What’s new about RSV shot for babies
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus that affects most children by the age of 2. While it usually causes mild cold-like symptoms, it can lead to severe respiratory infections in infants, especially those born prematurely or with certain medical conditions. To protect babies from the potentially serious consequences of RSV, a new RSV shot has been developed. Here’s what you need to know about it:
1. What is the RSV shot?
The RSV shot, also known as palivizumab, is a medication that helps prevent severe RSV infections in infants. It is given as a monthly injection during the RSV season, which typically starts in the fall and lasts through the spring.
2. Who should get the RSV shot?
The RSV shot is recommended for certain high-risk infants, including:
- Preterm infants born before 29 weeks of gestation
- Infants born with chronic lung disease
- Infants with certain heart conditions
- Infants with weakened immune systems
3. How does the RSV shot work?
The RSV shot contains antibodies that help protect against RSV infection. When given to infants, these antibodies help boost their immune system and reduce the risk of severe respiratory infections caused by RSV.
4. What are the potential side effects?
Like any medication, the RSV shot may have some side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
- Runny nose
These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own within a few days.
5. How effective is the RSV shot?
The RSV shot has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of severe RSV infections in high-risk infants. However, it is important to note that it does not provide 100% protection against RSV. Therefore, it is still important to take other preventive measures, such as practicing good hand hygiene and avoiding close contact with sick individuals.
6. How can I get the RSV shot for my baby?
If your baby falls into one of the high-risk categories, talk to your pediatrician about the RSV shot. They will be able to assess your baby’s risk and determine if the RSV shot is appropriate. If it is, they will provide you with the necessary information on how to get the shot.
Remember, protecting your baby from RSV is important, especially if they are at high risk. By staying informed and following the recommendations of your healthcare provider, you can help keep your baby healthy and safe.