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The information on this page is for healthcare practitioners

If you live in NSW, read more about RSV prevention, symptoms and treatment in the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) fact sheet.

NSW Health RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) vulnerable babies program will be implemented in a phased approach that offers Beyfortus (nirsevimab) to the most vulnerable babies from March 2024 to September 2024.

Parents and carers can find information on Beyfortus (nirsevimab) on the i​nformation for parents and carers webpage.

Parents and carers of Aboriginal babies can find information on Beyfortus​ (nirsevimab)​ on the information for parents and carers of Aboriginal babies webpage

On this page

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

RSV is a common respiratory infection. It mostly affects young children. Adults can also get it. RSV symptoms are usually mild. However, some children and adults can get very sick and need to go to hospital for treatment.

Case presentations are usually highest in late autumn or winter. Some babies and older people can get an immunisation or RSV vaccine. Read information about the NSW Health RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) vulnerable babies program below.

Read the latest statement on nirsevimab from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

ATAGI has also released the latest statement regarding Arexvy, a RSV vaccine registered for use in adults aged 60 years and older. ​​

Beyfortus (nirsevimab)

Infants who are vulnerable to severe illness from RSV are eligible for a free monoclonal antibody Beyfortus (nirsevimab) immunisation. RSV monoclonal antibodies are a passive immunisation that provides antibodies directly to the infant so they have immediate protection against RSV. The trade name of nirsevimab is Beyfortus.

Beyfortus (nirsevimab) will be initially offered to hospitalised infants in 2024 who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • All premature infants (less than 37 weeks gestation at birth) born after 31 October 2023
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants born after 31 October 2023
  • Other vulnerable infants including:
    • chronic neonatal lung disease (neonates requiring home oxygen/other respiratory support at 36 weeks or older corrected age), less than 12 months of age
    • infants with haemodynamically significant congenital heart disease, less than 24 months of age
    • other**:
      • combined immunodeficiency less than 24 months of age and not yet received curative treatment
      • trisomy 21, less than 12 months of age
      • other paediatric chronic and complex conditions that significantly impair respiratory function, less than 12 months of age
      • children within 28 days before hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) or prior to engraftment after HSCT, less than 24 months of age.

**at clinician’s judgement in consultation with specialist paediatric infectious diseases physician, specialist in paediatric immunisation, or designated Beyfortus (nirsevimab) program lead at a NSW Health facility. This group will include a variety of children with conditions/disorders requiring continuous home oxygen/respiratory support including neurological conditions, congenital malformations of the upper and/or lower airways, chronic suppurative lung diseases including cystic fibrosis with severe respiratory function impairment.

The NSW Health RSV vulnerable babies program commenced on 25 March 2024. It will run from March 2024 to September 2024. There is limited global availability of Beyfortus (nirsevimab). This means the NSW program will be rolled out in two phases. The targeted cohorts in each phase are:

  • Phase 1 infants currently in public hospitals meeting the eligibility criteria above (administered at discharge)
  • Phase 2 (commencing in mid-April) all remaining eligible cohorts.

All private health facilities that administer Beyfortus (nirsevimab) to eligible infants are required to provide a weekly report to NSW Health on every Friday between April 2024 and September 2024. 

Private health facilities should complete the reporting template and submit to NSW Health at
moh-vaccreports@health.nsw.gov.au via the relevant Secure File Transfer management system every Friday between April 2024 and September 2024.​

For more information, refer to:

Synagis (palivizumab)

Synagis (palivizumab) is also a monoclonal antibody used to protect against RSV infectio​ns in Australia. Synagis (palivizumab) is only offered to children who are at the highest risk of severe illness from RSV. It is given as a course of up to five injections at one-month intervals throughout the RSV season.

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Beyfortus(nirsevimab) program rollout in NSW

 


Health protection update

 
Current as at: Wednesday 17 April 2024
Contact page owner: Immunisation