Healthy living

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) immunisation

  • The RSV imunisation is safe and effective at preventing RSV.
  • One dose of nirsevimab protects babies for at least 5 months
  • Once your child receives the nirsevimab immunisation, it will be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)

From April 2024, the RSV immunisation, nirsevimab (Beyfortus®) will be available to eligible babies and children born from 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2024.

Why should you immunise your baby?

The antibody in nirsevimab can prevent severe lung disease caused by RSV. Medical studies show nirsevimab to be about 80 per cent effective at preventing RSV-associated hospitalisation among infants entering their first RSV season (typically from May to September in WA) and 90 per cent effective at preventing an admission to an intensive care unit (ICU).

When is the best time to immunise your baby against RSV?

One dose of nirsevimab protects babies for at least 5 months, which is the length of an average RSV season (typically from May to September in WA).

Babies born during the RSV season should receive a single dose of nirsevimab before leaving the birthing hospital.

Is the RSV immunisation safe and effective?

The RSV imunisation is safe and effective at preventing RSV.

Studies have shown that the immunisation used in WA immunisation programs are safe to use on babies and children.

Who is eligible for RSV infant immunisation?

From 1 April 2024 to 30 September 2024, nirsevimab will be offered:

  • as a catch-up program for babies born from 1 October 2023 to 30 April 2024
  • to all Aboriginal children born from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2024
  • to some medically at-risk children in their second RSV season born from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023 (your child’s doctor will advise you if your child should receive a dose).

Additionally, nirsevimab will be offered at birth to all babies born between 1 May and 30 September 2024.

Where to get immunised?

Babies born between May and September can get immunised at birth when delivering at a public or private birthing hospital. Additionally, it is available for eligible babies at most:

This program will not be available at community pharmacies.

Learn more about where to get immunised.

What should I let my child’s health care provider know before the injection?

Tell your health care provider if your child:

  • has ever had a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of medicine containing antibodies
  • has a bleeding disorder
  • is currently experiencing a moderate or severe illness.

Children experiencing a minor illness, such as a cold, can safely receive the RSV immunisation. Children who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover. Your health care provider can give you more information about what is best for your child.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, the nirsevimab may cause side effects in some babies.

Although uncommon, side effects can include:

  • rash
  • pain, redness and swelling at injection site
  • fever

Almost all reactions are minor and usually go away within a few days. Serious side effects from immunisation are very rare. Learn more about possible side effects, how to manage them, and what to do when you have concerns about side effects.

Where to get help

More information

For immuisation information, contact your local immunisation provider.

Last reviewed: 08-03-2024

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.