In response to the limited supply, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued recommendations on Monday. They advised doctors to prioritize scarce doses of nirsevimab for infants at the highest risk of RSV, particularly those under six months of age and those with underlying health conditions that increase their susceptibility to severe disease.
The CDC also suggested that physicians discontinue the use of Beyfortus for babies aged 8 to 19 months who are eligible for the older protective therapy known as palivizumab, or Synagis. Palivizumab is administered to children at a high risk of severe RSV due to serious lung or heart conditions. Unlike Beyfortus, which offers six months of protection after a single dose, Synagis requires monthly administration throughout the RSV season.
Dr. Buddy Creech, a pediatrician at Vanderbilt and president of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society, expressed frustration, stating, “We are going to protect some children from RSV this year. We’re not going to be able to protect as many as we’d hoped, and that’s frustrating.”
Unfortunately, these new recommendations mean that healthy infants older than six months may miss out on the benefits of the new vaccine. A recent study of infants requiring intensive care for RSV during the previous season revealed that 81% of them were full-term and had no underlying medical conditions prior to hospitalization.