"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

FDA approves RSV antibody vaccine for infants

July 18, 2023 – The FDA has approved a vaccine that is very effective in protecting infants from potentially fatal illness brought on by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Almost all children can have an RSV infection by their second birthday.

The latest preventive treatment, called Beyfortus, incorporates antibodies that reduce the danger of severe infection by as much as 75%. Protection can last as long as 5 months, in regards to the length of the everyday RSV season. On Monday, the FDA approved the shot for babies up to at least one yr old and in addition for high-risk toddlers as much as two years old.

“RSV can cause severe illness in infants and some children and results in a large number of emergency room and physician visits each year,” said John Farley, MD, MPH, director of the FDA Office of Infectious Diseases in a opinion“Today’s approval addresses the great need for products that help reduce the impact of RSV disease on children, families and the health care system.”

RSV is blamed for greater than 2 million outpatient visits, as much as 80,000 hospitalizations and as much as 300 deaths in children under 5 annually. An early surge within the virus last fall filled some pediatric wards to capability amid the so-called “triple epidemic,” when the country faced high rates of COVID-19, influenza and RSV concurrently.

The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced in a Press release that Beyfortus can be available before the beginning of the 2023/24 RSV season. It is already approved and available in Europe and Canada. The most typical side effect in clinical trials was rash.

RSV symptoms include a runny nose, decreased appetite, cough, sneezing, fever and wheezing, in accordance with the CDC.

“These symptoms usually appear gradually and not all at once,” the CDC's website says in regards to the virus. “In very young infants with RSV, the only symptoms may be irritability, decreased activity, and difficulty breathing.”