Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The CDC said Thursday it is releasing more than 77,000 more doses of the RSV monoclonal antibody vaccine Beyfortus, designed to protect infants from severe effects of the respiratory virus.
The additional doses are to be distributed immediately through hospitals and doctors as well as through other commercial channels amid a constrained supply of the vaccine.
The CDC is partnering with the Food and Drug Administration to deliver the additional doses.
"CDC and FDA are committed to expanding access to this important immunization so that more parents have peace of mind during the winter virus season," said the CDC's Dr. Nirav D. Shah in a statement.
The CDC action is aimed at making RSV vaccines easier to obtain by doctors using the Vaccines For Children program.
"Helping to ensure the availability of this preventative option to reduce the impact of RSV disease on eligible babies and young children, families and the health care system remains a priority," said the FDA's Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni in a statement.
Both the CDC and FDA also are working with healthcare provider groups such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to encourage greater use of the RSV maternal vaccine. It can be given to pregnant women to protect babies from RSV before they are born.
The CDC is urging doctors to prioritize the 100 mg doses of the vaccine for babies at highest risk for the potentially deadly disease.
RSV can be deadly for infants, people over 60 and those who are immune- compromised.