TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Earlier this week, the CDC alerted doctors about the limited availability of the antibody-drug called Beyfortus.
“Beyfortus is a new product that’s available for this season for the very first time to help prevent RSV in infants and young children,” Valerie Smith, Assistant Professor of pediatrics at the UT Tyler School of Medicine.
The one-time shot is a lab-made antibody that helps the immune system fight off respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV is a common cause of cold-like symptoms that can be dangerous for young children.
Smith explained what the CDC health alert means.
“Since we do have a shortage of that 100 ml dose, that dose that’s available for babies who are roughly 11 pounds or 5 kilograms, we use for babies that are at higher risk,” said Smith.
She added how it’s a good thing that they are pushing providers to prioritize higher doses.
“This is a monoclonal antibody that can last up to five months and can help protect children,” said Smith.
Beyfortus is given to babies before they get sick so their bodies can fight off the illness.
“My clinic got about a fifth of what we wanted to in our initial shipment, right what we had requested,” said Smith.
Smith said as of now, parents in East Texas should not be concerned.
“There still is actually a supply here in Texas and in East Texas in particular than many places in the country, so it’s very possible that your pediatrician is able to provide this for you,” Smith said.
According to the CDC, RSV season is fall and winter.
“It’s more easily passed around when we are indoors, such as you know when the temperatures start dropping and people stay indoors more instead of going outside,” said David Davis, Drug Emporium Pharmacy Manager.
Still, physicians remind East Texans to take precautions to avoid getting sick and offered some advice to help:
“Keeping young infants at home when possible, and not exposing them to sick individuals,” said Smith.