August 27, 2021 –Moderna Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering the use of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, has received fast-track status for its vaccine against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
The vaccine — now known as mRNA-1345 — is being investigated as a single-dose shot against RSV in adults over 60 years of age, but Moderna is pursuing the vaccine to protect young children, too.
Moderna is currently conducting a phase-1 study of mRNA-1345 in children to investigate side effects and the vaccine’s ability to create antibodies that will protect against infections with RSV.
RSV is a common respiratory virus that causes mild symptoms in adults — but it can be far more serious, especially for children. In the U.S., RSV is the most common cause of pneumonia in infants.
Every year, RSV causes approximately 58,000 hospitalizations among children younger than five years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In the past, RSV was considered a winter virus in the U.S. and other countries with similar climates. But since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, hospitals are seeing an unseasonable surge in RSV cases among children during the summertime, as many countries lifted restrictions.