MDH announces respiratory virus drug in short supply

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(ABC 6 News) – Demand for nirsevimab, a drug used to treat respiratory syncytial virus, has outpaced supply. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, higher doses of nirsevimab are not available for children in the Minnesota Vaccines for Children Program.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory illness, like a common cold, with diagnoses rising in fall.

Individuals with RSV can experience cold-like symptoms, runny noses, coughing, wheezing and fever. While most will recover in about two weeks, children and older adults can experience far more severe symptoms, needing hospitalization, according to the CDC.

In some cases, RSV can also result in pneumonia and bronchitis. However, this is more common for children under 1 year old.

Though not exactly a vaccine according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nirsevimab functions similarly and offers protections for at least 5 months.

RVS season lasts from fall to winter, according to the FDA.

The MDH stated it remains unsure if or when supplies will return for the Minnesota Vaccines for Children Program or to the private market.