Jaén’s health center will start immunizing infants under six months of age against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) next autumn with a monoclonal antibody called Nirsevimab, sold under the trade name Beyfortus.
In this sense, health and consumer representative Elena González emphasized that the program will apply to all children born between October 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024, that is, the first day of life, before discharge from hospital. obstetric plant. Likewise, the drug will be administered to all babies born between April 1 and September 30, 2023, who will be recruited by the end of September once the drug becomes available.
“Through this immunization, we can effectively and safely prevent infection with this virus, a respiratory disease that occurs especially in autumn and winter,” the territory’s representative emphasized. The drug will be administered in single doses and intramuscularly form of administration.
The Ministry of Health and Consumption estimates that around 60,000 babies in Andalusia will be able to receive the vaccine during the 2023-2024 campaign, as the community is currently experiencing around 5,000 births per month. In addition, the drug will be used in children younger than 1 year with a history of preterm birth at less than 35 weeks, and other infants younger than 24 months with very high-risk chronic diseases.
“Vaccines are the key to guaranteeing a better quality of life for Andalusians. Immunization against RSV was very important due to the seriousness of the disease in infants and young children”, recalls González.
RSV is the most common cause of severe respiratory infection in children under one year old, which can lead to complications such as pneumonia or bronchiolitis.
The drug will be authorized for use in the EU from October 31, 2022, but will not be available in Spain until the end of September this year.
Gonzalez emphasized that, “Given the concerns of dealing with bronchiolitis flare-ups, in addition to providing relief to parents, vaccination with this vaccine may help reduce the most common illness in fall and winter.”
This measure is in addition to the annual influenza vaccination of children aged 6 months to 4 years, which Andalusia has started in 2022-2023, with the aim of protecting children as much as possible from the most common respiratory diseases . and get more help.
On the other hand, it has been reported that the General Directorate of Public Health and Medicines has included RSV in primary care and hospital sentinel surveillance protocols for acute respiratory infections, thereby strengthening the joint Covid19/influenza surveillance strategy developed for the 2020-2021 season.
This strategy will make it possible to describe the evolution of these viruses, understand the epidemiological and clinical features of cases of acute and severe respiratory infections, and identify those at risk for these viruses.