Using Vaccines to Fight Outbreaks
- Explain how vaccines interact with the immune system.
- Differentiate between how vaccines protect individuals and populations.
- Investigate how parameters like vaccine effectiveness and percentage of the population that has been vaccinated can affect the outcomes of viral outbreaks.
What exactly is a vaccine? Can vaccines prevent outbreaks? How effective does a vaccine need to be to help a population during an outbreak? Students will explore these questions and more in this lesson plan by first learning the biology behind vaccines. They will then use SimPandemic, a free online tool, to model different vaccine parameters to understand how vaccines affect both individuals and populations during a COVID-19 outbreak.
Remote learning adaptation: This lesson plan can be conducted remotely. Students can work independently on the Explore section of the lesson plan using the Student Worksheet as a guide. The Engage and Reflect sections can either be dropped entirely, done in writing remotely, or be conducted over a video chat.
NGSS AlignmentThis lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
Area of Science
Human Biology & Health
Pandemics – COVID-19
vaccines, outbreaks, vaccine effectiveness, disease modeling, COVID-19
Sandra Slutz, PhD, Science Buddies
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