The first syncytial virus immunization campaign prevents 10,000 children from being hospitalized.

First immunization campaign against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)which launched in October with the drug nirsevimab to protect children under one year of age from complications such as bronchiolitis or pneumoniahas since prevented nearly 10,000 pediatric hospitalizations.

This is evidenced by the assessment carried out by the Ministry of Health together with communities and the National Epidemiological Center of the Carlos III Health Institute on the effectiveness and impact of nirsevimab in preventing serious diseases and not infections, since it is not sterilizing.

WITH coverage that exceeded 90% in some communities, results showed that immunization with the monoclonal antibody nirsevimab, which Spain was the first country to use on a mass scale, reduced the risk of hospitalization by 83% in immunized children under 6 months of age.

The number of hospitalizations in children under 1 year of age was reduced by 75% compared to what was estimated to have occurred in this group, meaning nearly 10,000 hospitalizations were averted.

RSV is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infections in children under one year of age, especially those associated with bronchiolitis and pneumonia; In Spain, infections caused by this virus cause significant strain on the health care system every winter, both in primary care settings and in emergency departments and hospitals.

Nirsevimab began being given in October last year to children under 6 months born between April 1, 2023 and March 31 this year., as well as infants at risk under 2 years of age; A vaccine against RSV for pregnant women is already available for next season, which will provide protection to infants through the passage of antibodies during pregnancy and is awaiting inclusion in the vaccination schedule.

After a period of distortion caused by Covid-19, syncytial, like other viruses, circulated actively again in the 2022–2023 season until it regained its normal pre-Covid behavior and values ​​the following season.

Thus, according to ISCIII data, his impact last season was negligible: Until March, 465,723 infections were treated in primary care due to RSV. (nearly half of the previous season’s 877,252) and 21,190 hospitalizations versus the 34,632 that occurred in 2022-23.

The highest rates of hospitalization were observed in children under 1 year of age (3329, 15.7% of the total due to RSV) compared to 13432 (38.8%) in the previous season.

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