I like to begin each class with what I call Q/A. I use it for:
Q/A: Measles —among the most contagious diseases—had been eliminated in the U.S. since 2000. SSSOOOOO, Why are measles outbreaks in the news now?
TEACHER NOTES: A measles vaccine was introduce in 1963. In the late 1960’s, vaccines were available to protect against Mumps (1967) and Rubella (1969. The MMR was introduced in 1971. A entire generation of children became immune to those diseases because parents wanted their children vaccinated (protected) from those diseases. Why? People KNEW the risk of these diseases because as children they were infected with those diseases and some experienced the complications as a result of those diseases.
Possible answers from your students:
1. The anti vaccine movement has been very successful. As a result There are communities more afraid of the vaccine than the disease. They don’t understand the risk of measles or the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Therefore, the vaccine rate has dropped in specific communities (this is becoming a world wide problem. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/apr/15/measles-cases-up-300-worldwide-2019-says-who-vaccination )
The story of Anti vaccination movement—I did not know that there has always been an anti-vaccination movement
2. The level of vaccination needed to achieve herd immunity varies by disease but ranges from 83 to 94 percent. Once the vaccine immune rates drop below 80% (some communities below 60%) the community protection many not be enough to prevent the disease from spreading to those who have not been vaccinated. Measles (or other diseases) is introduced from someone who had been traveling outside the country or visiting from another country. Last night on CBS news—Measles Outbreak Prompts Quarantines at U.C.L.A. and California State-Los Angeles. A contagious student attended classes at UCLA. Another student with measles entered a library at Cal State L.A. People are being quarantined for 21 days.
People get vaccines because they are more afraid of the disease than they are afraid of the vaccine. You become afraid of the disease because you SEE what it can do. Since the introduction of polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox vaccines (1960’s) our children or our neighbors haven’t been infected. So, we have no fear of these diseases.
Click on the website below to viewpictures of people waiting in line for the polio vaccine. The lines were long because people KNEW what could happen to their BABY, TODDLER OR TEEN and that WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. FEAR is a motivator.
Homework project for your students:
Follow up Q/A:
So, why do we have unvaccinated communities?