What is RSV? / What is RSV Vaccine?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus that can cause mild to severe illness. RSV infection is most common in infants and young children, but it can also affect older adults and people with chronic health conditions.
RSV spreads through contact with respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces.
The most common symptoms of RSV infection are:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Difficulty breathing
In severe cases, RSV infection can lead to pneumonia or bronchiolitis, which is inflammation of the small airways in the lungs.
Who is at risk for serious RSV infection?
Infants and young children are at highest risk for serious RSV infection. This is because their immune systems are not yet fully developed. The following groups of people are also at increased risk for serious RSV infection:
- Older adults
- People with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, or heart disease
- People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or cancer
How can I protect myself and my loved ones from RSV?
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from RSV is to get vaccinated. There are two RSV vaccines available in the United States:
- RSVPreF3 (Arexvy)
- RSVpreF (Abrysvo)
Both vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious RSV infection. They are recommended for all adults aged 60 years and older, as well as certain high-risk infants and children.
In addition to getting vaccinated, there are other things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from RSV, such as:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
What are the side effects of the RSV vaccine?
The most common side effects of the RSV vaccine are mild and go away on their own within a few days. These side effects may include:
- Pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site
- Muscle pain
More serious side effects are rare.
How can I get the RSV vaccine?
If you are an adult aged 60 years and older, you can get the RSV vaccine from your doctor or other healthcare provider. The vaccine is covered by most insurance plans.
If you have a high-risk infant or child, talk to your doctor about whether the RSV vaccine is right for them.
The RSV vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from serious RSV infection. If you are an adult aged 60 years and older, or if you have a high-risk infant or child, talk to your doctor about getting the RSV vaccine.
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