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Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection Prevention: Vaccine in Pregnancy or Newborn Monoclonal A

Dec 02, 2023
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection Prevention: Vaccine in Pregnancy or Newborn Monoclonal A
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) can cause life-threatening infections in newborns, premature babies, and very young infants. Fortunately, there are multiple forms of prevention.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is an extremely common virus. It’s so common that your baby is almost certain to get it by the time they are two, but preventing it is still important.

At NY Midtown OB/GYN in Manhattan and Westchester, New York, our team of experts is dedicated to protecting your baby before and after birth with quality obstetrics care. This includes preventing your newborn or preemie from getting RSV while they are still too young to fight off serious infection. 

There are two different ways to achieve this protection: a vaccine during pregnancy or newborn monoclonal antibody treatment.

RSV basics

Respiratory Syncytial Virus attacks the lungs and respiratory tract, causing inflammation and infection. When children over the age of twelve months or adults get RSV, the symptoms are similar to and almost indistinguishable from those of the common cold, and no medical care is required.

However, when a premature baby or an infant under the age of twelve months gets RSV, the chances of a severe infection are significantly increased. RSV is the leading cause of pneumonia as well as bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lungs) in American children less than a year old.

Since it is a virus, not a bacterial infection, RSV can’t be treated with antibiotics. Infants with severe RSV are at increased risk of dehydration, as they may not eat as much because of their breathing difficulty.

Getting the RSV vaccine during pregnancy

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends the latest Pfizer Abrysvo RSV vaccine if you're 32 to 36 weeks pregnant at any point from September to January. 

This seasonal vaccine creates antibodies in your system which are passed on to your fetus. This can help protect your baby against RSV infection for the first six months of their life. You can get the RSV vaccine at the same time as other vaccines recommended during pregnancy.

RSV newborn monoclonal antibody treatment

If you didn't get the RSV vaccine during pregnancy, or if your baby was born less than 14 days after you received the vaccine, you can get a newborn monoclonal antibody treatment for your child instead. 

Nirsevimab (Beyfortus) is recommended for all infants younger than eight months of age who are:

  • Born during RSV season 
  • Entering their first RSV season
  • Up to 19 months of age but in a special risk category

Your baby can get this immunization at one of their regular immunization appointments. 

Certain groups of infants may be prioritized when vaccine supplies are limited. .

Planning a pregnancy?  You can schedule a consultation with our team today by calling the location closest to you or booking online