Vaccine makers have now set their sights on respiratory syncytial virus, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It adds that RSV typically leads to cold-like symptoms but can cause serious health issues like pneumonia among young children and older adults. About 500 infants and 14,000 older adults a year die due to RSV, the Journal says. It adds that researchers have previously tried to develop an RSV vaccine but that it, in the 1960s, made some young children even more susceptible to disease.
But now, the Journal says that companies like Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and GlaxoSmithKline are testing new RSV vaccines that rely on different designs. Most of the new ones in testing target the F protein on the surface of the RSV virus that it uses to enter cells, it says, adding that the drugmakers are additionally testing the vaccine among pregnant women in the hopes that antibodies they develop would be passed along to their babies.
Moderna, the Journal notes, is not targeting the F protein directly but, like its COVID-19 vaccine design, its RSV one includes F protein mRNA.