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VACCINES – FRIEND OR FOE?

Why should I take this Trinity Elective?

Every one in Ireland is current vaccinated against several infectious pathogens but most people don’t really know what happens within our bodies when this happens. There has also been a social movement of ‘anti-vaxxers’ that decry the need for vaccines but how do we know if these arguments are valid? If you want to be informed about how vaccines work and why they don’t always work, if you want to know if vaccines are safe and what are some of the key ethical issues about vaccines, then this is the Trinity Elective for you..

What will I learn?

  • You will learn about the principle of vaccination and how different types of immune responses are required for different kinds of pathogens e.g. bacteria versus virus.
  • You will understand how researchers use different strategies to make different kinds of vaccines.
  • You will understand that ethical issues can arise and you will learn to question yourself about your moral choices.

What will I do?

  • Attend a series of lectures with world renowned scientists to understand the basics of how vaccines work (no prior knowledge required).
  • Use an interactive on-line tool to follow how a vaccine response is generated within a person.
  • Engage in an ethical scenario by yourself and then reflect how your opinion is influenced after participation in a team approach to the same ethical issue.
  • Learn to identify ethical issues that can arise during vaccine research.

How will this be delivered?

  • Approx. 16 hours face-to-face lectures and approx. 20 hours of on-line activity (VaccineView/podcasts/preparation)
  • Approx 30 hours of student engagement for Ethics workshops including 2x2hour face-to-face workshops and various on-line activities.
  • Reading/team project work (public message)/assessments – approx. 30 hours
  • Seminars and identification of ethical dilemmas – approx. 5 hours

How will this be assessed?

  • MCQ and on-line interactive assessment: basic understanding of vaccines (50%)
  • Prepare short public message as a team: develop communication skills (10%)
  • Ethical workshops – group decision and justification on ethical issues and personal reflection on how this differs for personal decision (30%)
  • Identify ethical issues from research seminar (formative team work)

Who can take this Trinity Elective?

  • Any student eligible to take a Trinity Elective can select this Trinity Elective except for the students from the following programmes: Programmes in School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Medicine and Human Health and Disease.

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