Headline: Guam Faces Nationwide Shortage of RSV Vaccine, Posing Risk to Infants’ Health
Guam News Factor – In a concerning development, Guam is experiencing a nationwide shortage of the first respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine, Beyfortus, resulting in potential health risks for infants under 8 months old. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently issued an advisory due to the unprecedented demand for the RSV monoclonal prophylaxis.
Due to limited supplies of the RSV immunization, the CDC recommends prioritizing higher doses of the treatment for infants under 6 months old or those with underlying conditions. Additionally, the lower dose treatment is also being restricted, causing further concerns about availability for infants outside of hospitals.
RSV is currently one of the leading causes of hospitalization among infants in the United States. Neonatal intensive care unit patients are currently receiving the treatment; however, there is worry about its availability for infants who are not hospitalized. This shortage could potentially leave some infants unprotected against the severe effects of RSV.
To protect against RSV, shots are available for adults who are pregnant or over the age of 60. Intermountain Health is actively promoting the RSV vaccine for pregnant women in an effort to safeguard infants. In the meantime, everyday preventive measures like hand washing and staying home when sick are strongly advised as an alternative to treatment.
Last fall, there was a surge in RSV and flu cases among children, leading to overcrowded hospitals and the postponement of surgeries. With the shortage of the RSV vaccine, doctors are facing a challenging situation where they have to make difficult decisions on which infants should receive the treatment, causing worry and consternation.
The inability to use the preventative treatment is disheartening for healthcare professionals, as it potentially hinders their ability to prevent severe diseases in infants. The shortage of the RSV vaccine is an alarming situation that requires urgent attention to ensure the health and safety of Guam’s infants.
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