FRIDAY, Aug. 4, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended that all infants younger than 8 months be given a new antibody shot to help guard against severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
The antibody shot, sold as Beyfortus, has been shown to reduce the risk for both hospitalizations and health care visits for RSV in infants by about 80 percent, the CDC said in a news release announcing the new recommendation.
"This new RSV immunization provides parents with a powerful tool to protect their children against the threat of RSV," CDC Director Mandy Cohen, M.D., said in a statement. "RSV is the leading cause of hospitalizations for infants and older babies at higher risk and today we have taken an important step to make this life saving product available."
Cohen's announcement was preceded by an unanimous vote backing the shot from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an expert panel that makes recommendations for the CDC on the use of vaccines.
The ACIP also recommended unanimously that infants ages 8 to 19 months with underlying health issues should get a second dose of the shot for their second RSV season. The shot will also be added to the federally funded Vaccines for Children Program.
"Today, we have turned the corner on the threat of RSV to our youngest, most vulnerable population," Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president for vaccines at Sanofi, said in a company news release. "The ACIP's unanimous recommendations for routine use of Beyfortus and inclusion in the Vaccines for Children program are critical steps toward providing millions of parents in the U.S. with the ability to protect their babies through their first RSV season, when they are most susceptible to severe RSV disease."
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