WEEK ONE: History of Vaccines
An overview of the history of vaccines is covered in week one starting with the first vaccine, the vaccine for smallpox, and concluding with discussion of Recombinant DNA and Reassortant Viruses.
WEEK TWO: Schedules and Common Questions
Current and alternate vaccine schedules are discussed as well as possible benefits and drawbacks of choosing an alternative schedule. The subject of vaccines raises many questions in various levels. "What are vaccines? Are they safe? Do they cause chronic illness?" These and other questions are also addressed in week two.
WEEK THREE: Vaccines and the Media
Such topics as the media's role in medical education of the population, the power of popular anecdote over fact, and the purported link between MMR and Autism will be discussed all in relation to the role of vaccines in society.
WEEK FOUR: Case Study - The Rotavirus Vaccine
The rotavirus structure is discussed along with functional properties of rotavirus proteins. The risks and benefits of Rotasheild in the U.S. and in the developing world, and processes and results of Rotateq trials are also examined.
WEEK FIVE: Exemptions
Various aspects and causes of vaccine exemptions are explored, including safety issues, tragedies, religious exemptions, and specific lawsuits. The consequences of exemptions, including breakdowns in herd immunity, are also discussed.
WEEK SIX: Recent Vaccines and Outbreaks
The course concludes with an overview of newly created vaccines and recent outbreaks of previously controlled diseases.