He respiratory syncytial virus (VRS) It is a highly contagious pathogen that can cause large epidemics of broccoli and pneumonia, according to the Spanish Pediatric Association, which estimates that in Spain RSV infections cause between 15,000 and 20,000 emergency pediatric visits and between 7,000 and 14,000 hospital admissions each year. Furthermore, and according to these experts, between 70 and 250 children die annually due to RSV infection.
The incidence of bronchiolitis may drop drastically this winter in our country thanks to the decision of the Public Health Commission (CPS), in which the Ministry of Health and all the autonomous communities except the Basque Country (which will limit the use of the drug to babies considered at risk because they suffer from other health problems) have agreed immunize all babies under six months administering the Beyfortus vaccinewhich was approved last year by the European Commission.
The vaccination campaign will begin in October In almost all the autonomous communities and the Ministry of Health they have requested that an effort be made to try to immunize “the majority of the target population at the beginning of the RSV season.” This means that all babies under six months and children up to 24 months who are at risk of severe disease will be vaccinated within weeks.
Beyfortus is administered with an injection into the thigh muscle and protects the baby against RSV from the first moment and for at least five months
“We are on the verge of a historic change. If the results obtained in the tests are met, the next one will be “first winter in which bronchiolitis ceases to be a threat to Spanish infants”stated Federico Martinón-Torres, clinical researcher and head of the Pediatrics service at the Santiago de Compostela Hospital, in statements to the newspaper The country.
How is the Beyfortus vaccine that prevents RSV?
Beyfortus (nirsevimab) is a monoclonal antibody – a protein that is part of the immune system – that has been created in a laboratory. It is the “first and only single-dose passive immunization for a broad pediatric population, including healthy infants, born full term or premature, or with specific health conditions”according to Sanofi and AstraZeneca, which have jointly developed this drug.
This vaccine is used to prevent severe lower respiratory tract (lung) disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Clinical trials carried out to verify the safety and effectiveness of this medication showed that avoid four out of five medical procedures.
When and how the RSV vaccine will be administered
In accordance with the indications of the Ministry of Health, the vaccination campaign is scheduled to begin at beginning of October in almost all autonomous communities, although in Galicia and Andalusia they will begin to administer it on September 25. This campaign is included in the immunization calendar of the CCAA and the vaccine is free, although like the rest of the vaccines it will not be mandatory, it is highly recommended because its high effectiveness has been proven.
Beyfortus is administered with an injection into the thigh muscle and protects the baby from the first moment and for at least five months. Therefore, to prevent respiratory syncytial virus, it is essential that the time in which infants receive the vaccine coincides with the season in which RSV circulates with greatest intensity, generally between October and March.
Babies born from October 1 to March 31 will be administered in the same hospitalwhile those born between April 1 and September 30 will have to be taken to the health centers designated by each community.
Children under 24 months considered at high risk (premature, with diseases such as heart disease, etc.) have also been included in the immunization. The recommended dose It is 50 mg for children weighing less than 5 kilos, and 100 mg for children weighing 5 kilos or more.