RSV vaccine trial for older adults coming soon to Spokane

Challenge Study Shows Efficacy Of Rsv Vaccine In Healthy Adults

SPOKANE, Wash. — A trial for a vaccine to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is coming to Spokane.

Dr. Jonathan Staben, a family practice doctor with MultiCare Health System, is leading a clinical trial sponsored by the drug maker Bavarian Nordic.

Many people associate the RSV virus with infants and small children. Children and babies’ immune systems don’t fight back well against the disease. In young adults, RSV often presents like a common cold. It’s highly contagious.

“RSV is a disease that may be familiar to parents of young children but is not on the radar for most people,” said Dr. Jonathan Staben, the trial’s principal investigator and a primary care physician at MultiCare Rockwood Clinic in Cheney. “Like influenza, RSV can result in significant illness in older individuals, causing severe lower respiratory disease and even death, particularly for those with other health issues.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s estimated that about 177,000 older adults end up in the hospital with complications associated with RSV, and about 14,000 older Americans die annually from it nationwide.

That is why drug makers are testing vaccines on the older population. It has the potential to help people who suffer from respiratory diseases like asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) avoid getting infected with RSV.

“I find that my older patients are generally pretty excited about new vaccines, you know, because they get health problems and they want to be safe, and they realize that things can hit them more severely than when they’re young, so, you know, I tend to find my older patients uptake on vaccines is pretty high, compared to the younger crowd at times,” said Dr. Staben.

About 140 clinics and hospitals worldwide are participating in this clinical vaccine trial.

“Unlike influenza, there is neither an approved RSV vaccine nor any specific treatment available,” said Dr. Staben. “As a community-based research center, we are delighted to be able to bring this phase three clinical trial opportunity to the Spokane region, and we hope members of our community 65 years and older will consider participating in this trial and help us take a step closer to preventing infection from this illness.”

Between September 29, 2022 and October 17, 2022, MultiCare hopes to enroll 250 participants in the Spokane area. Requirements to enroll include:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Willing and able to use a smartphone, laptop or laptop
  • No active or recent history (within the last six months) of chronic alcohol abuse
  • No history of autoimmune disease (with some exceptions)
  • No history of serious reaction to previous vaccines
  • No extended (longer than 14 days) of oral steroids within three months of the trial vaccine
  • No planned travel outside the Spokane area longer than four consecutive weeks during RSV season
  • Those with clinically stable medical conditions with mild to moderate underlying illnesses may be accepted, like those with chronic cardiac or lung disease, hypertension, asthma or type 2 diabetes

If you are interested in joining the trial, visit or email

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