New RSV vaccine for Pregnant Women

11.07.2024 Category: General Health Author: Chiara Samarelli

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common and highly contagious virus that primarily affects the respiratory tract, causing significant illness, particularly in infants.

As it is seasonal, it usually peaks during the winter months and spreads through droplets from coughs and sneezes, or via contact with contaminated surfaces. RSV is a virus, so antibiotics are not an effective treatment.

Each year, RSV poses a substantial health risk to infants and older adults worldwide.

In the UK, RSV accounts for approximately 33,500 hospitalisations annually in children aged 5 and under, resulting in 20 to 30 deaths per year. 75-80% of hospitalisations due to RSV happened during the first 6 months of life.

Is there a suitable RSV vaccine for pregnant woman?

Abrysvo is a recombinant vaccine for the prevention of severe lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV in infants up to six months old. It is the only maternal RSV immunisation given to the pregnant woman between 32 – 36 weeks of pregnancy to help protect newborns. It can also be used for older adults over the age of 60 years, in preventing RSV that can lead to breathing difficulties.

Maternal vaccination involves administering vaccines to pregnant women to protect their newborns through the transfer of antibodies. This approach has been effectively used for diseases like whooping cough. Vaccinating pregnant women against RSV provides passive immunity to their babies, safeguarding them against RSV until they can receive their own vaccines. The RSV vaccine must be given at least 2 weeks apart from the whooping cough vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has assessed the impact of RSV and recommended implementing immunisation programs to protect vulnerable groups, including infants and older adults. Although the specific details and timeline are still being finalised, the program aims to reduce the incidence of RSV-related illnesses among infants, ultimately reducing RSV-related morbidity.

At Fleet Street Clinic, we can offer private RSV vaccination to protect you and your baby, ahead of the NHS roll out.

Abrysvo is an inactivated vaccine and only requires a single dose for protection.



RSV Vaccination

Pneumonia Vaccination

Childhood Vaccinations

Flu Jab for Pregnant Mothers and Babies

Wellness Vaccinations

Flu protection for expecting mothers

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In the News: The Zika Virus and pregnancy

19.05.2018 Category: News Author: Dr Richard Dawood

The Zika Virus has been making headlines recently for it’s frightening links to rare birth defects. Brazil has even gone as far as to warn women to avoid falling pregnant whilst an epidemic is rife. The link between 400 cases of new-borns with microcephaly in the north-east of Brazil is being investigate by health authorities. 

The increase in microcephaly, a neurological disorder that stunts the growth of the baby’s cranium, limiting it to a circumference of less than 33cm, has increased in Brazil from 59 cases in 2014, rising to 1,248 cases throughout 2015. Typically, life expectancy for babies born with the condition is reduced. In 90% of cases, brain function is also reduced. There are currently no travel restrictions in affected areas.

How is the virus contracted?

The Zika virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Outbreaks have been seen across Africa, Asia, Central and South America.

What are the the symptoms and treatment?

The common symptoms, usually mild and often lasting from a few days to one week, can be a rash, fever, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. There is currently no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat the virus. Pain killers can be used to alleviate these symptoms which often go mistaken as a fever, and can easily be missed, especially in the early stages of pregnancy.

Is there a way to reduce my risk? 

Insect bite precautions is paramount, especially for pregnant women in the affected areas. The NHS travel website, Fit For Travel, recommends:

  • Covering up – wearing long sleeved tops and long trousers
  • Spraying thinner clothing with insect repellent
  • Burning pyrethroid coils and heating insecticide impregnated tablets
  • Sleeping in a screened room where possible or using a treated mosquito net

If you are travelling to Brazil or any of the infected areas, book an appointment with one of our dedicated Travel Clinic nurses for information on vaccines and travel wellbeing now on 020 7353 5678.

Zika Virus – Additional Resources
Zika virus: medical advice for travellers – The Telegraph – Richard Dawood

Zika Virus – Video
Watch Fleet Street Clinic’s Dr Richard Dawood discuss Zika Virus on Victoria Derbyshire.

Travel Consultations – Why So Important?

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