In 2021, the season of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections was exceptional in terms of the very early onset and the enormously high numbers of hospitalised children. Thus, the last season showed very clearly: RSV is a major health threat to children under two years of age. In most cases of RSV, children develop only mild, cold-like symptoms. However, a number of children suffer from a severe course of the infection with severe respiratory distress and accompanying symptoms that need to be treated in hospital.
For children after preterm birth or with severe pre-conditions, RSV prophylaxis is available in the form of a passive immunisation with antibodies during the RSV season. However, of all children hospitalised with RSV, about 70% had no risk factors for developing a severe course. Based on the fact that several new prophylactic options for all infants are under development, EFCNI and a group of experts from different disciplines around child health and RSV from Germany, Austria and Switzerland sat down to discuss opportunities, challenges, and limits of RSV protection for all infants.
Together, EFCNI and the expert group will produce a position paper and a scientific paper to raise awareness of RSV in general and for RSV protection for all infants under two in particular. We are excited to announce that we have successfully launched this project with an expert roundtable on 24 March 2022. A second roundtable to deepen the discussion on RSV protection will take place on 5 April 2022.
Our sincere thanks go to our expert group for dedicating their time and expertise to this topic.
If you are interested in more details and the progress of the project, follow this link to the project website: https://www.efcni.org/rsv-schutz-alle-kinder/
Please note: As the project focuses on German-speaking countries, the project website is in German.
EFCNI received financial support for this project from Sanofi Aventis GmbH.