RSV Vaccine and Monoclonal Antibody Availability

El Paso County Public Health will provide updates as these vaccines and monoclonal antibodies become available at our Immunizations Clinic. In the interim, please contact your doctor or local pharmacy to inquire about the availability of vaccines.

What is RSV?

RSV is a common respiratory virus that spreads by inhaling or having contact with virus-containing droplets (typically through the mouth, nose, or eyes) produced by a person with RSV infection when talking, coughing, and sneezing. While most people who get RSV will only have cold symptoms, it may be more severe in infants and young children, as well as older adults.

What are the symptoms of RSV?

Symptoms can include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, or coughing, and can also include fever, decreased appetite, and difficulty breathing or wheezing. RSV causes respiratory tract illness in people of all ages, but infants, young children, and older adults are at greater risk of severe illness from RSV. RSV is typically more common in the late fall, winter, and early spring.

When should I go to the hospital?

Signs that an individual may need to go to the hospital include high fever, lethargy, difficulty breathing, not being able to eat or drink. Remember, RSV may be more severe in infants, young children and older adults. If an individual is struggling to breathe, call 911.

If you are seeking non-emergency care or assistance, please call your primary care provider or the Children’s Hospital Colorado ParentSmart Healthline™ at 720-777-0123, to receive free healthcare advice from registered, experienced pediatric nurses, available 24/7.

Woman on couch with facial tissues and coffee mug looking ill

Can I get an RSV vaccine?

  • Infants and young children: Monoclonal antibody products, which are not vaccines but are given by injection, are CDC-approved and available to protect infants and young children from severe RSV.
  • Older adults: Vaccines are CDC-approved and currently available to protect adults 60 years and older from severe RSV illness.
  • Pregnant people: Pregnant people may receive a vaccine to protect themselves and their newborn(s) against severe respiratory illness and hospitalization.

What are the latest RSV vaccination recommendations?

Ideally, RSV vaccines and immunizations should be received before or during the early fall, between September and October. This is to ensure the immune system has time to prepare for possible exposure before possible transmission peaks during the late fall and winter months.

Pediatric guidance: The CDC recommends getting the RSV monoclonal antibody for your baby if they are younger than 8 months and born during, or entering, their first RSV season. In rare cases, a healthcare provider may determine an RSV immunization is needed for an infant even though the mother received an RSV vaccine.

A dose of the RSV monoclonal antibody is also recommended for children between the ages of 8 and 19 months entering their second RSV season who are in at least one of these groups:

  • Children who have chronic lung disease from being born prematurely
  • Children who are severely immunocompromised
  • Children with cystic fibrosis who have severe disease
  • American Indian and Alaska Native children

Older adult guidance: Adults ages 60 and older may receive a vaccine after speaking with their healthcare provider about personal health risks.

Ask your health care provider for additional guidance and recommendations.

  • Ask your doctor if an immunization is right for you or your child.
  • Stay home when you are sick, including not visiting or interacting with people who may be at higher risk, including older adults, young children, and infants.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Encourage children to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue or upper arm sleeve when they cough or sneeze, throw away the tissue after they use it, and clean hands as instructed above.
  • Clean potentially contaminated surfaces, like doorknobs, tables, handrails, etc.
  • Avoid sharing cups, eating utensils, and touching your face with unwashed hands.
    If your child is demonstrating early signs of respiratory distress, consider taking them to their primary care doctor for evaluation.

Child care centers and schools can play an active role in preventing the spread through increased hand-washing, disinfecting surfaces and areas, and strict adherence to and implementing their illness policies.

RSV is not the only virus that can make you or your child sick. Vaccines are an important step to protect yourself and your children from respiratory illness. Don’t forget to:

  • Keep up-to date on COVID-19 vaccine,
  • Get an influenza vaccine,
  • Keep up with routine vaccine schedules