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RSV on the rise in the southeast with Georgia leading hospitalizations

Local doctors say they still haven’t received doses of the newly approved RSV shot for infants.

ATLANTA — On Tuesday, officials with the Centers for Disease Control released a health alert advising health care providers about an uptick in RSV cases in the Southeast.

In the alert, the CDC noted Georgia had seen an increase in hospitalizations linked to RSV.

Just last month, the agency officially recommended Beyfortus to prevent RSV in infants -- which would be the first of its kind prevention shot. The medication was approved by the FDA months earlier.

Pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu said she’s been working to get the shot into her practice since it was approved.

“So many of my patients and their parents are saying that they want to know when their kids can get it,” Dr. Shu said.

Shu said her practice is expecting to get their first order by the end of this month.

Officials with the Georgia Department of Health said Thursday that they were still waiting on information regarding the release of the drug, adding that the private sector could see it sooner.

It’s unclear whether the drug, which costs hundreds of dollars a dose, will be covered by most insurers. This is why Dr. Shu believes some health care providers may be hesitant to purchase it.

“Practically speaking – we’re not going to spend thousands of dollars on vaccines if insurers won’t pay for it or if the patients can’t afford it,” Shu explained.

Earlier this year, a first-of-its-kind RSV vaccine for older adults was rolled out catering to those 60 and older.



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