Japan's health ministry agreed on a panel on Monday to approve a vaccine developed by GSK to protect people from the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

If the British pharmaceutical firm's vaccine is formally approved, it will be the first for RSV available in Japan.

People age 60 or older will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

The main symptoms of RSV are fever and runny nose. RSV can cause pneumonia and bronchitis in infants and elderly people with underlying conditions.

The virus can be transmitted through contact or droplets, but there is no specific treatment for it.

The number of RSV infection cases in Japan grew briefly around May, when the country downgraded COVID-19 to a lower-risk category of infectious diseases.

GSK said the vaccine was 82.6% effective in clinical trials with people aged 60 and older.

U.S rival Pfizer has also filed for Japanese regulatory approval of an RSV vaccine.