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Effectiveness and impact of universal prophylaxis with nirsevimab in infants against hospitalisation for respiratory syncytial virus in Galicia, Spain: initial results of a population-based longitudinal study.

BACKGROUND: Galicia (Spain) was one of the first regions worldwide to incorporate nirsevimab for universal respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) prophylaxis in infants into its immunisation programme. The NIRSE-GAL longitudinal population-based study aimed to assess nirsevimab effectiveness in preventing hospitalisations (ie, admittance to hospital).

METHODS: The 2023-24 immunisation campaign with nirsevimab in Galicia began on Sept 25, 2023, and concluded on March 31, 2024. The campaign targeted three groups: infants born during the campaign (seasonal group), infants younger than 6 months at the start of the campaign (catch-up group), and infants aged 6-24 months with high-risk factors at the start of the campaign (high-risk group). Infants in the seasonal group were offered immunisation on the first day of life before discharge from hospital. Infants in the catch-up and high-risk groups received electronic appointments to attend a public hospital or health-care centre for nirsevimab administration. For this interim analysis, we used data collected from Sept 25 to Dec 31, 2023, from children born up to Dec 15, 2023. Data were retrieved from public health registries. Nirsevimab effectiveness in preventing RSV-associated lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) hospitalisations; severe RSV-related LRTI requiring intensive care unit admission, mechanical ventilation, or oxygen support; all-cause LRTI hospitalisations; and all-cause hospitalisations was estimated using adjusted Poisson regression models. Data from five past RSV seasons (2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2022-23), excluding the COVID-19 pandemic period, were used to estimate the number of RSV-related LRTI hospitalisations averted along with its IQR. The number needed to immunise to avoid one case in the 2023-24 season was then estimated from the averted cases. Nirsevimab safety was routinely monitored. The NIRSE-GAL study protocol was registered on (NCT06180993), and follow-up of participants is ongoing.

FINDINGS: 9408 (91·7%) of 10 259 eligible infants in the seasonal and catch-up groups received nirsevimab, including 6220 (89·9%) of 6919 in the seasonal group and 3188 (95·4%) of 3340 in the catch-up group. 360 in the high-risk group were offered nirsevimab, 348 (97%) of whom received it. Only infants in the seasonal and catch-up groups were included in analyses to estimate nirsevimab effectiveness and impact because there were too few events in the high-risk group. In the catch-up and seasonal groups combined, 30 (0·3%) of 9408 infants who received nirsevimab and 16 (1·9%) of 851 who did not receive nirsevimab were hospitalised for RSV-related LRTI, corresponding to an effectiveness of 82·0% (95% CI 65·6-90·2). Effectiveness was 86·9% (69·1-94·2) against severe RSV-related LRTI requiring oxygen support, 69·2% (55·9-78·0) against all-cause LRTI hospitalisations, and 66·2% (56·0-73·7) against all-cause hospitalisations. Nirsevimab effectiveness against other endpoints of severe RSV-related LRTI could not be estimated because of too few events. RSV-related LRTI hospitalisations were reduced by 89·8% (IQR 87·5-90·3), and the number needed to immunise to avoid one RSV-related LRTI hospitalisation was 25 (IQR 24-32). No severe adverse events related to nirsevimab were registered.

INTERPRETATION: Nirsevimab substantially reduced infant hospitalisations for RSV-associated LRTI, severe RSV-associated LRTI requiring oxygen, and all-cause LRTI when given in real-world conditions. These findings offer policy makers and health authorities robust, real-world, population-based evidence to guide the development of strategies for RSV prevention.

FUNDING: Sanofi and AstraZeneca.

TRANSLATION: For the Spanish translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.

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