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Here’s What Parents Need to Know About the New RSV Vaccine to Protect Infants

Advisers for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have voted in support of recommending a new Pfizer vaccine to protect infants from respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. Here’s everything parents need to know about this vaccine as it inches closer to becoming available.

As CNN reported, the FDA’s advisory panel convened last week to weigh in on the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. The group of independent health experts voted to approve the vaccine, which is given to pregnant people during the late stages of pregnancy to promote infants’ immunity while in utero.

The FDA isn’t obliged to follow its advisers’ advice, but it often does. If this vaccine is formally approved, it will become the first on the market specifically designed to prevent RSV infection in infants. That could be a major public-health win: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), babies born prematurely and those younger than 6 months old are at a higher risk for severe illness from RSV, which can lead to hospitalization.

“This is great news for kids and moms everywhere in the U.S.,” Dr. David Kim, a member of the panel and division of vaccines director at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), told CNN. “The burden of RSV disease is high, and there’s a definite need for preventive care.”

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