Each year, it is estimated that up to 160,000 older adults are hospitalized and up to 10,000 of them die due to RSV in the United States. While most people only develop mild symptoms similar to that of a common cold, RSV can be severe and even life threatening for certain people at high risk, such as older adults, especially those 65 years and older, adults with chronic lung or heart disease and adults with weakened immune systems.
"The introduction of new RSV vaccines for adults marks a significant milestone in protecting certain adults from severe illness. Adults with chronic lung or heart disease, weakened immune systems, and those residing in nursing homes or long-term care facilities are at the highest risk for severe RSV illness. The availability of these vaccines, the first licensed in the U.S. for RSV protection, presents a valuable opportunity to safeguard older adults during a time when respiratory infections are prevalent,” said Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association.
“We urge healthcare providers to discuss the new RSV vaccine with all of their patients who are 60 and older, and especially those at high risk. In addition, it is crucial for healthcare providers to address the broader spectrum of respiratory infections by discussing other necessary vaccines with their patients. Together, we can take proactive measures to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses and promote healthier lives for our communities,” Wimmer added.
The American Lung Association provides resources and information about RSV at Lung.org/RSV.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.