Drugmakers Pfizer and GSK are planning 2023 launches of their respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines for older adults across the United States, Reuters has reported. The shots would be the first commercially available to prevent RSV.

FDA advisers in late February endorsed approval of both drugmakers’ vaccines to prevent RSV in seniors aged 60 and older. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve the shots by May, and Pfizer is planning a subsequent fall rollout of its vaccine in the U.S. and Europe, according to the news outlet. The company also expects to launch a version of its RSV vaccine for pregnant women.

GSK, meanwhile, told Reuters that its shot would be ready for seniors this year “without supply constraints.” Neither company gave the news outlet an indication of how many doses it had available.

Despite its toll — RSV is estimated to contribute to the deaths of 14,000 people annually in the United States — RSV is not as familiar to the public as other dangerous viral illnesses such as flu and COVID-19. There is likely more awareness of RSV now, however, following the 2022-2023 spike in pediatric RSV hospitalizations, a Pfizer spokesperson told Reuters.

RSV can cause severe respiratory illness in older adults and children. It is estimated to infect up to 10% of nursing home residents per year, and leads to death in 2% to 5% of those cases, studies have found.

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