The CDC has recently recommended a new immunization to help protect infants at increased risk of severe illness caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
The trade name of this immunization is Beyfortus. It is a long-acting monoclonal antibody product, which has been shown to reduce the risk of both hospitalizations and healthcare visits for RSV in infants.
Antibodies are part of our immune system and help us fight infections. Monoclonal antibodies are man-made proteins that mimic the antibodies that our bodies naturally produce. Making this immunization available means that babies will be able to receive antibodies to prevent severe RSV disease, providing a critical tool to protect against a virus that is the leading cause of hospitalization among infants in the U.S.
RSV is one of the most common causes of childhood respiratory illness and results in annual outbreaks of respiratory illnesses in all age groups. An estimated 58,000 to 80,000 children under five years of age, most infants, are hospitalized annually nationwide due to RSV infection. A very small percentage of infections can lead to death in children less than five years of age.
Beyfortus was approved by the FDA in July 2023 and is now available.
While Austin Health Partners recognizes the potential benefit of providing Beyfortus to our patients, it is unknown if or when private insurance companies will cover it for their patients. In addition, we have yet to receive guidance if local hospitals will be giving it to at-risk newborns prior to their discharge after birth. Austin Health Partners eagerly awaits the decision of private insurance companies and local hospital systems to ensure they will offer this crucial immunization for our infants this RSV season.
Who is eligible? When will it be available?
How do I schedule an appointment?