The Mississippi State Department of Health is encouraging those vulnerable to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) to take precautionary efforts and get the new vaccine.
The RSV vaccine, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May, is intended to prevent the lower respiratory tract disease in individuals 60 years and older and children 19 months and younger.
“I just want to remind everyone that winter is coming, so the respiratory illness season is upon us. The RSV shots are available, and I encourage everyone to protect themselves,” State Health Officer Dr. Dan Edney said, adding that flu and COVID-19 shots are also important with cases set to rise over the next few months.
Edney also advises Mississippians in need of the RSV vaccine to go to commercial pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS as private clinics more than likely won’t be able to attain the new shot this year due to a nationwide shortage.
Nationally, RSV leads to 60,000-160,000 hospitalizations among adults 65 and older with at least 6,000 deaths caused by the virus annually. In children under five years old, it results in approximately 2.1 million outpatient visits, 58,000-80,000 hospitalizations, and an estimated 100-300 deaths per year.
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