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A clinician wearing PPE gives a vaccine injection to a pregnant woman.
Most infants will likely only need protection from either the maternal RSV vaccine or infant immunization, but not both.

First RSV Vaccine to Protect Newborns against Severe Infection Available

2023 fall–winter is the first season when vaccines for all three major respiratory viruses are available

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Published:Sep 25, 2023
|2 min read
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The CDC recently recommended the first respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for pregnant people to protect their newborn from severe RSV illness. RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization for infants in the US. This new vaccine—Pfizer’s bivalent RSVpreF vaccine (trade name ABRYSVOTM)—has been shown to reduce the risk of RSV hospitalization for babies by 57 percent in the first six months after birth.

To maximize protection for babies after birth, the CDC recommends seasonal administration of one dose of RSV vaccine for pregnant people during weeks 32 through 36 of pregnancy (third trimester).

The vaccine is one of two new tools available this season to protect babies from severe RSV illness. Last month, the CDC recommended a new RSV immunization for infants that has been shown to reduce the risk of both RSV-related hospitalizations and healthcare visits in infants by about 80 percent. 

Most infants will likely only need protection from either the maternal RSV vaccine or infant immunization, but not both. However, for example, if a baby is born less than two weeks after maternal immunization, then a doctor may recommend that the baby also receive the infant immunization.

“This is another new tool we can use this fall and winter to help protect lives,” said CDC director Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH. “I encourage parents to talk to their doctors about how to protect their little ones against serious RSV illness, using either a vaccine given during pregnancy or an RSV immunization given to your baby after birth.”

The RSVpreF vaccine is available in some locations in the US and the availability is expected to increase in the coming weeks. This is the first fall and winter virus season where vaccines are available for the three major respiratory viruses: COVID-19, RSV, and flu.

Updated COVID-19 and flu vaccines are recommended for everyone six months and older. The CDC now recommends RSV vaccine for adults ages 60 and over, using shared clinical decision-making. This means these individuals should talk to their healthcare provider about whether RSV vaccination is appropriate for them at this time.

- This press release was originally published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website