Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Protecting Older Adults at Risk for Serious Complications

Released On
January 7, 2022

Expires On
January 7, 2023

Media Type

Completion Time
60 minutes

Primary Care, Family Practice, Infectious Disease, Pulmonology

Adult Vaccination

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This activity is provided by The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower.

This activity is supported by an educational grant from Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP.

Credit Available

  • Physicians — maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)
  • Nurses — 1.0 Nursing Contact Hours

All other health care professionals completing this course will be issued a statement of participation.

Target Audience

This activity was developed for family practice physicians, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and other healthcare professionals who care for older adults.

Program Overview

Each year, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infects up to 10% of older adults who live in congregate settings and predisposes to an increased risk for hospitalization and death, particularly in those with comorbid cardiopulmonary disease. Stefan Gravenstein, MD, MPH, compares the burden of RSV with other viral infections in older adults and emphasizes the importance of making and how to make the diagnosis. He discusses the symptomatic management, but emphasizes the importance of instituting preventive measures since there are no currently approved medications for acute or preventive treatment of RSV in older adults (as of November 30, 2021). Dr. Gravenstein also highlights several vaccines that are in late phase development to prevent RSV infection in older adults.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be better able to:

  • Discuss the burden of disease related to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in adults
  • Explain the risk factors for RSV infection in adults
  • Identify opportunities to reduce the risk for serious RSV-associated complications in older adults
  • Integrate prophylactic vaccinations related to RSV into the routine management of older adults



Angela Branche, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, New York

Stefan Gravenstein, MD, MPH

Professor of Medicine
Director, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care
Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island

Accreditation Statement

The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Physician Credit Designation

The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nursing Credit Designation

Annenberg Center for Health Sciences is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. A maximum of 1.0 contact hour may be earned for successful completion of this activity.

Provider is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #13664, for 1.0 contact hour. To receive credit for education contact hours outside of the state of California, please check with your state board of registered nursing for reciprocity.

Disclosures of Conflicts of Interest


Angela Branche, MD
  • Consultant: GlaxoSmithKline
  • Research Support: CyanVac, Janssen, Merck, Pfizer
Stefan Gravenstein, MD, MPH
  • Consultant: Janssen, Merck, Novartis, Sanofi Aventis, Seqirus, Vaxart
  • Research Support: Genentech, Pfizer, Sanofi Aventis, Seqirus

Additional content planners

The following have no significant relationship to disclose:
Eugene Cullen, MD (peer reviewer)
Amber Lea Lambert, MSN, FNP-C, DNP (nurse reviewer)
Greg Scott, PharmD (medical writer)

Annenberg Center for Health Sciences
Staff at the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower have no relevant commercial relationships to disclose.

Instructions for Participation and Credit

There are no fees for participating and receiving CME credit for this enduring activity. To receive CME credit participants must:

  1. Read the CME/CE information and faculty disclosures.
  2. Participate in the online activity.
  3. Submit the evaluation form.
Certificates will be emailed to the participant

Course Viewing Requirements

Supported Browsers:
Internet Explorer 8.0+ for Windows 2003, Vista, XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and above
Google Chrome 28.0+ for Windows, Mac OS, or Linux
Mozilla Firefox 23.0+ for Windows, Mac OS, or Linux
Safari 6.0+ for Mac OSX 10.7 and above

Supported Phones & Tablets:
Android 4.0.3 and above
iPhone/iPad with iOS 6.1 or above

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use

The faculty for this activity has disclosed that there will be discussion about the use of products for non-FDA approved applications.


The ideas and opinions presented in this educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Annenberg Center and/or its agents. As in all educational activities, we encourage practitioners to use their own judgment in treating and addressing the needs of each individual patient, taking into account that patient’s unique clinical situation. The Annenberg Center disclaims all liability and cannot be held responsible for any problems that may arise from participating in this activity or following treatment recommendations presented.

Contact Information

For CME questions please contact: