Ottawa: Health Canada has approved the first vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) for adults of age 60 years and over.

Manufacturer GSK said the federal agency has approved its new vaccine called Arexvy.

Doctors have been calling for an RSV vaccine for seniors because although the virus is common, older people are much more likely to become severely ill and require hospitalization.

RSV season in Canada usually starts in the late fall and lasts until spring.

GSK said a randomized clinical trial showed the vaccine was 82 per cent effective at preventing lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV compared to seniors who got a placebo.

The company said it was 94 per cent effective at preventing the illness in seniors with underlying medical conditions. — Canadian Press

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