Balearic Islands to receive 8,900 doses of nirsevimab this week to immunize infants against RSV

From next week, all babies born or born between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024 will be vaccinated.

The Balearic Islands will receive this week 8,900 doses All infants born during this period are immunized against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) Those who do so on April 1, 2023 and before March 31, 2024which will protect them from bronchiolitis, pneumonia and other respiratory infections.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Health on Monday, the project will involve an investment of 1.9 million euros, For the first time, Balearic Islands extends this immunization to all newborns, regardless of whether they have risk factors. Expanding immunization coverage is one of the top decisions of the current administration. To date, immunization against RSV (which causes 80% of bronchiolitis cases) has only been given to high-risk infants, those who are premature (less than 35 weeks old), immunosuppressed or have respiratory or heart disease, or have severe medical conditions . 24 months.

RSV circulation season

Respiratory syncytial virus, which usually spreads between October and March, is an infectious agent that primarily affects infants under one year of age and is often the leading cause of, and particularly associated with, respiratory infections. Bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

The Ministry of Health explained that in July last year, the National Health Commission approved the possibility of universal immunization with the monoclonal antibody nirumab for all minors born from April 2023, leaving each community to choose independently. Organization of universal immunization and campaigns. However, as the government noted on Monday, the former Balearic governor “avoided taking this decision, leaving it to the new government team” who have now opted for universal immunity.

Risk immunity from October

The ministry explained that the procurement of the first batch of nirsevimab was urgently expedited to protect babies with dangerous diseases who have been immunized in the island’s hospitals since October last year. Starting next week, this immunization will be extended to all babies born between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024.

RSV infection causes a significant medical burden each year in primary care and emergency settings and is the cause of a large number of hospitalizations in intensive care units (ICUs) and inpatient units. Thus, nirsevimab is a monoclonal antibody administered as a vaccine that provides protection for at least five months in a single dose.

When the antibodies are given directly to the baby, the newborn or the mother’s immune system is not dependent on the immune system for protection, and the effect occurs immediately after administration. They also detailed that nirsevimab has been shown to be highly effective in preventing infection and reducing the severity of respiratory infections, preventing more than 80% of RSV hospitalizations in infants.

Additionally, due to its mechanism of action, it does not interfere with any vaccines on the schedule and can be administered simultaneously. The newborn’s injection of this antibody will be given before discharge at the same hospital where he was born. For babies born on or after April 1, vaccinations will be given at health centres.

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