FDA approves first-ever RSV vaccine for infants

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — RSV is the second leading cause of death during the first year of a child’s life. According to the CDC, around two out of every 100 children with RSV may need to be hospitalized.

“This is a virus that affects young children and sometimes older children who might have certain medical conditions. It causes a large number of them to need to be hospitalized or visit emergency departments or doctor offices,” said Dr. Anna Duran, a pediatrician at UNMH.

While cases are low now, Dr. Duran says to be ready for cases to rise this school year.

“RSV is a virus that really pops up during the late fall or early winter and can extend through February or March in New Mexico,” Dr. Duran said.

With RSV season ahead of us, the FDA approved a new antibody immunization. Doctors recommend infants receive that prior to RSV season or at birth.

“This immunization is for healthy children one year and younger and for children with certain chronic medical conditions up to two years of age,” Dr. Duran said.

For older children, ages three and up, Dr. Duran says immunizing isn’t necessary because their bodies have made their own antibodies against RSV, so the symptoms shouldn’t be as severe.

“There are supportive medications such as Tylenol. We don’t really encourage any kind of cold formulas unless children are over age four. It’s just a lot of holding your babies and just letting time heal them,” Dr. Duran said.