Atlanta — Lucas Cerna’s mother gives him a Respiratory syncytial virus shot while his pediatrician still has it in stock.

“I saw a lot of things in the news and babies are getting really sick, so I thought, might as well do it,” Cerna’s mother, Alexandra Perez, told CBS News.

The Beyfortus antibody vaccine, made by drugmakers AstraZeneca and Sanofi, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in July as a way to prevent RSV in infants and children up to 24 months.

Request the shooting is unprecedented. It’s so popular that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends pediatricians like Dr. Jennifer Shu of Children’s Medical Group in Atlanta give it only to their most vulnerable patients, including infants under six months and those with underlying illnesses. which put them in danger.

“We hope this will really reduce hospitalizations, as well as complications like pneumonia or even death,” said Shu, who added that in Georgia, cases continue to rise and she is almost out of vaccines.

Parts of the southern United States have seen an increase in RSV transmission in recent months, according to the CDC. Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, reported Friday that more than 200 of its patients tested positive for RSV last week.

Symptoms of RSV include high fever, worsening cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms can lead to hospitalization or even death.

“Their immune system is not yet developed,” Shu said of why infants are so vulnerable to RSV. “…The second thing is that their airways are a little smaller.”

Chris Comstock’s 20-month-old daughter Adilynn contracted RSV in September. She spent nine days fighting for her life at Children’s Healthcare Atlanta.

“I just remember my wife and I standing in the hospital room crying and asking, ‘What are you doing?'” Comstock said. “I have no control, sitting in this hospital room, knowing there’s nothing I can do to help my child. And then I watch her walk and run and get healthy again. You can’t put a price on the gratitude that we have.”

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