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RSV Prophylaxis Program:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my child have vaccines on the same day or in the same week that they receive palivizumab (Synagis®)?

Yes, palivizumab does not interact with other vaccines. We do not give routine immunizations at the RSV Clinic. Your child should see your pediatrician or family doctor for routine immunizations.

How long will the appointment last?

Your child’s appointment with the RSV Clinic should last about 45 minutes.

My baby is sick on the day of the clinic appointment, should I cancel?

A mild cold or illness is not a reason to cancel the palivizumab injection. It can even be given safely if your child has a mild fever. If you are in doubt, contact the C1 clinic at extension 2352 and ask for the Nurse Coordinator to discuss your child’s symptoms.

What are the side effects of the medication?

As with any medication, an allergic reaction is a possible but rare side effect. We will ask you to stay in the clinic for a little while after the injection to make sure your child is not having a reaction. The most common side effect is a small bump or redness at the injection site that lasts for a couple of days. Some children may be a bit tender or sore at the site for a short time. Some children may also get a mild fever. For pain or fever, you can give your child ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) or acetaminophen (Tylenol®, Tempra®)

Can my child still get RSV?

The goal of the treatment program is to prevent severe RSV infection. But once in a while, children on the program do get sick with an RSV infection. When this happens, it is usually a much milder infection. Even when your child is getting the treatment to prevent RSV, you will still need to be careful with hand washing and keep your baby away from others who have colds.

Should my child get the ‘flu’ shot?

Yes, the flu shot prevents influenza which is a different virus. Palivizumab does not offer any protection against influenza. Unless there are medical reasons not to, every person 6 months of age and older can benefit from a flu shot. Flu shots are usually available in the late fall each year. Talk to your child’s pediatrician or family doctor or check out Ottawa Public Health for more information on free community flu shot clinics.

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