The development of an effective vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been hampered by major difficulties that occurred in the 1960s when a formalin-inactivated vaccine led to increased severity of RSV disease after acquisition of the virus in the RSV season after vaccination. Recent renewed efforts to develop a vaccine have resulted in about 38 candidate vaccines and monoclonal antibodies now in clinical development. The target populations for effective vaccination are varied and include neonates, young children, pregnant women, and older adults. The reasons for susceptibility to infection in each of these groups may be different and, therefore, could require different vaccine types for induction of protective immune responses, adding a further challenge for vaccine development. Here, we review the current knowledge of RSV vaccine development for these target populations and propose a view and rationale for prioritizing RSV vaccine development.
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© 2020 The Authors.