What is the new RSV vaccine Beyfortus?
What is the RSV vaccine Beyfortus?
Beyfortus is not technically a vaccine, as it does not cause the body to make its own antibodies against RSV. Rather, it provides a dose of pre-made antibodies that provide “passive immunity” for at least 5 months. It has been shown to reduce the risk of serious RSV disease by 80%.
Who can get Beyfortus?
All babies born after March 1, 2023 are eligible this year. Newborns should ideally receive it in their first week of life. If a mother received the maternal RSV vaccine (Abrysvo) at least 14 days before the baby was born, the child is protected and will not need Beyfortus. High risk patients in their second RSV season may be eligible, which will be determined by your child’s provider.
What are the side effects of Beyfortus?
- Redness, or swelling at the injection site
- Mild rash
- These were the most common side effects during clinical trials
My baby already had RSV this season, can they get Beyfortus?
Yes! Natural immunity from having RSV may last about 2 months, but the RSV season is much longer than that and infants can be reinfected with other strains of the virus. If they are eligible, it’s recommended that they get Beyfortus.
Can my infant get Beyfortus with other routine childhood vaccines?
Yes, it can be given at their checkup along with other vaccines. In clinical trials it was not shown to interfere with the body’s immune response to other routine vaccines.
How long does it take to start working?
It takes about 6 days to have full effect. The effect is strongest in the first several weeks and wanes over time.
What about insurance coverage?
Private insurance companies have 12 months to decide if they will cover Beyfortus. As of now, it is available through the Vaccines For Children (VFC) government program, so we are expecting private insurance companies to cover it as well.