You may have heard that the FDA and CDC have approved a new medication to help protect young infants against RSV. This article will provide you with more information about RSV and this new medication.
What is RSV?
- Virtually all children will have had an RSV infection by the time they are 2 years old.
- Most of the time RSV will cause a mild, cold-like illness. Frequent symptoms include runny nose, cough, decreased appetite, fever, difficulty breathing, and dehydration.
- 2-3% of infants with RSV will require hospitalization.
- RSV infections usually increase in the fall and peak in the winter. This is frequently called “RSV season”
- Learn more about RSV here.
What is nirsevimab/Beyfortus?
- It is a single dose injection that contains a long-acting monoclonal antibody
- This is not an immunization. It does not stimulate the body to form a response to RSV. Instead, the injection itself directly targets the virus.
- The protection it provides decreases over time but seems to last for the length of a typical RSV season.
- It is not a treatment for a child who has an RSV infection.
Who should get nirsevimab/Beyfortus?
- All infants 8 months and younger entering their first RSV season.
- Some children 8 months – 19 months who are at higher risk of severe disease may require an additional injection entering their 2nd RSV season. Some examples include those children that:
- Are severely immunocompromised
- Have chronic lung disease of prematurity requiring certain medical interventions in the 6 months prior to RSV season
- Have cystic fibrosis with severe lung disease
- Identify as American Indian or Alaskan Native
When should my child receive nirsevimab/Beyfortus?
- Just before the start of RSV season.
- At any time during RSV season if it has not already been received.
- During the first week of life for infants born shortly before and during the RSV season based on geography. Administration can occur during the birth hospitalization or in the outpatient setting.
- Infants with prolonged birth hospitalizations because of prematurity or other causes should receive nirsevimab shortly before or promptly after discharge.
- nirsevimab/Beyfortus can be given at the same time as other routine childhood immunizations.
At CPCMG, we anticipate being able to provide our youngest patients with nirsevimab/Beyfortus. As more information becomes available, we will update our Health Hub with more details. If you have questions, please reach out to your child’s provider.
This publication was adapted from information published by the AAP and CDC.
Reviewed by: AR D.O. | 08/2023