we learned recently that little odin has been approved to receive shots to help prevent him from getting something known as respiratory syncycial virus (rsv). healthy, full-term babies can often weather a bout of rsv with no ill effects, but micropreemies are at much greater risk for developing llife threatening complications from the virus, so we’re very happy that he’s going to be getting a monthly shot of “humanized monoclonal antibodies” which are marketed under the brand name of Synagis® (palivizumab).
rsv is the leading cause of viral death in children under the age of five and each year each year, as many as 125,000 children are hospitalized with serious rsv disease.
since odin was born at 25 weeks and is less than 6 months old it’s not terribly surprising that he was approved to receive that shots as we enter into “rsv season”. what is surprising is that our insurance company is going to not only pay for the shots, but they’re also going to pay for a nurse to administer them at home, which will help us avoid risky visits to our pediatrician’s office, which is the very place one would expect to encounter snot-nosed kids spreading the virus like wildfire.
home delivery of the rsv medicine can cost anywhere between a $1,000-$2,000 a shot and must be given monthly, so many micropreemie parents who have insurance plans that don’t cover the injections can find themselves in the uncomfortable position of choosing between food on the table or giving the child a potentially life saving medicine. i subscribe to a preemie discussion board that’s flooded with messages from distrought parents who are struggling to figure out how they are going to pay for the rsv shots after their insurance company deemed them ineligible.
needless to say, we’re feeling mighty fortunate that we’re not going to have to pay a single penny for the shots.