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Current Issues

Start exploring resources for various current issues.

Introduction

The impact that vaccines and immunizations have had on humanity has been overwhelmingly positive in protecting populations from -- and preventing -- disease outbreaks. Vaccination goes back hundreds of years to early efforts at preventing major smallpox outbreaks, based on the observation that milkmaids (who would encounter cow pox) rarely contracted the deadlier smallpox. Vaccines introduce a small amount of weakened or killed virus that the body can easily overcome, creating antibodies against future exposures to that pathogen.

However, a growing portion of the population has concerns based on suspicion of pharmaceutical company profit motives to mistrust of the ingredients of vaccines to outright conspiracy theories about microchips for tracking people in the vaccines. Some worry about the schedule and quantity of vaccines, especially those administered to young children (the CDC recommends approximately 18 vaccines).

Immunologists and Virologists

Finding Resources

There are many topics related to vaccines and immunization.  Here are several examples to illustrate the range of topics to choose from:

  • Herd immunity
  • Autism
  • Public health
  • Parental consent
  • Mandatory vaccinations
  • Child mortality and immunizations
  • Pandemics, epidemics
  • Vaccine developers
  • Effects on babies’ immune systems
  • Alternative medicine
  • Vaccine hesitancy

The CDC has defined many useful terms that can assist students with research on vaccines and immunizations.  Here are several helpful keywords to consider when starting your research:

  • Bacteria
  • Immunity
  • Antibody
  • Virus
  • Antigen
  • Microbes
  • Antiviral
  • Exposure
  • Quarantine

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