Protect Your Child from RSV with Beyfortus: What You Need to Know

RSV typically peaks from October to January in our area. RSV is one of the many viruses that cause respiratory illness of the nose, throat, and lungs. RSV begins like a common cold and peaks on day 3-5 sometimes causing bronchiolitis, pneumonia, or dehydration. The illness typically lasts 5-7 days.

There is now a prescription, Beyfortus (nirsevimab) to help prevent serious lung disease caused by RSV. Beyfortus is not a typical or mRNA vaccine. It is a monoclonal antibody that gives your baby immediate and short-term passive immunity for 6 months, protecting your baby during his or her most vulnerable time. Beyfortus does not prevent RSV infection but can limit disease severity. Beyfortus is an immunization indicated for:

  • Newborns and babies under 1 year during or entering into RSV season AND
  • Children up to 24 months who remain at serious risk of RSV.

Beyfortus is an injection given in our office. Dosage varies by weight. Medicaid and VFC cover Beyfortus. Most private insurances are also covering the drug. If you have private insurance and would like to offer your baby protection, please call your insurance company to inquire about coverage.

Almost all children get RSV at least once by the time they are 2 years old. For most healthy children, RSV is like a common cold. Treatment is supportive with saline/suction of the nose, cool-mist humidifier, small frequent feeds, and age-appropriate fever reducers when needed.

As RSV infection peaks, it can lead to bronchiolitis–an infection that causes the small breathing tubes of the lungs (bronchioles) to swell. This blocks airflow through the lungs, making it hard to breathe. This can lead to labored breathing and wheezing. It occurs most often in infants because their airways are smaller and more easily blocked than in older children.

If your child shows signs of troubled breathing, such as fast, labored, breathing, pulling chest muscles in, flaring nostrils, wheezing, is unable to drink, or has high fever, your child needs a medical exam. From there, follow instructions by your pediatrician. Some children require breathing treatments or antibiotics for secondary infections, such as ear infections or pneumonia. Thankfully, only 3% of children with RSV require hospitalization.

RSV is spread by contact with an infected person’s mucus or saliva (respiratory droplets produced during coughing or wheezing). It often spreads through families and child care centers. Do not return to daycare/school until fever free for 48 hrs and past the peak of symptoms that occurs on day 3-5. If you have a sick child, call for an appointment at (662) 371-1543 or visit walk-in clinic.