Beyfortus Supply Shortage
As you may have already heard, not enough Beyfortus was manufactured to meet the demand. This means that Beyfortus will be in short supply throughout the entire 2023-2024 RSV season.
We are receiving a very limited number of doses, but it is unlikely we will have enough for everyone. This is disappointing for all of us, pediatricians and parents alike.
We will be following the CDC and AAP recommendations to prioritize the most at-risk babies, and will offer any remaining doses to others as supplies allow.
Call or send a portal message to add your infant to the waitlist, and we will contact you if we receive doses.
Insurance codes listed below if you need to confirm coverage:
CPT 90381 Beyfortus RSV antibody 100mg (for infants weighing 11 pounds or more)
CPT 90380 Beyfortus RSV antibody 50mg (for infants weighing less than 11 pounds)
CPT 96380/96381 Administration fee
With fall rapidly approaching, we at East Portland Pediatric Clinic are preparing for the 2023-2024 flu and respiratory illness season. Fortunately, there is good news for parents with very young children. The FDA recently approved a new respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) drug to protect babies and young toddlers. In this post, we’ll outline what RSV is and the new treatment.
What is RSV?
While not as well-known as the flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory illness that circulates every year, usually in the late fall through early spring. RSV spreads from person to person like a cold. Almost all kids get it at least once before they turn two years old. For most healthy children, RSV causes mild, cold-like symptoms (think fever, runny nose and cough) that resolve within a week or two. But some get very sick and can develop bronchiolitis or pneumonia, especially little ones under one year old.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a certain percentage of two- to three-year-olds may require a hospital stay. Those babies may need oxygen to help with breathing and/or intravenous (IV) fluids if they are not eating or drinking. Fortunately, most of these children get better and can go home after a few days.
For more information on RSV and its symptoms, read this AAP article. It also has a helpful video that demonstrates the signs of breathing problems that we want parents to keep an eye out for.
Protecting Infants from RSV
Worried that your little one is at risk from RSV this 2023-2024 season? Good news! The FDA recently approved a new drug that can help protect infants and young toddlers from RSV – the monoclonal antibody nirsevimab, which will be sold under the brand name Beyfortus. According to Johns Hopkins, in clinical trials, a single injection of nirsevimab reduced the chances of severe RSV infection requiring medical attention by 74.5%.
In a nutshell, Beyfortus (nirsevimab) is an antibody that’s targeted directly at RSV and helps support your child’s own immune system in fighting off an RSV infection. The antibody levels slowly decrease after the vaccine is given but last long enough to protect infants through a typical RSV season.
This provides babies with immediate and short-term protection that lasts for the duration of a typical RSV season and can be given with a child’s routine immunizations. For all babies younger than eight months of age, one dose of Beyfortus is recommended to be given during or right before the RSV season. A dose is also recommended for some children ages eight to 19 months who are entering their second RSV season and are at higher risk of serious illness.
Note: Beyfortus doesn’t prevent all infections. However, it does provide ample protection against severe infection, which could keep little ones out of the hospital.
When to Get Treatment
It’s best to get the dose before RSV season starts, ideally before the end of October. For babies born during RSV season, it’s ideal if given in the first week of life. While Beyfortus is not a vaccine, it’ll be covered under the Vaccines for Children program for all infants, whether they’re enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan or do not have insurance.
Currently, we’re awaiting to hear from insurance companies that nirsevimab will be covered before ordering any. This will ensure we can offer it in the office. Nirsevimab can be given along with other typical vaccines so can be done at a well child visit if you have one already scheduled this fall.
Reach Out Today
Whether you have questions about the new RSV drug or are ready to schedule your child’s next appointment contact us at East Portland Pediatric Clinic today. You can reach our office at 503-255-3544. If you need to reach us after hours with any urgent questions or need medical advice, call 503-255-3544 and press 5 or stay on the line to be transferred to our answering service. They will take your information and page the doctor on call.