RSV is a common cause of respiratory infections in children under one year of age and can be particularly risky for the youngest children. However, it is now possible to get vaccinated against RSV during pregnancy to protect your little one from this common virus. Want to know more?
The RS virus is a common virus that occurs mainly during the winter months. The virus can survive on hard surfaces for several hours, meaning it can easily spread to those who come into contact with the objects and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. Babies are particularly vulnerable as their immune system is still undeveloped.
RSV: symptoms and recommendations
For adults and older children, the virus appears as a classic cold with sore throat, runny nose, cough and sometimes fever. However, infants are particularly vulnerable to developing more serious RSV infections as their immune systems are not yet fully developed. One of the more serious symptoms of RSV is that it can cause breathing difficulties for children under 1 year of age. Therefore, new parents are advised to be cautious about meeting friends and acquaintances after giving birth, and in some municipalities people are advised not to meet others and not to bring older children to preschool. If you meet other adults and children, you are advised to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. However, the new vaccine allows a little more flexibility in everyday life as a new parent and less worry about your little one becoming infected.
New vaccine against the RSV
Since fall 2023, a new vaccine against the RS virus is available on the market that can be taken already during pregnancy. There are two variants of the vaccine against RS that have so far been approved by the EMA* and these are referred to as Arexvy and Abrysvo. The latter can be given to women in the third trimester to protect the baby in the womb against the RSV for the first six months of life. The public health authority has not yet recommended the vaccine for pregnant women, which means that pregnant women currently have to pay for the vaccination.
*European Medicines Agency
The new vaccine helps build up antibodies in the mother during pregnancy, which are then transferred to the baby in the womb via the placenta. This gives the baby some protection against the RSV in the first months of life when the immune system is still developing. Studies show that vaccination not only reduces the risk of RSV infection in infants but also prevents serious cases requiring hospitalization.
If you are pregnant and interested in being vaccinated against the RSV, you shouldtalk to your MVC nurse and find more information at vaccination clinics.
Read more at Direct vaccine.