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Bronchiolitis vaccine as a solution to the epidemic, when will it arrive in Italy?

This year too, with the arrival of the cold, an epidemic of bronchiolitis began among children, caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
The winter season inevitably brings with it the typical ailments, which can sometimes have serious consequences.
If vaccines are already available for Covid and flu, this is not the same for RSV.
But things could soon change, given that the vaccine against bronchiolitis is also arriving in Italy, all that is missing is approval from AIFA.
This is very important news, because there are still no specific treatments against this virus, whose treatment must focus above all on prevention.
In addition to good habits for the immune system and hygiene rules, the vaccine represents a fundamental step for the protection of the little ones (and not only).
Also because most of the serious consequences occur at the first infection, while from subsequent reinfections the symptoms are mostly negligible.
Vaccine against RSV bronchiolitis and treatment The European Medicines Agency (EMA) already approved the Abrysvo vaccine and the monoclonal antibody Nirsevimab a few months ago, the two primary pieces in the fight against respiratory syncytial virus infection.
In reality, an antibody, palivizumab, has already been on the market for several decades, but is reserved for infants at risk for prematurity or pathologies.
The new antibody, from Senofi-Astra Zeneca, will instead be indicated for all newborns.
Monoclonal antibodies, however, work by stimulating passive immunization, allowing treatment of already infected patients.
The vaccine, however, is extremely effective from the point of view of prevention, as it activates the autonomy of the immune system.
Pfizer's RSV vaccine must be administered to women in the third trimester of pregnancy, so that the baby is protected for 6 months from birth.
The vaccine is also indicated for those over 60, especially in the presence of conditions that could be aggravated by bronchiolitis (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
Vaccination should guarantee 80% protection from serious disease, drastically reducing the most fearful consequences of the infection.
In the world, explained Dr.
Paolo Bonetti (director of Uoc Paediatrics and Neonatal Pathology at the Irccs Sacro Cuore Don Calabria hospital in Negrar), the respiratory syncytial virus affects approximately 33 million children, causing the hospitalization of 3.2 million and the death of over 100,000, especially in less developed countries.
In Negrar alone there were 71 hospitalizations between December 2022 and January 2023 and several children required ventilatory support.
As illustrated by Dr.
Andrea Lo Vecchio (president of the Italian Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases), the increase in cases was also partly caused by the Immunity Gap, the immune deficit caused by lower exposure to pathogens due to restrictions against the pandemic.
read also Syncytial virus in children, bronchiolitis epidemic has begun: symptoms, risks and how to recognize it When will the vaccine arrive in Italy? It's safe? The arrival of the vaccine in Italy cannot be defined with certainty, but it is not expected to take a long time given that only the last piece is missing, namely the approval of the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa).
The EMA, in fact, approved the marketing of the vaccine and the monoclonal antibody a couple of months ago.
The second step at AIFA, however, concerns exclusively the cost of the vaccine.
The wait before the actual arrival of the drug is necessary to conclude the negotiation with the manufacturing companies, with AIFA naturally requesting the reimbursement of the vaccines by the National Health Service.
The evaluation of the Italian Medicines Agency, therefore, does not concern its safety, which has already been established in the previous phases of development.
Obviously, it is assumed that this vaccine can also have side effects with low probability, as do all drugs.
When it is actually available and vaccinations can begin, citizens will then be informed by health workers and asked to give consent.
Just like the Covid and flu vaccines, the bronchiolitis vaccine will not be mandatory, not even for risk categories for which it is strictly recommended by doctors.
read also Flu vaccine 2023-2024: when it should be done, to whom it is recommended and how much it costs

Author: Hermes A.I.

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