Protect Preemies from RSV
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This fall, many preemies will face a deadly seasonal virus known as RSV with no protection.
It’s a common virus with flu-like symptoms. But Respiratory Syncytial Virus can endanger premature infants because of their underdeveloped lungs and fragile immune systems.
Some preemies don't survive it.
The financial and emotional cost of RSV can be devastating.
- Hospital stays in the NICU or PICU
- Hospital bills
- Child care for other siblings
- Missed work
- Lost wages
No vaccine for RSV exists, but a preventive medication can help. Known as palivizumab, it is FDA approved for ALL premature infants. However, a policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that only severely premature infants (born before 29 weeks) receive it. That policy allows health plans to restrict access to preventive treatment for a majority of preemies, causing these fragile infants to unnecessarily suffer.
Until the American Academy of Pediatrics revises its policy to follow the treatment's FDA label and allow all premature infants access, these babies and their families will continue to suffer.
- American Academy of Pediatrics
Respiratory Syncytial Virus is especially dangerous for premature infants because of their underdeveloped lungs and fragile immune systems. There is a preventive treatment available and approved by the FDA for all premature infants. However, many health plans have restricted access to preventive treatment to only babies born before 29 weeks. This is a direct result of the American Academy of Pediatrics policy stating only severely premature infants benefit from this medication. This leaves a majority of premature infants - those born between 29 and 36 weeks - without access to treatment. These babies fall into a treatment gap and they suffer. RSV can be deadly and those who do survive can face complications throughout their life. We urge the American Academy of Pediatrics to revise their policy to match the FDA label indication and allow all premature infants access to this preventive medication. We must protect the most vulnerable among us.
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