Projects per year
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of respiratory morbidity and one of the main causes of hospitalisation in young children. While there is currently no licensed vaccine for RSV, a vaccine candidate for pregnant women is undergoing phase 3 trials. We developed a compartmental age-structured model for RSV transmission, validated using linked laboratory-confirmed RSV hospitalisation records for metropolitan Western Australia. We adapted the model to incorporate a maternal RSV vaccine, and estimated the expected reduction in RSV hospitalisations arising from such a program. The introduction of a vaccine was estimated to reduce RSV hospitalisations in Western Australia by 6–37% for 0–2 month old children, and 30–46% for 3–5 month old children, for a range of vaccine effectiveness levels. Our model shows that, provided a vaccine is demonstrated to extend protection against RSV disease beyond the first three months of life, a policy using a maternal RSV vaccine could be effective in reducing RSV hospitalisations in children up to six months of age, meeting the objective of a maternal vaccine in delaying an infant's first RSV infection to an age at which severe disease is less likely.