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White House plans next year’s RSV immunization campaign following shortages

The Biden administration on Monday met with the manufacturers of RSV immunizations to discuss making the medications available through the private market and preparing for next year as demand for the products far exceeded what drugmakers anticipated this season.

A readout from the White House said on Tuesday that officials met with drugmakers to discuss “manufacturing, distribution, and accessibility of RSV immunizations through the private market.”

“Senior administration officials underscored the importance of manufacturers such as Sanofi and AstraZeneca working to meet demand with a sense of urgency as we head into the winter season,” the readout stated.

While focusing on this year’s needs, they also discussed “proactive planning now to meet next year’s projected demand for immunizations.”

This year marked the first time that immunizations against the common respiratory virus RSV would be available for infants and seniors with the approval of the monoclonal antibody Beyfortus from Sanofi and AstraZeneca as well as the vaccine Arexvy GlaxoSmithKline.

In October, however, drugmakers said demand had outpaced what they anticipated, leading to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending that doctors reserve doses of Beyfortus for infants who have the “highest risk for severe RSV disease.”

Beyfortus is recommended for infants younger than 8 months of age who are born during or are just entering their first RSV season, which typically starts in the fall and peaks during the winter. Infants aged between 8 and 19 months who are at an increased risk for severe RSV disease may also get the shot if they are entering their second RSV season.

The CDC released 77,000 additional doses of Beyfortus earlier this month through the federal Vaccines for Children Program to help enhance its availability.

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