To Vaccinate, or Not to Vaccinate
That is the Question
Department of Mathematics & Natural Sciences
The case was prompted by a newspaper story about a couple who refused on religious grounds to have their son vaccinated even though vaccination is a requirement for admission to the public schools. It explores the issues surrounding the necessity and consequences of vaccination. The case is suitable for both non-majors and allied health biology courses.
- To understand the difference between infection and disease.
- To understand the consequences of vaccine-preventable microbial diseases.
- To understand the purposes of different vaccines (e.g., lowering the risk of serious disease versus prevention of infection).
- To understand that vaccines differ in their efficacy.
- To understand the side-effects of vaccines.
- To understand how infections are transmitted as well as risks associated with infection transmission from and to unvaccinated individuals.
- To gain an understanding of the notion of risk vs. benefit in decision making about being vaccinated (in general and for particular vaccines).
- To become acquainted with the various sources of information available about vaccine efficacy, side-effects, etc.
KeywordsVaccine; vaccination; infectious disease; bacterial disease
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Type MethodsDilemma/Decision, Discussion
Subject HeadingsMedicine (General) Biology (General) Microbiology Public Health
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