New for Fall 2023:
The FDA and CDC have recommended a monoclonal antibody shot, Beyfortus, to prevent severe illness from RSV in young infants under 8 months old, and for children ages 8-19 months at high risk of severe RSV. We DO NOT yet have this in stock and are not advised to give it sooner than October.
How does Beyfortus work?
Beyfortus does not stimulate the body to produce antibodies that fight RSV like our typical vaccines, but instead it is a direct injection of antibodies that fight RSV. The effects last about 4-6 months. It does not completely prevent babies from getting RSV, but has been shown to be effective in preventing RSV from progressing into the lower respiratory tract (lungs) and preventing severe illness or hospitalization.
Will my baby be able to get Beyfortus at Pediatric Services?
We plan to carry this immunization when available this fall, and communications will be sent out regarding scheduling appointments for eligible patients.
I am expecting. Can my baby get Beyfortus in the hospital?
Most likely, yes, if your baby is born during respiratory illness season (approximately October-March). Most major hospitals should carry Beyfortus and offer this to patients prior to discharge when available. Babies born in late spring and summer months can get Beyfortus the following fall.
Which children should receive Beyfortus at 8-19 months?
- American Indian and Alaska Native children
- Children with chronic lung disease of prematurity who required medical support (chronic corticosteroid therapy, diuretic therapy, or supplemental oxygen) any time during the 6-month period before the start of the second RSV season.
- Children who are severely immunocompromised.
- Children with cystic fibrosis who have manifestations of severe lung disease (previous hospitalization for pulmonary exacerbation in the first year of life or abnormalities on chest imaging that persist when stable) or have weight-for-length that is <10th percentile
What is RSV?
Respiratory syncytial virus is an infection that affects the lungs and breathing passageways. For older children, this may just feel like a common cold. However, for infants and younger children this may develop into a respiratory illness. Normally, we expect RSV to be a full week of illness with day 3-4 being the peak of illness before improving.
Symptoms of RSV include:
- fast breathing
- difficulty breathing
- lethargy and more
What is Flu?
Flu—short for influenza—is an illness caused by a respiratory virus. The flu can spread rapidly through communities, as the virus is passed person to person.
When someone with the flu coughs or sneezes, the influenza virus gets into the air. Then, people nearby, including children, can inhale it through the nose or mouth.
The virus also can be spread when people touch a contaminated hard surface, such as a door handle, and then put their hands or fingers in their nose or mouth, or rub their eyes.
Flu symptoms include:
- A sudden fever (usually above 100.4°F or 38°C)
- Headache, body aches, and being a lot more tired than usual
- Sore throat
- Dry, hacking cough
- Stuffy, runny nose
- Some children may throw up (vomit) and have loose stools (diarrhea).