RSV Immunisation

‘Game Changer’ immunisation for thousands of WA babies  

Earlier in March, Western Australia announced a state government-funded immunisation program against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). It was the first Australian state or territory to do so. All babies under eight months old and those aged eight to 19 months at increased risk of severe RSV infection will be eligible for the immunisation in WA this year. RSV can cause serious illness in children, and news headlines have welcomed WA’s impending rollout. Infants in their first year of life are at highest risk. RSV can also have long-lasting effects on children with RSV in early life associated with subsequent childhood asthma.

An immunisation is now available to protect babies from RSV. This provides long-acting antibodies (known as “monoclonal antibodies”), delivered by injection to young children to protect them from becoming sick with RSV. This is what will be offered in WA. Nirsevimab (also known as Beyfortus) is a long-acting antibody that Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved in November 2023. Nirsevimab binds specifically to RSV and remains in the body for up to five months after injection. In a key clinical trial nirsevimab was shown to reduce RSV lower respiratory tract infections requiring medical attention by about 79%. Several European countries and the USA have recently implemented infant programs with nirsevimab and are reporting significantly lower RSV hospitalisation rates in babies. RSV is the most common cause of respiratory infection in young children. By the age of two, almost all children show evidence they’ve been exposed to the virus. Free access to an immunisation against RSV should significantly benefit young children and families in WA, keeping children out of hospital this winter.

Ordering for nirsevimab open Tuesday April 2

Providers offering infant immunisation services are eligible to order government-funded nirsevimab for the WA RSV Infant Immunisation Program. Eligible providers were offered a pre-allocation of nirsevimab doses to commence the catch-up program. Additional immunisation doses will be available to order through Onelink from 10:00 AM on 2 April 2024.


This flyer gives all the important information on RSV for Aboriginal families and communities:

Additional resources are also available: