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To Vaccinate, or Not to Vaccinate

That is the Question


Author(s)

Caren D. Shapiro
Department of Mathematics & Natural Sciences
D’Youville College
shapiroc@dyc.edu

Abstract

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.


Objectives

  • 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.

Keywords

Vaccine; vaccination; infectious disease; bacterial disease

Topical Areas

Ethics, Social issues

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Dilemma/Decision, Discussion

Language

English

Subject Headings

Medicine (General)  |   Biology (General)  |   Microbiology  |   Public Health  |  


Date Posted

08/07/01

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