Title: CDC Releases Additional Doses of Beyfortus to Combat Rising RSV Cases
Word Count: 349
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has taken a significant step in protecting infants from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by releasing an additional 77,000 doses of a new drug called Beyfortus. Developed by Sanofi and AstraZeneca, this monoclonal antibody was approved in August and is one of two available treatments for infants to combat RSV.
The decision to release these additional doses comes at a crucial time, as RSV cases are on the rise in certain parts of the country just ahead of the holiday season. Due to high demand, the availability of Beyfortus has been limited, resulting in concerns about infants not receiving critical protection against RSV.
RSV is a common respiratory infection that can cause severe illness in children and older adults. Tragically, every year, a few hundred children younger than 5 and 6,000 to 10,000 seniors lose their lives to this virus in the U.S.
To ensure prompt distribution and reach those in need, the CDC will immediately supply the additional doses to physicians and hospitals through commercial channels and the Vaccines for Children Program. This program covers the cost of shots for uninsured and underinsured children.
Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are working closely with drug manufacturers to ensure that sufficient doses of Beyfortus will be available through the remainder of this year and into early 2024.
The U.S. has recently witnessed a concerning increase in RSV cases since mid-October, with the CDC reporting nearly 5,000 cases detected in the week ended November 4. It is important to note that last year’s RSV season was particularly severe, overwhelming hospitals due to the public’s relaxation of Covid-19 preventive measures, which had previously helped keep RSV cases low.
By releasing these additional doses of Beyfortus, the CDC is taking proactive measures to protect infants from the threat of RSV. This move serves as a reminder to the public of the importance of staying vigilant and adhering to preventive measures against respiratory illnesses, especially during the upcoming holiday season.
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