LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today recommended the first respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for pregnant people, in order to protect their newborns from severe RSV illness.

The new vaccine, Pfizer’s bivalent RSVpreF vaccine (trade name ABRYSVO), has shown a reduction in the risk of RSV hospitalization for babies by 57% in their first six months of life, the CDC said.

CDC recommends an administration of one dose of the RSV vaccine in the fall months, for people in weeks 32-36 of pregnancy.

CDC last month recommended a new RSV immunization for infants that has shown to reduce the risk of both RSV-related hospitalizations and healthcare visits in infants by 80%.

Most infants will likely only need the maternal RSV vaccine or the infant immunization, but not both, the agency said. An example of an exception might be that if a baby is born less than two weeks after maternal immunization, then a doctor might recommend the baby also get the infant immunization.

“This is another new tool we can use this fall and winter to help protect lives,” said CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen. “I encourage parents to talk to their doctors about how to protect their little ones against serious RSV illness, using either a vaccine given during pregnancy, or an RSV immunization given to your baby after birth.”    

The maternal vaccine is available in some U.S. locations and availability should increase in the coming weeks. This fall and winter represent the first virus season in which vaccines are available for all three major respiratory viruses: COVID-19, RSV and influenza.

Check with your insurance provider and/or health care provider to find out about coverage of the RSV vaccine.