years and above in high-income countries in 2019. The vaccine was 82.6% effective for the prevention of lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV in older adults, and 94.6% efficacy in those with underlying medical conditions.

The vaccine is expected to be available before the RSV season, which typically starts in October. It is given as a single dose and the need for booster doses is not yet known. This non-live vaccine has been studied in combination with the flu vaccine and may be given at the same time. It is not yet publicly funded in Ontario but may be covered as a benefit on some private health plans. The cost of the vaccine has not yet been announced. Adverse events included injection site pain, fatigue, myalgia, and headache. These were typically mild to moderate and transient.

More information, including the product monograph, can be found here and should be consulted for complete administration and safety information.

Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health. Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain, and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.

This entry was posted in The Charlton Centre. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.