As parents, entrusting our little ones to a daycare is a big step - one filled with excitement and a bit of natural worry. Daycares offer incredible benefits for children, including socialization, early learning, and the development of key skills.
Alongside these benefits, it's also important to be aware of common childhood illnesses, like Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and the proactive measures we can take to protect our children. The good news is, with RSV vaccine now available to boarder groups of children, ensuring the health of our daycare-going children has become more manageable.
RSV is a common virus that typically causes mild, cold-like symptoms but can be more serious in infants and young children. It's a part of growing up, and most children will have been infected with RSV by the age of two. With proper care and attention, RSV can be managed effectively.
The Leap Forward: RSV Vaccines
Recent medical advancements have brought a significant tool in our parenting toolkit – the RSV vaccines. These vaccines are a breakthrough in pediatric care, significantly reducing the risk of severe RSV infections.
Nirsevimab (Beyfortus): This FDA-approved vaccine is a game-changer. It's a monoclonal antibody providing immediate protection against RSV. It's recommended for all infants in their first 8 months and high-risk children up to 24 months. One dose before or during the RSV season can offer season-long protection.
Abryvso for Pregnant Individuals: Administered during pregnancy, this vaccine passes protective antibodies to the baby, decreasing the risk of RSV hospitalization by 57%.
Accessing the Vaccine
While the initial rollout of Nirsevimab is prioritizing high-risk groups, the goal is to make it widely available. For the latest information, consult with your pediatrician or healthcare provider.
Per HealthyChildren.org, if nirsevimab is available in your community this season it will be offered to infants and toddlers who are at the most risk of serious illness from RSV. This season (as of November 2023) only, those eligible include babies who:
· Weigh less than 11 pounds.
· Are younger than 6 months old and weigh more than 11 pounds.
· Identify as American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) and are younger than age 8 months.
· Are age 6 through 7 months and have an existing medical condition that places them at highest risk of serious illness from RSV.
· Are age 8 through 19 months and identify as AI/AN and live in a remote region.
Note: If your baby can get the RSV immunization this season and you have private health insurance, confirm that your insurer will cover the cost of nirsevimab. Not all insurance companies have added this product to their coverage yet.
Daycare is a wonderful experience for children, offering a blend of social, educational, and developmental benefits. With the added protection of RSV vaccines, parents can feel reassured about their child's health while they make the most of their daycare experience.
The information provided herein, including any references to medications or vaccines, is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information contained in this communication for diagnosing or treating a health problem, disease, or for prescribing any medication, vaccine, or other treatment. ALWAYS consult with a qualified healthcare professional for advice on any medical condition, medication, or vaccine. This information is not intended for medical diagnosis or treatment and does not create a doctor-patient, therapist-patient, or other healthcare professional relationship. Any reliance on the information provided herein is solely at your own risk.