It’s respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) season and WVU Medicine Children’s is now offering an antibody injection to protect against it.
The injection, Nirsevimab (Beyfortus®) is an FDA-approved antibody immunization that is given like a shot, is being offered at WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital and clinics in the Morgantown area.
The shot creates passive immunity from RSV, which is different than a vaccine.
“We all have antibodies that we make on a daily basis,” Jeffrey Lancaster, M.D., associate chief medical officer for WVU Medicine Children’s, said. “Those antibodies can attach to a virus or bacteria and neutralize it. Monoclonal antibodies are made scientifically against a specific part of RSV. Nirsevimab makes sure RSV cannot attach to our cells and get into our bodies.”
All patients who are eight months old and younger qualify for the antibody injection.
“We would recommend it for every baby born during RSV season, starting now through March and probably April,” Dr. Lancaster said. “You’ll hear a pediatrician talk about it and say there’s something that can protect your baby from severe RSV.”
WVU Medicine says new babies born during RSV season should get the antibody at their first pediatrician visit. Parents will be given information when they are discharged from the hospital after birth.
RSV is the leading cause of hospitalizations in children who are less than a year old.
Nirsevimab is still being distributed to WVU Medicine Children’s providers across West Virginia and the surrounding region. Check with your child’s doctor for availability.
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