Knoxville doctor working in research for RSV vaccine

Dr. William Smith said he’s seen an uptick in the number of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) patients.
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 10:55 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) usually hits children and older adults hardest in the winter.

But this summer, AMR Dr. William Smith said he’s seen an uptick in the number of patients and he’s hoping the national trial he’s part of can find a vaccine.

”The trial is done. We’ve vaccinated all of the people but you will not know if it’s effective or not until we have enough cases of RSV of people in the study to show a difference between those that are vaccinated and those that are not. And hopefully, sometime in the first half of next year, we’ll have that data,” shared Smith.

Smith said 231 people from the Knoxville area participated in the trial. If it appears to be a success, he said the vaccine will go to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval.

“The biggest update that I have is that enrollment is complete, which means that we now have the 20 some thousand people across the whole study that are necessary to provide data about the efficacy and safety,” said Smith.

If the vaccine is approved by the FDA, Smith said it’s possible for trials with the vaccine to begin with children and infants.

“At this time, the process will require that first, it works in the older adults and that it’s safe. Once that’s determined the FDA approves it for each group then they will organize studies in younger age groups starting first with teenagers subsequently with older children and then with infants and very small children. Much like they did with the COVID vaccines,” he said.

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