Lesson 4: Vaccine History and Research

This lesson is designed to describe, identify and analyze key discoveries, the leading scientists, and the main ethical considerations of vaccine research. Students read from Dr. Paul Offit’s book, Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases and view a section of the documentary film, Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children. Students investigate the roles of recombinant technology and viral attenuation in the manufacture of modern vaccines. They complete a timeline of vaccine history and write an essay on the methods and ethics of using recombinant technology to manufacture vaccines. The animations Attenuation: How Scientists Make Live Vaccines and Using Genetic Engineering to Make Vaccines are viewed.

Time: Two to three 45-minute sessions

Lesson questions

  • Describe key discoveries in the history of vaccine research.
  • Identify leading scientists in the history of vaccine research.
  • Analyze ethical considerations of vaccine research.

Teacher files

Here you'll find your lesson plan and a quick overview of the lesson content, activities and recommended prerequisites.

Lesson resources

Student files

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