Supply of RSV antibody shot struggles to meet demand

Supply of RSV antibody shot struggles to meet demand
Lucas Cerna's mother is getting him a respiratory syncytial virus shot while his pediatrician still has it in stock.

"I have just been seeing a lot in the news, and babies get really sick, so I was like, might as well just do it," Cerna's mother, Alexandra Perez, told CBS News.

The Beyfortus antibody shot, manufactured by drugmakers AstraZeneca and Sanofi, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in July as a way to prevent RSV in infants and children up to 24 months old.

Demand for the shot has been unprecedented. It is so popular, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending pediatricians like Dr. Jennifer Shu at Children's Medical Group in Atlanta only give it to their most vulnerable patients, which includes infants younger than six months, and those with underlying conditions that put them at risk.

"We're hoping it's going to really cut down in hospitalizations, as well as complications like pneumonia or even death," said Shu, who added that in Georgia, cases are still rising and she is almost out of shots.

Parts of the southern U.S. have been seeing a rise in RSV transmission in recent months, according to the CDC. Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, reported Friday that more than 200 of its patients tested positive for RSV last week.

Symptoms of RSV include a high fever, worsening cough and trouble breathing. The symptoms can lead to hospitalization and even death.

"Their immune systems aren't developed yet," explained Shu on why infants are so vulnerable to RSV. "...The second thing is their airways are a little bit smaller."

Chris Comstock's 20-month-old daughter Adilynn contracted RSV in September. She spent nine days fighting for her life in the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta hospital.

"I just remember my wife and I were standing in the hospital room crying, going 'What do you do?'" Comstock said. "I have zero control, sitting in that hospital room, knowing I can do nothing to help my child. And then watching her walk and run and get back to health again. You can't put a price tag on the thankfulness that we have."
Tags :
Share This News On: