Advocating the Importance of RSV Prevention for infants, children and adults 65+

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) poses a significant burden to healthcare systems, primarily due to hospitalizations and medical interventions for severe cases. Prevention strategies are crucial, especially for vulnerable groups. For children, monoclonal antibodies can be effective in preventing severe RSV disease. Maternal vaccination is another strategy, which helps in transferring protective antibodies to the fetus, offering newborns some level of immunity. Additionally, vaccinating older adults (65+) can reduce the incidence of severe respiratory complications. These strategies protect high-risk groups and alleviate the strain on healthcare resources.

Prevention against RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is important because it:

  • Protects Vulnerable Populations: Especially infants, young children, and older adults, who are at higher risk of severe RSV infections.
  • Prevents Severe Respiratory Illnesses: Reducing the incidence of serious conditions like bronchiolitis and pneumonia.
  • Reduces Hospitalizations: Lowering the number of hospital admissions, particularly during RSV seasons.
  • Alleviates Healthcare System Strain: Managing healthcare resources more efficiently by reducing severe cases.
  • Reduction in Antibiotic Use: Preventing bacterial superinfections that can arise from RSV, thereby decreasing the reliance on antibiotics.

Vaccinating adults aged 65 and older against RSV:

  • Higher Risk of Severe Disease: This age group is more susceptible to developing severe respiratory complications from RSV.
  • Weakened Immune Systems: Older adults often have weaker immune responses, making them more vulnerable to infections.
  • Reduction in Hospitalizations: Vaccination can significantly reduce the number of hospital admissions due to RSV-related complications in this age group.
  • Overall Health Protection: Preventing RSV infections can help maintain the general health and well-being of the elderly population.

Maternal vaccination against RSV:

  • It can provide passive immunity to newborns, offering protection in their early, vulnerable months.
  • Newborns and young infants are at high risk for severe RSV infections, and maternal antibodies can help reduce this risk.
  • Protecting infants through maternal vaccination can decrease hospitalizations and complications associated with RSV in this age group.

Preventing RSV infections in infants:

  • Targeted Protection: Monoclonal antibodies provide specific protection against RSV for infants who are at high risk.
  • Bridging Immunity: They offer immediate immunity for newborns and young infants who are too young for vaccines.
  • Reducing Severe Outcomes: This approach can significantly reduce the risk of severe respiratory complications associated with RSV in infants.

Implementing a vaccination strategy for RSV infections faces several challenges:

  • Public Awareness: There's a need to increase awareness about RSV and the benefits of vaccination.
  • Access and Distribution: Ensuring the prevention tools (monoclonal antibodies and vaccines) are accessible to all who need them, especially in resource-limited settings.
  • Vaccine Hesitancy: Overcoming reluctance or refusal to vaccinate due to misinformation or lack of understanding.
  • Integration into Existing Schedules: Coordinating RSV vaccination with other routine immunizations, especially in infants and the elderly.
  • Monitoring and Surveillance: Keeping track of RSV strains to ensure vaccine effectiveness and adapt strategies as needed.

Members and Participating Organisations

Sir Terence Stephenson, Honorary Consultant & Nuffield Professor of Child Health, UCL GOS Institute of Child Health(UK) ● Lieke Sanders (Institute of Public health and the Environment, Netherlands) Francisco Ribeiro Mourao (European Junior Doctors) ● Simon Nadel (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust) ● Susanna Esposito (World Association for Infectious Diseases and Immunological Disorders) ● Eugenio Baraldi (Respiratory Syncytial Virus Network) ● Irena Bralic (University of Split) ● Chloe Lebbos (European Pharmaceutical Students' Association) ● Conall Watson (UK Health Security Agency) ● Elizabeth Adams (European Federation of Nurses Associations) ● Francisco Gimenez-Sanchez (Balmis Institute of Vaccines) ● Mihai Craiu (Carol Davila University of Medicine, Romania)  ● Ber Oomen (European Specialist Nurses Organisation) ● Roy Philip (University Maternity Hospital Limerick) ● George Syrogiannopoulos (University of Thessaly) Anne Teirlinck (RIVM - Centre for Infectious Disease Control,​ Netherlands) Francois Angoulvant ​(Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois​, ​Switzerland) Lies Kriek (ReSViNET Foundation, RSV Patient Network, Patient Advisory Board​)​ Brenda Wyninga​ (RSV Patient Network - Patient Advisory Board​)​ George Valiotis​ (​European Health Management Association EHMA) Jonne Terstappen​ ​​(Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, Utrecht​, Netherlands)​ Daniel Bausch​ (Global Health Security, FIND Switzerland​ - ​London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, ​United Kingdom)• Catherine Weil-Olivier (Paris VII University) ● Timo Vesikari (Nordic Research Network) ● Jane Barratt (International Federation on Ageing - IFA) ● Roy Philip (University Maternity Hospital Limerick GEMS, Ireland) ● Alison Maassen (EuroHealthNet) ● Daniel Bausch (UK Public Health Rapid Support, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine





Action Plans and Reports

Based on all the work and collaboration between the Working Groups in the Expert mapping surveys and the Working Group Meetings organised each year, the reports include Observations, Challenges, Strategies and Suggested Campaigns/Actions for each barrier or observation. Working alongside partners and supporters, we will tackle as many areas as possible and conduct as many proposed actions to overcome barriers to vaccination uptake.