The supply of a new RSV vaccine for infants is low, and doctors have been advised by U.S. health officials to prioritize administering the drug to babies who are at the greatest risk of developing severe illness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory on Monday evening stating that infants under 6 months with chronic lung disease or other underlying conditions should be given priority.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a frequent culprit of cold-like symptoms, posing a potential threat to young kids. This seasonal virus has been extensively documented in the southern regions of the US and is predicted to expand over the next few months.
The recently released medication, sold as Beyfortus, is a laboratory-created antibody that assists the body’s immune response to combat the virus. It was jointly developed by AstraZeneca and Sanofi.
In July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval, and the following month, the CDC advised its use for newborns born shortly before or during the RSV season, as well as for infants under 8 months old prior to the start of the season. Furthermore, they suggested a dose for certain high-risk 8- to 19-month-olds to prevent severe illness.
The doses are available in prefilled syringes of 50 milligrams or 100 milligrams, with the higher dose intended for larger and heavier infants.
The CDC recently notified state immunization managers about a temporary halt on orders for vaccines through a program that provides free vaccinations for underprivileged and uninsured children. On Monday, the CDC issued a broader warning to doctors in the United States.
According to a statement from Sanofi, the demand for larger doses has exceeded expectations.
According to health officials, there is an insufficient amount of protection available for all eligible children to receive the larger vaccine doses. Additionally, the supply of smaller doses may also be limited during the current RSV season, according to the CDC. The CDC advises against using two smaller doses on larger infants in order to conserve the available supply of these vaccines.
According to agency officials, certain children may qualify for an older medication for RSV called palivizumab. This drug must be administered through monthly injections.
Healthcare professionals are being encouraged to advocate for the use of a novel vaccine in pregnant women to prevent RSV infections in newborns. This eliminates the need for the administration of an antibody medication to the baby.
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