ST. LOUIS – A new vaccine that could help save children’s lives has been successfully used in clinical trials at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

The vaccine created by Pfizer would help cure the respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV. It is a virus that primarily affects babies.

“In young babies, it can be very severe because of their small airways,” Dr. Carol Kao, a Washington University infectious disease physician who worked on the clinical trials, said.

Washington University researchers gave the vaccine to pregnant women with a high success rate. 

“This vaccine, when given to pregnant women, was able to prevent severe RSV up to 80 percent in the babies at three months and 70 percent at six months,” Kao said.

She said she felt fortunate to be able to work on a vaccine that could help save lives.

“Having an RSV vaccine available is really groundbreaking,” Kao said.

Pfizer is waiting for approval from the Food and Drug Administration to introduce the vaccine in 2023.