Older woman carrying baby in front pack with words "babies and adults ages 60+ can get added protection from RSV this season"

RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus) is a common respiratory virus that generally spreads during fall and winter. Nearly all children will get RSV for the first time before the age of two. It’s possible to get RSV more than once and people can get infected at any age.  

Most people with RSV will have only mild, cold-like symptoms, but it can be serious for infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.  

RSV Vaccines and Protective Medicines 

There are now more ways for infants, some older babies, and adults ages 60 and older to get extra protection from severe RSV.  

Adults Ages 60 and Older

RSV symptoms can be more serious in older adults because our immune systems can weaken with age. The risk is higher for older adults who also have certain medical conditions, like chronic heart or lung diseases or who are immunocompromised.

Two RSV vaccines are now approved for use in adults 60 and older. 

  • RSV vaccine is a single dose vaccine that can be given at any time throughout the year. 

  • Currently, it is not recommended to get a dose each year. 

Talk to your health care provider to see if RSV vaccination is recommended for you.

More on RSV vaccines for older adults (CDC)

Infants and Some Older Babies

RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization in infants in the U.S. Babies are at higher risk for developing severe RSV because their immune systems and lungs are still developing. Severe RSV can cause lung inflammation (bronchiolitis) or lung infection (pneumonia) that can make breathing difficult. 

There are now two ways to give babies added protection during RSV season:

  1. RSV vaccine given during end of pregnancy (weeks 32 – 36) in September through January


  1. Protective medicine for infants and some older babies (also called preventive or monoclonal antibody products). Please note: These medicines are in very short supply for the 2023-2024 RSV season and may not be available to all babies.

    • Infants younger than 8 months entering their first RSV season should get one dose of a protective medicine. This medicine is given as a shot. 

    • Some children ages 8 to 19 months should get a shot at the start of their second RSV season. This includes children who have chronic lung disease from being born early, cystic fibrosis with severe disease, are immunocompromised, or are American Indian or Alaska Native.

    • Most babies do not need protective medicine if a RSV vaccine was given during pregnancy at least two weeks before birth.

Talk to your prenatal or family health care provider about RSV immunizations.

More on RSV immunizations to protect babies (CDC)

Everyday Prevention Steps

Whether it’s RSV, flu, COVID-19, or another contagious illness, these everyday prevention steps can help protect you from getting sick or spreading germs:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or tissue.

  • Avoid contact with others if you or they are sick.

  • Consider wearing a mask, especially if you or people you are with are at higher risk of serious illness, or if you have recently been around someone with symptoms of COVID-19. 


Currently, there is no RSV antiviral medicine that can reduce the severity or length of illness. Antibiotics do not treat viruses, like those that cause colds, flu, RSV or COVID-19. 

If you or your child is diagnosed with RSV, treatments may include supportive care at home for mild symptoms or hospitalization for severe symptoms.