The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a notice to healthcare professionals following over 150 instances where pregnant women and children were mistakenly administered the incorrect Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine. The alert came after inquiries revealed that some patients were unable to receive the RSV vaccine despite having prescriptions, leading to the discovery of vaccination errors reported through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
The mix-up involved the administration of the GSK vaccine, Arexvy, which is not approved for pregnant women, instead of the intended maternal RSV vaccine, Abrysvo. The Abrysvo vaccine is recommended for pregnant women during weeks 32 to 36 of pregnancy to protect newborns from RSV during the virus’s peak season from September to January. The incorrect administration could prevent the transfer of immunity from mother to baby, although alternatives exist to protect infants after birth.
The CDC emphasizes that while such vaccine administration errors are rare, they tend to increase with the introduction of new vaccines. Efforts are underway to educate healthcare providers on the correct use of RSV vaccines to minimize future mistakes. This initiative aims to ensure the safety and efficacy of vaccinations for vulnerable populations, including pregnant women and infants.
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