Science and Tech


CDC: 128 pregnant people and 25 infants received the wrong RSV shot

Although no serious harm or adverse reactions have been reported from the errors, the CDC emphasizes caution when administering the shots.
Someone with gloves holds RSV test kit.
Posted at 5:54 PM, Feb 15, 2024

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent out a warning to clinicians and pharmacists to be careful with RSV vaccines after reports of pregnant individuals and infants receiving the wrong ones.

Currently, Pfizer’s Abrysvo and GSK’s Arexvy are both authorized for adults over 60 as vaccines against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). However, Abrysvo is the only one approved for pregnant individuals, and neither of them are approved for young children.

Now the CDC is sounding the alarm because, as of Jan. 17, 2024, there have been reports that 128 pregnant people received the wrong RSV shot, and 25 children under 2 received an RSV vaccine approved for use in adults only.

"Most reports of administration errors in young children occurred in infants younger than 8 months. Administration errors for both young children and pregnant people occurred in outpatient settings, including doctor’s offices; administration errors of the GSK RSV vaccine (Arexvy) in pregnant people also occurred in pharmacies," the CDC stated. 

Although no serious harm or adverse reactions have been reported from the errors, the CDC emphasizes that Arexvy has not been tested in pregnant women or children, so the current information regarding its effects in these groups is limited.

The CDC tells clinicians and pharmacists that if babies get the wrong RSV shot, they should be given the monoclonal antibody nirsevimab; pregnant people who get the wrong shot should not be given another shot. The CDC also encourages medical professionals to train staff on recommendations, check labels carefully, and follow storage and administration guidelines.

According to the CDC, RSV is highly contagious and can be dangerous for infants, young children and certain adults.