With H1N1 flu, sometimes called "swine flu", poised to make a comeback
this year governments are racing to produce and supply adequate amounts of vaccine.
The World Health Organization spokesman Gregory Hartl says the
vaccine production is "substantially less" than the goal of 94 million doses
a week, because some manufacturers are still working on vaccines for seasonal
Despite concerns that multiple doses would be necessary for each person,
recent research has shown one dose of the vaccine should provide adequate protection,
studies show, alleviating some of the supply demands. This lesson addresses just
how vaccines are made.
1. Introduce students to some of the key vocabulary they will need to understand
by splitting them into pairs or groups and distributing the Vaccine
Vocabulary activity. Review the directions and provide students with
5-10 minutes to complete the activity using their prior knowledge.
Discuss the correct answers to the Vaccine Vocabulary activity (see teacher
key) to be sure that students understand what each word means.
Facilitate a short full class discussion using questions such as:
- What role do you think vaccines play in preventing the spread of disease?
we did not have vaccines to help prevent diseases, what are the possible effects
that could have on how schools, businesses and society might operate during outbreaks
of transmittable illnesses?
- What do you know about how vaccines are produced?
Brainstorm with students and make a list of ideas on the board or overhead.
Split the class into partners/groups and have students work together to learn
about how vaccines are made by using content available on the Online NewsHour
Health Watch and other related
resources. Distribute the Project Guidelines and review the requirements
Part 1 together.
5. Allow students with ample class time to complete
the research for Part 1 of the project. As a class, outline the specific steps
found by students by creating a list on the board/overhead and discussing the
specifics of each step.
6. Direct students back to the
Project Guidelines and review the requirements for Part
2. Provide students with class time to prepare their work and presentation
for the class.
7. When projects are completed, provide time for each
group to share what they have created with their classmates. Post the projects
around the classroom. After the presentations, close with a final discussion
using questions such as:
- Based on what you learned about how vaccines
are made and what they are used for, what are some common misconceptions or myths
that you hear people discussing when talking about vaccines?
- What are
some of the most common diseases that are prevented using vaccines?
questions do you still have about vaccines and the way they are used to prevent
1. Create a public awareness campaign about the importance of vaccinations
in disease control. Students could focus on a specific vaccine or make a
more general appeal in their service announcements.
2. Interview a
health care provider about a specific disease that can now be prevented or has
been virtually eradicated as a result of vaccinations. Write a news article
based on the interview.
3. Study some of the controversial vaccines
of our day as well as those that were unsuccessful in the past. Learn about
what caused the controversy related to the vaccine and/or why it was not a success
in treating the disease it was designed to prevent.