Questions for ‘Vaccines help everyone — even the unvaccinated’


Most people think that vaccines only help those who get that shot in their arm. In fact, vaccines also limit the spread of disease to people who, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated.


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To accompany feature “Vaccines help everyone — even the unvaccinated


Before Reading

1. Name all of the vaccines that people typically get.   

2. Some people choose not to get vaccinated or have doctors vaccinate their children. What might some reasons be for this?

During Reading:

1.   What happened to the Oregon boy in the story? How much did his treatment cost?

2.   What are antibodies and what role do vaccines play in producing them?

3.   Describe measles, its infectiousness and its potential lethality.

4.   What is herd immunity and what role do vaccines play in creating this?

5.   Name at least seven diseases mentioned in the story for which there are vaccines.

6.   Why did Ethan Lindenberger testify before Congress?

7.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, how many measles deaths have been prevented worldwide by vaccinations just since 2000?

8.   What do state laws say about a child’s need to get vaccinated, based on the story?

9.   Peter Hotez was part of a 2018 study that identified more than 100 U.S. hotspots. What type of hotspots was he referring to and what risks do they pose?

10.   Name three tips mentioned in the story about trying to get a vaccine-refuser to permit their child to get a vaccination.

After Reading:

1.   The story mentions that some people can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons. These people depend on people who do get vaccinated to help protect them from disease. How persuasive an argument do you think that is for people to get vaccinated? Explain your reasoning.    

2.   Most of the story focuses on vaccines for major childhood diseases. But some new vaccines are being developed for ebola, Zika virus and other major scourges. Do you think people are more likely — or less likely — to ask for such vaccines if they are going to be spending time in a nation where an ebola or Zika epidemic is underway? Explain your reasoning.