What You Should Know About Getting the RSV Vaccine While Pregnant

What You Should Know About Getting the RSV Vaccine While Pregnant
  • Babies are at risk of severe illness from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which circulates in the United States in fall and winter.
  • An RSV vaccine given to pregnant people also protects babies once they are born. The vaccine is given to people who are 32 to 36 weeks pregnant during RSV season.
  • A monoclonal antibody is also available to protect infants whose mothers did not receive the maternal RSV vaccine.

With respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) season in full swing, newborn babies and infants are at risk of getting very sick from this virus.

Each year in the United States, RSV leads to approximately 100 to 300 deaths in children younger than 5 years old and up to 80,000 hospitalizations among that age group, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Today, CDC officials sent out a warning about low vaccination rates, which could mean more people will be exposed to flu, COVID-19, and RSV this winter. Officials released a Health Alert Network Health Advisory warning healthcare providers about the low vaccination rates and encouraging them to administer flu, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines to eligible patients. The CDC reports that hospitalizations for RSV have increased 60% in the last four weeks for all age groups.

One option recommended by the CDC to protect babies is RSVpreF (Abrysvo), a maternal RSV vaccine developed by Pfizer that is given to pregnant people during their third trimester. It is the only vaccine approved by the FDA for pregnant people.

While there is another RSV vaccine made by GSK called RSVPreF3, the GSK vaccine is only available for people over the age of 60.

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Your physician should be able to provide you with a prescription for the Abrysvo vaccine made by Pfizer if you are pregnant.

Dr. Patricia Faraz, an OB/GYN at The Women’s Hospital at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, Calif., recommends this vaccine to all of her patients who are at the right gestational age, “especially if they have other younger children at home; or if their babies are going to be in outside day care once they’re born because those babies will be more susceptible [to getting RSV].”

Here are some things parents should know about this vaccine.


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