RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, but it can make infants and certain adults very sick. Vaccines and monoclonal antibodies can protect against RSV: Vaccines protect adults over age 60 and help pregnant women protect their newborns. Monoclonal antibodies protect infants and at-risk young children. Frequently Asked Questions Why is the RSV vaccine important? RSV can be dangerous for infants and certain adults. About 60,000-160,000 older adults in the United States go to the hospital and 6,000-10,000 die from RSV each year. RSV causes most bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children younger than 1 in the United States. Older adults with conditions like heart or lung disease, weakened immune systems, or who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, are at highest risk of serious illness and complications. Learn more about people at high risk for RSV . What is RSV? RSV is a common respiratory virus usually spread through direct contact. This can include: Droplets from a cough or sneeze contacting your eyes, nose, or mouth Touching a surface and touching your face with unwashed hands Symptoms of RSV infection may include: Runny nose Decreased appetite Coughing Sneezing Fever Wheezing Most people recover in one or two weeks, but RSV can cause shortness of breath and low oxygen levels. It can also make some conditions worse, including: Asthma Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe) Congestive heart failure (when the heart can’t pump enough blood and oxygen) Learn more about RSV. Who needs to get the RSV vaccine? Adults 60 and older, after talking with their health care provider. Pregnant People The CDC recommends one dose of the RSV vaccine for pregnant people during weeks 32 through 36 of pregnancy. Abrysvo is the only RSV vaccine recommended during pregnancy. Adults at highest risk for severe RSV infection include: Older adults Adults with chronic heart or lung disease Adults with weakened immune systems Adults with certain other underlying medical conditions Adults living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities Learn more about RSV infections in older adults. Providers can give the RSV vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. However, according to results of coadministration studies of RSV vaccines with influenza vaccines, common side effects, such as fever and soreness at the injection site, may increase when these two vaccines are administered on the same day. Learn more about RSV vaccines for adults. Who should not get the RSV vaccine? Tell your vaccination provider about any severe, life-threatening allergies. In some cases, your health care provider may decide to delay RSV immunization. People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, can be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover to get immunized. What are the side effects of the RSV vaccine? Side effects of RSV vaccination can include: Pain, redness, and swelling where the shot is given Feeling tired Fever Headache Nausea Diarrhea Muscle or joint pain Serious conditions, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, have been reported very rarely in clinical trials. It is not clear whether the vaccine caused these events. People sometimes faint after medical procedures, including vaccination. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears. As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death. What options are available to protect babies from RSV? RSV vaccines (given during pregnancy) and Monoclonal antibody products (given to the infant) can protect infants and young children from severe RSV. For most babies, either the maternal RSV vaccine or the preventive antibody is recommended to prevent RSV disease, but not both. Nirsevimab (Beyfortus) is a monoclonal antibody that can protect infants and some young children from severe RSV disease. CDC recommends all infants get protected from RSV either through a vaccination in pregnancy or by giving the infant nirsevimab after birth. There are several ways to prevent RSV, so talk to a health care provider to determine which option is best for you, your baby, or other family member. Where can I get more information about the RSV vaccine or the preventive antibody? Read the Vaccine Information Statement for the RSV vaccine. Read the Immunization Information Statement for the RSV preventive antibody nirsevimab.