The CDC’s updated guidance recommends vaccination only for high-risk adults aged 60-74, while strengthening its advice for adults 75 and older.

RT’s Three Key Takeaways:

  1. Stronger Recommendation for Seniors 75 and Older: The CDC now strongly endorses RSV vaccination for everyone aged 75 and older.
  2. Targeted Guidance for High-Risk Adults 60-74: The updated recommendation advises that only high-risk adults aged 60-74, such as those with chronic lung or heart conditions or living in nursing homes, should receive the RSV vaccine.
  3. Seasonal Timing for Vaccination: Eligible adults are encouraged to get the RSV vaccine in late summer or early fall, before the virus starts spreading in communities, with the understanding that the RSV vaccine is not currently needed annually.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its RSV vaccine recommendations for older adults, now strongly endorsing vaccination for everyone aged 75 and older, while recommending it for those aged 60–74 at increased risk.

The update replaces last year’s more ambiguous guidance that advised people aged 60 and older to talk to their clinicians about whether they should receive the vaccination

For this upcoming respiratory virus season, the CDC now recommends:

  • Everyone ages 75 and older receive the RSV vaccine.
  • People ages 60–74 who are at increased risk of severe RSV, meaning they have certain chronic medical conditions, such as lung or heart disease, or they live in nursing homes, receive the RSV vaccine.

“The CDC has updated its RSV vaccination recommendation for older adults to prioritize those at highest risk for serious illness from RSV,” says Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, CDC director, in a release. “People 75 or older, or between 60-74 with certain chronic health conditions or living in a nursing home, should get one dose of the RSV vaccine to provide an extra layer of protection.”

Timing and Eligibility for the RSV Vaccine

This recommendation is for adults who did not get an RSV vaccine last year. The RSV vaccine is not currently an annual vaccine, meaning people do not need to get a dose every RSV season. Eligible adults can get an RSV vaccine at any time, but the best time to get vaccinated is in late summer and early fall before RSV usually starts to spread in communities.

Immunizations were available last year for the first time to protect people at increased risk for severe RSV, including infants and young children, and people ages 60 and older. The updated recommendation is based on analyses of RSV disease burden among people 60 and older, as well as RSV vaccine effectiveness and cost-effectiveness studies. Those studies included the first real-world data since RSV vaccines were recommended for people 60 and older.

The CDC states that healthcare providers should recommend RSV vaccines to their eligible patients, as well as discuss what other vaccines they will need this fall to help prevent respiratory infections.

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