RACGP applauds NSW RSV immunisation rollout

Royal Australian College of GPs

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) has welcomed the New South Wales Government rolling out an RSV immunisation program for at risk infants.

It comes following reports that 9,000 babies across the state most at risk from respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, will be eligible for the vaccination from Monday. The program will initially be offered to premature infants born after 31 October last year, as well as all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants born after that same date. Other high-risk, eligible infants including those with chronic neonatal lung disease less than 12 months of age and babies with combined immunodeficiency.

Recently, the College welcomed Western Australia becoming the first Australian jurisdiction to rollout an infant RSV immunisation and urged Tasmania to follow suit.

RACGP NSW and ACT Chair, Dr Rebekah Hoffman, welcomed the decision.

“This decision will save lives in my home state,” she said.

“Some families may not realise that RSV is the number one cause of hospitalisation for children aged five and under. So, by immunising those infants who are particularly vulnerable to severe health impacts from RSV infection, we can keep these babies as safe as possible. Well done to the New South Wales Government for rolling out this immunisation, it will make such a difference in communities across the state.”

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is common respiratory infection which mostly affects young children, including babies. The symptoms are usually mild and manageable at home; however, some children and adults can become extremely ill and require hospital treatment. There were 127,944 RSV cases reported last year Australia-wide, causing symptoms that ranged from mild to life-threatening.


/Public Release.