The Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs of the Government of Andalusia managed, in just one month, to vaccinate half of the minors called to receive these doses against the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). The bell started on September 25, considering vaccinating 63,600 children, usually less than six months, with an investment of 13.8 million euros. RSV is the main cause of respiratory tract infections, such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia.
The 2023-2024 RSV immunization campaign targets children born between April 1 and September 30, 2023 (group 1A), those born since October 1 (group 1B), as well as children under one year of age with a history of prematurity of less than 35 weeks (group 2) and other infants with very high-risk chronic pathologies up to 24 months (group 3).
So far, 31,749 children have been vaccinated against the bronchiolitis virus, representing 49.9% of the doses planned for the entire campaign. Therefore, in group 1A, recruited by the Andalusian Health Service through invitations through telephone calls to receive these doses, 25,210 children have been vaccinated so far, which means 88.8%. In group 1B, 79.9% of children received the dose, that is, 3,553 children. Similarly, from group 2, 1,210 children, or 83.6%, accepted the invitation, and from group 3, a total of 1,776 children
In this sense, the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs recognizes the commitment of parents and guardians of minors to protect the health of infants and influences the importance of all children belonging to vulnerable groups receiving this vaccination: “Infection with this virus, a respiratory condition that occurs, above all, during autumn and winter, can be effectively and safely prevented.”
Last year, infections from this virus continued to infect 301 minors admitted at the same time in Andalusia, with the highest peak occurring in November. In total, according to records from the Andalusian Health Service, 2,581 children under one year of age will require hospital admission in 2022 due to RSV.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs thanked the professionals of the Andalusian Health Service for their efforts in the proper functioning of this campaign.
Andalusia administers a monoclonal antibody against RSV for the first time, called Nirsevimab, with the commercial name Beyfortus. In this way, the autonomous community continues to focus on health prevention, with one of the most advanced vaccination schedules in the national territory. In the province, the estimated dose for Almería is 7,435, for Cádiz, 8,691, for Córdoba, 5,417, for Granada, 7,943, for Huelva, 4,141, for Jaén, 4,814, for Málaga, 11,819, and for Seville.
This measure is added to the annual vaccination against influenza in the child population from 6 months to 5 years (59 months), which began in Andalusia during the 2022-2023 campaign, to protect children as much as possible from the most common respiratory pathologies that show a greater possibility of admission to the hospital. In the first year of childhood influenza vaccine administration, more than 45% of the target population was reached.
On the other hand, the General Directorate of Public Health and Pharmaceutical Regulation has included RSV in the Acute Respiratory Infection Sentinel Surveillance Protocol in Primary and Hospital Care, thereby supplementing the joint COVID-19/FLU surveillance strategy established for the 2020–2021 period.