Drugmakers to push 230,000 more RSV infant shots to market, U.S. says


Drugmakers to push 230,000 more RSV infant shots to market, U.S. says

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Manufacturers of RSV immunizations will make an additional 230,000 doses available for infants in January, the White House said on Thursday, after U.S. government officials met with suppliers to discuss meeting demand during winter.

Drugmakers and officials from President Joe Biden’s administration have been holding meetings aimed at addressing tight supplies of the shot to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a leading cause of hospitalization in infants and toddlers.

“Families must be able to access the RSV vaccine. That’s exactly why the Administration has been urging manufacturers to produce and release enough RSV vaccines to meet demand we’re seeing,” White House spokesperson Kelly Scully said.

The announcement of the 230,000 doses comes after officials met on Wednesday with manufacturers including Sanofi SA (SASY.PA) and AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.L), the White House said. It follows an earlier commitment for 77,000 more doses.

U.S. health regulators approved Beyfortus, an antibody therapy developed by AstraZeneca and Sanofi, in July to prevent RSV in infants and toddlers.

The drug has been in tight supply since October, just as U.S. cases of RSV began to trend upward. While cases have continued to rise sharply since mid-October, they are still below multiyear highs hit last winter, government data shows.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Katharine Jackson; writing by Susan Heavey; editing by Rami Ayyub

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source: Reuters