Knoxville doctor working in RSV vaccine research

Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT) – Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) usually hits children and the elderly the hardest in the winter.

But this summer, AMR Dr William Smith said he has seen an increase in patients and he hopes the national trial he is taking part in can find a vaccine.

“The trial is over. We vaccinated everyone, but you won’t know if it worked or not until we have enough RSV cases among people in the study to show a difference between those vaccinated and those who are not. And hopefully in the first half of next year we will have that data,” Smith shared.

Smith said 231 people from the Knoxville area participated in the trial. If it appears to be a success, he said the vaccine would be subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

“The biggest update I have is that enrollment is complete, which means we now have the approximately 20,000 people across the study that are needed to provide efficacy and safety data. “Smith said.

If the vaccine is approved by the FDA, Smith said it’s possible trials with the vaccine will start with children and infants.

“Right now, the process will first require that it works in older people and is safe. Once that is determined, the FDA approves it for each group, and then they will arrange studies in younger age groups starting first with adolescents, then with older children, then with infants and very young children. Just like they did with COVID vaccines,” he said.

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