The Balearic Islands begin today the vaccination of 8,900 infants on the islands against the respiratory syncytial virus, RSV, the main cause of bronchiolitis. This will be distributed in health centres and hospitals. Salut immunises all babies born between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024.

From today, the Balearic Islands will immunise all babies born between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024. This will protect them from bronchiolitis, pneumonia and other respiratory infections. With an investment of €1.9 million, this will be the first time the Balearic Islands will extend this immunisation to all newborns, regardless of whether they have risk factors or not.

Until now, immunisation against RSV, which causes 80% of cases of bronchiolitis, was only given to babies at risk. It was administered to premature infants under 35 weeks, immunocompromised or with respiratory or cardiac pathologies, or with severe illnesses up to 24 months of age.

baleares bronquiolitis bebé

Photo: Govern de les Illes Balears.

Seasonal circulation of RSV between October and March

The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which usually circulates between October and March, is a contagious pathogen that mainly affects infants under one year of age. It is often the leading cause of respiratory tract infection, especially related to bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

The National Public Health Commission approved the possibility of universal immunisation of all infants born after April 2023 with the monoclonal antibody nirsevimab. It left it up to each autonomous community to choose whether or not to implement universal immunisation and to organise the campaign: scope, dates and immunisation points, according to their plans and financial availability.

Each year, RSV infections represent a significant overload of care, both in primary care and in the emergency department, and are the cause of a large number of hospitalisations, both in the ICU and in the inpatient unit.

Nirsevimab will be administered to newborns at the hospital of birth before discharge from hospital. For infants born on or after 1 April, the vaccine will be administered at health centres.