After nabbing historic RSV shot approval, GSK looks to boost US vaccination rates

Rates of vaccination in the U.S. have dropped in recent years, with the COVID-19 pandemic hitting uptake. GSK, with a new vaccine to market, is looking to help turn this around.

GSK is running a new “COiMMUNITY Initiative” that will add new funds, deeper data transparency and collaboration for all vaccine uptake across the country.

On the money side, GSK said in a press release that it is “committing” up to $1 million in grant funding to support groups focused on adult immunization and health equity.

On the data and collaboration side, GSK said it will continue to make adult vaccination claims data available through Vaccine Track platform, which publishes on a quarterly basis. The company also said it will “enhance the platform’s capabilities.”

GSK is also looking to open the platform up to public and private stakeholders “to potentially integrate and host additional data and viewpoints on adult vaccination trends," according to the press release. 

The most recent data published by Vaccine Track indicates that the average monthly claims through 2022 for recommended vaccines excluding flu show some improvements compared to 2021, though they remain below 2019 levels.

GSK has skin in the game given that it sells a host of vaccines, including for hepatitis A and B, influenza, shingles, measles, mumps and rubella and rotavirus, to name but a few, and is also working on COVID-19 vaccines. 

Just last month, the U.K.-based Big Pharma nabbed the first-ever approval for an RSV vaccine, now FDA-approved as a shot to stop adults over 60 getting lower respiratory infections due to this common cold virus.

But while being the first RSV vaccine to grab a green light, GSK had only two weeks of the market to itself. Pfizer swiftly became the second, when the FDA approved its shot at the end of May in the same patient population.

Both companies are looking to launch their offerings ahead of the upcoming RSV season, which typically starts in the late fall, and clearly GSK is already thinking ahead with its COiMMUNITY Initiative to bolster all vaccinations, which will include its RSV shot.

“This is a critical moment for public health,” said Judy Stewart, SVP and head of U.S. vaccines at GSK, in the release.

“While there is a heightened level of awareness of the importance of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases, too often, adults miss the opportunity to prioritize vaccination, despite being increasingly susceptible to immune decline and infectious diseases.

“Our industry can do more by investing in local interventions to help create healthier communities and sustain best practices from the pandemic. We believe this initiative will contribute to a more equitable and resilient public health infrastructure and bolster existing partner efforts—leading to more vaccinated adults.”