Title: CDC Panel Recommends New Vaccine for Pregnant Women to Protect Newborns from RSV
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel has recently recommended the use of a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) during pregnancy. The advisory panel, headed by CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen, voted 11-1 in favor of administering Pfizer’s Abrysvo vaccine during weeks 32 to 36 of pregnancy. This recommendation aims to provide an extra layer of protection for newborns against RSV.
Last month, Abrysvo received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in pregnant individuals. However, it required CDC’s endorsement before being included in the list of “maternal vaccines” recommended before birth.
Notably, RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization among infants, which makes this vaccination recommendation crucial. To further combat the disease, the FDA and CDC earlier this summer also approved nirsevimab, an RSV antibody injection, for infants and young children.
Sold under the brand name Beyfortus, nirsevimab has been proven to prevent “severe RSV disease.” It is suggested that infants receive the immunization before or during the RSV season, which typically runs from October to March.
In addition to protecting newborns, the CDC encourages parents to discuss with their doctors the different options available to safeguard their children against RSV. This includes the vaccine administered during pregnancy or the RSV immunization given to babies after birth.
Moreover, older adults are also at risk of severe RSV. In June, the CDC approved Abrysvo and GSK’s Arexvy vaccine to protect adults aged 60 and older from RSV. Arexvy, receiving FDA approval the previous month, became the first RSV vaccine to secure regulatory clearance.
According to estimates, between 58,000 and 80,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized with RSV each year in the U.S. Additionally, between 60,000 and 160,000 people over the age of 65 are hospitalized annually due to RSV-related complications.
The CDC’s recent recommendation aims to mitigate the impact of RSV and protect vulnerable populations. By including these vaccines in the recommended preventive plan, the hope is to significantly reduce the number of RSV-related hospitalizations in the United States.
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