Due to supply constraints, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended rationing of a monoclonal antibody product, Sanofi’s Beyfortus. The product is used to protect young infants from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a leading cause of infant hospitalization in the U.S. The CDC suggests prioritizing doses for babies at highest risk, particularly infants under six months and those with health conditions posing severe illness risks. Rising RSV activity in the southern U.S. indicates likely increases in other parts of the country. Beyfortus is in high demand due to its late summer approval, high costs, and reimbursement uncertainties. Despite Sanofi’s previous claims of adequate supply, increased demand has outstripped initial stock. They are collaborating with the CDC and AstraZeneca, Beyfortus’ maker, to maximize supply. The CDC also recommends a Pfizer RSV vaccine for pregnant women in certain gestation stages and advises against using two 50-mg doses instead of one 100-mg dose to preserve supplies. Most children contract RSV before age two, leading to severe illness in the youngest groups with insufficiently developed airways.
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[Source: STAT, October 24th, 2023]