ATHNA TravelByte - January 2024

ATHNA is most fortunate to have a pediatric travel health clinician as our current treasurer. Amy Manion is also on faculty at Rush School of Nursing and in this TravelByte Amy shares some important news about RSV vaccine and infants. If you are preparing a family for travel be sure to note her recommendations for this age group.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and CDC Immunization Recommendations
Amy Manion PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis in children one year of age and younger. Globally, it has been estimated that RSV associated acute lower respiratory infections affect 33 million children 5 years of age and younger annually. In the United States, approximately 58,000 - 80,000 children 5 years of age and younger are hospitalized each year due to respiratory syncytial virus. In July 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an RSV vaccine for pregnant mothers and an RSV preventive antibody immunization for infants younger than 1 year old. Nirsevimab (brand name: Beyfortus) is a monoclonal antibody that trains an infant's immune system to recognize RSV and defend against it. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found the RSV monoclonal antibody injection was 83% effective in preventing hospitalization and 75% effective in reducing severe RSV.

The CDC recommends nirsevimab for all infants younger than 8 months of age born during RSV season or entering their first RSV season. In addition, some children 8 months through 19 months who are at increased risk for severe RSV disease and entering their second RSV season can also receive nirsevimab. The RSV vaccine (Abrysvo, Pfizer) is recommended during weeks 32 through 36 of pregnancy to prevent severe RSV disease in infants. Except in rare circumstances, infants younger than 8 months of age do not need nirsevimab if they were born 14 or more days after their mother received the RSV vaccine.


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Li, Y., Wang, X., Blau, D., Caballero, M., Feikin, D., Gill, C., Madhi, S., Omer, S. Fimoes, E., Campbell, H., Pariente, A., Bassat, Q., Casalenmo, J., Chakhunashvili, G., Crawford, N., Danilenko, D., Do, L., Echavarria, M., Gentile, A., Gordan, A,,.. Nair, H. (2022). Global, reginal, and national disease burden estimates of acute lower respiratory infections due to respiratory syncytial virus in children younger than 5 years in 2019: a systematic analysis. The Lancet, 399, 2047-64.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (2022), Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV),