Barbara Taylor, MD: Discussing New RSV Vaccines, Spacing of Other Vaccines

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This segment of Lungcast guest Dr. Barbara Taylor’s discussion covered the topic of new RSV vaccines as well as the spacing of others such as those of COVID-19 and influenza.

During the September 2023 episode of Lungcast, Barbara Taylor, MD, MS, a pulmonologist and infectious disease specialist, spoke on new respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines and the spacing of COVID-19 and influenza vaccines alongside RSV.

Taylor is known for her work as associate professor of infectious diseases and as assistant dean for UT Health San Antonio’s MD/MPH program. She and Lungcast host Albert Rizzo, MD, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association and HCPLive Editorial Advisory Board member, spoke at length about what is new and emerging in the world of RSV prevention.

The conversation was especially timely, given that in the US, the latest fall-winter season of high RSV transmission begins soon.

Rizzo first brought up the notion of RSV infection in adults being a new concern for some older adults, especially older adults with chronic conditions such as asthma and COPD. Additionally, he brought up the concern of development of vaccine fatigue in adults today.

Then, Rizzo asked Taylor about the RSV vaccine currently recommended for older adults with certain comorbidities.

“This is really exciting to have an option for older adults,” Taylor said. “This is a relatively new recommendation that came down over the summer, the FDA approved in May, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Council Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, released guidance on June 21. And the current recommendation is recommending shared decision making.”

Taylor added that shared decision making is recommended with adults aged 60 or older, noting that vaccination before or at the onset of the RSV season is also encouraged.

“So they really want you to have a conversation with patients or for if you're in the community to have a conversation with your medical provider about the risks and benefits of these new vaccines,” she said. “This is both because the vaccines are incredibly effective at preventing cases of RSV, particularly the lower respiratory tract infection that we worry so much about in older people. But there were some instances of immune sort of activation in these trials that they want people to know about and make an informed decision about before they get vaccinated.”

Then Taylor commented on both vaccines currently available for adults over 60, with one being Arexvy and the other being Abrysvo. Later in the interview, she was asked about the spacing of different vaccines with those for RSV in this population.

“So the ACRP listed coadministration of new RSV vaccines with other vaccines as acceptable as long as they are separated on your arm by an inch or given in a given in the opposite arm,” Taylor said. “However, the only trials to date are really with coadministration with the influenza vaccines, and because of the immunologic safety signal I mentioned, that's one of the reasons that there's all this emphasis on shared decision making when you're delivering a vaccine.”

Lungcast is a monthly respiratory health podcast series from the ALA produced by HCPLive.

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