Media release

Babies guaranteed protection against RSV

AMA Queensland commends the Queensland Government’s decision to follow Western Australia’s lead and introduce a free Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) immunisation program to protect our most vulnerable.

RSV is a common and often severe disease among infants, and case numbers are only increasing. This year alone, nearly 6,000 cases of RSV have been recorded in Queensland, including 64 hospitalisations.

“More than 2,100 children under two have already been diagnosed with RSV this year, so this free immunisation could not have come at a more vital time,” AMA Queensland President Dr Maria Boulton said.

“AMA Queensland has been advocating for free access to the RSV vaccine to keep babies healthy and out of hospitals.

"We are incredibly pleased to see that the government has listened.

“Last year over 3,500 people were hospitalised with RSV, and concerningly, half of them were under the age of five.

“RSV is the main cause of hospitalisations for children five and under, and we look forward to this free rollout changing this statistic.

“The cost barrier to keep up with all the recommended vaccinations and immunisations for children is a challenge for so many families, and this free access will ensure all parents can prioritise their baby’s health.

“For parents with young children, respiratory illnesses can be extremely scary.

“It is terrifying to watch your baby struggle to breathe freely.

“Having access to this free protective measure will not only give parents some peace of mind but will save so many lives.

“This antibody is proven to be a safe and effective way to prevent severe RSV symptoms and will drastically reduce the risk of hospitalisation by 80 per cent.

“Access to vaccines is an essential pillar of preventative healthcare that helps keep people healthy while alleviating pressures on hospitals and primary care services across the state.

“This is fantastic news for Queenslanders, and we encourage all parents to have their eligible babies immunised against RSV.”


  • The State Government announced its 12-month, $31 million program which will offer all Queensland families free immunisations for newborn babies against this common yet often severe disease among infants and children.
  • Almost all Queensland children will experience at least one RSV infection by the time they turn two.
  • From the end of April, infants and young children including newborns, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants less than 8 months and infants with certain complex medical conditions up to 19 months will be eligible for the immunisation.
  • In January 2024, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved an RSV vaccine available through private prescriptions for those 60 and above.
  • The over 60s vaccine is not included in this program or available free under the National Immunisation Program. It is currently available through private prescription for a fee.

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