Testing a vaccine for volunteers
If you don’t know much about Respiratory Syncytial Virus and how it can affect adults, you are not alone.
This is because, according to the Mayo Clinic, in healthy, older adults and children, symptoms of RSV are mild and typically mimic the common cold.
But not always, and according to the Alliance for Multispecialty Research, RSV infections in adults 60 years of age and older can be life threatening, especially if the virus enters the lower respiratory tract, which makes breathing hard.
“Unfortunately, most people don’t know about RSV and how this highly contagious respiratory virus can be fatal for adults 60 and older,” said Dr. Terry Klein, co-founder of AMR Wichita.
The Alliance for Multispecialty Research, which operates clinics in Newton, El Dorado and Wichita, has won clinical research studies on the adult vaccine against RSV (respiratory syncytial virus).
AMR is a clinical research company that has completed the first community-based phase 1 COVID-19 vaccine trial. Clinics in Wichita, Newton and El Dorado will be part of the RSV study. AMR is now recruiting volunteers for the study – adults aged 60 and over – to participate in Phase 3 RSV vaccine trials ahead of cold and flu season.
“From the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how quickly deadly viruses can spread – especially among senior communities and multigenerational families. The pursuit of an adult RSV vaccine is the next critical public health step. “
According to AMR, with relaxed restrictions for the coronavirus, an increase in RSV cases is expected. The CDC recently issued an RSV health advisory to inform clinicians and caregivers of the increase in RSV cases in the United States
According to the CDC, approximately 177,000 elderly people are hospitalized and approximately 14,000 die each year in the United States due to infection with RSV. However, RSV statistics for the elderly are considered significantly higher. When an older or high-risk patient is admitted to the hospital with respiratory failure, some doctors test for RSV, but the majority do not. Often times, doctors do not recognize the difference between RSV and influenza, coding the records of patients with influenza or pneumonia.
Similar to the coronavirus, RSV is a rapidly spreading virus that is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes and the droplets enter the eyes, nose or mouth of a healthy person. Unlike the coronavirus, RSV can remain infectious on hard surfaces for up to six hours.
Currently, there is no commercially available vaccine against RSV.
“With a growing adult population, AMR recognizes the urgent need for an RSV vaccine to prevent hospitalization and death in the elderly,” said Dr. Klein.
And, like COVID-19, underlying health issues put those infected at greater risk.
For people with chronic illnesses, there is a high likelihood that an RSV infection will worsen their condition, ”said Dr. Klein. “In the absence of specific treatment for RSV, doctors can only provide supportive care which may include intubation. This is why our clinical research trials on a vaccine to prevent RSV are essential. “
While pursuing COVID-19 and other medical research studies, AMR will begin clinical trials of adult RSV vaccines this summer ahead of cold and flu season to maximize data collection. With the success of Phases 1 and 2, the investigational RSV vaccine was approved as safe to begin large-scale Phase 3 vaccine research, becoming one of AMR’s largest voluntary clinical trials.
Adults aged 60 and over who qualify for the AMR RSV vaccine study will receive study-related medical examinations, lab work, and an investigational RSV vaccine or placebo. Insurance is not required; compensation may be available for time and travel.
To inquire about becoming an RSV Study Volunteer, contact 1-888-259-1231 or visit www.AMRLLC.com/open.