Edward Jenner saved millions of lives, not by finding a cure for a disease but by stopping people from catching it: he created the first vaccine. Now, thanks to Jenner, no one catches smallpox, a horrible, deadly disease. Today, vaccines are used to stop the spread of equally awful diseases, saving lives without us even knowing it.

"This house believes that chickenpox vaccinations should be given to children before they start school."

You will need...

Each student will need access to a computer to carry out their research

How long will it take?

The students will need a couple of hours work to research the answers to the questions and look at the topic they are dealing with - you may want them to do this for homework. They have been provided with websites to start them off. The debate itself may take between half an hour and an hour to complete.

What to do...

To hold a debate officially requires students to take on different roles. Have a look at the BBC Newsround teachers' site for more information on everyone's role in a debate:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_4450000/newsid_4458000/4458081.stm

1. Pick the students who are going to research the debate. For a less rigorous debate you will need at least 12 students. Divide these students into two teams, one side supports the argument the other opposes it. Further divide each team into smaller groups to research different aspects of the case. Below are three topics they can investigate.  However you wish run the debate you will need to let each student know their role at the beginning so they know what aspect of the debate they are researching.

2. The students' sheet contains questions that they might like to find answers to and a work sheet with some simple topics to help construct their arguments. Here are some of the answers they might find.

Chickepox
Is chickenpox horrible? Would it be better not to get it?
It can be, but most of the time it is a mild illness with few side effects. The most common problem that happens with chickenpox is that the pox can be infected with bacteria which might need antibiotics clear up.
How dangerous is chickenpox?
Generally chickenpox is not dangerous, but it can be dangerous to certain members of society, such as those with a weakened immune system and pregnant women.
Is it ever fatal?
It can be, mostly if adults get chickenpox. About one in ten adults with chickenpox develop problems with their lung, like pneumonia: ( http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Chickenpox/Pages/Complications.aspx)
Are there any complications, or illnesses which happen after the disease has gone away?
If you have chickenpox once, the virus stays in your body and may re-emerge as shingles in later life. However, having the vaccine may not prevent you from having shingles. The vaccine is short lived, and having chickenpox and then being exposed further to chickenpox bolsters the immune system, and may prevent shingles in later life.

Cost
How much would it cost to vaccinate each child?
A Times article suggested it would cost about £30 per child: ( http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article5439829.ece). Students may want to work out how this relates to all the children in the country in a year.
How long are children ill? Does this affect whether their parent can work? Does it matter that the children are off school?
Students can use their own experience and ask parents about how they feel about having time off work when they are ill. This directgov page gives you an idea of parents' entitlement to emergency or compassionate leave: ( http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/Timeoffandholidays/DG_10026555)

The vaccine
Does the vaccine always stop the person from getting chickenpox?

According to the American Center for Disease Control ( http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/varicella/vac-faqs-gen.htm) the vaccine is 90% effective in stopping a child from having chickenpox, and it does reduce the more severe cases to milder cases.
How long does the vaccination last?
Again, according to the CDC, the vaccine is too new to really know how long the immunity lasts.
Is it possible to get chickenpox again?
There is some evidence that people can get chickenpox twice: ( http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chickenpox/Pages/Introduction.aspx)
Would it ever be possible to get rid of chickenpox entirely?
No, not really. Children can catch chickenpox from adults with shingles. Shingles happens when the virus re-emerges in later life. You would need to vaccinate everyone in the population over a long period of time to prevent shingles from re-emerging, for at least a couple of generations. ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/shingles1.shtml)
Are there side effects of the vaccination later in life which makes it less appealing?
There are usually some side effects to all vaccines. The big drawback is evidence that exposure to chickenpox throughout your life can make you less likely to get shingles when you are older. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8557236.stm)

The list of sites can be a starting point, however the students will need to make sure they have found reliable information from reputable sites, and that they can back up any numbers they use. They may want to search newspaper sites which have to back up their findings, or the BBC or other news sites. Government sites are reliable, either in the UK or the US. US sites tend to support their decision to vaccinate, while UK sites tend to oppose the vaccination.

 

3. Each small group should choose one person to speak. They need to work out the main points they have found which support or oppose the motion. They should produce a short (two to three minute) speech supporting their case.

4. These small groups will then need to get together to discuss their complete argument for or against the motion. At this stage they need to pick one person from the team who will summarise the arguments.

5.  You may want to take a vote at the very beginning of the debate to find out later if minds have been changed by the arguments.

6. Start the debate by asking the representative from each small group, supporting or opposing the motion, to speak. Their audience is the rest of the class. Once all the small groups have spoken, one person from each team will summarise the main argument. There will be four people speaking from each side - 1 for each of the three topics and then 1 doing the overall summary

7. Now take a vote and find out who had the stronger argument. Does the class believe children should be vaccinated against chickenpox?

8.  Finish with an open discussion with all of the class to find out their real opinions. How were they swayed by the arguments they heard?

 

Curriculum Links

Science:

QCA Unit 8C

Microbes and Disease

 

QCA Unit 9B

Fit and Healthy

 

Key Concepts

1.2 Applications and implications of science

a) Exploring how the creative application of scientific ideas can bring about technological developments and consequent changes in the way people think and behave.

b) Examining the ethical and moral implications of using and applying science.

1.3 Cultural understanding

a) Recognising that modern science has its roots in many different societies and cultures, and draws on a variety of valid approaches to scientific practice.

Key Processes

2.3 Communication

a) use appropriate methods, including ICT, to communicate scientific information and contribute to presentations and discussions about scientific issues.

History:

Unit 20

Twentieth-century medicine

English:

3.1

Speaking and Listening (debate, presentation and argument)

 

Scottish Curriculum Links:

Science

SCN 3-12b

Biological systems - Body systems and cells

I have explored the role of technology in monitoring health and improving the quality of life. 

 

SCN 3-13b

Biological systems - Body systems and cells

I have contributed to investigations into the different types of microorganisms and can explain how their growth can be controlled.

 

SCN 3-13c

Biological systems - Body systems and cells

I have explored how the body defends itself against disease and can describe how vaccines can provide protection.

 

SCN 4-13c

Biological systems - Body systems and cells

I can debate the moral and ethical issues associated with some controversial biological procedures.

 

SCN 4-20a

Topical Science

I have researched new developments in science and can explain how their current or future applications might impact on modern life.

 

SCN 4-20b

Topical Science

Having selected scientific themes of topical interest, I can critically analyse the issues, and use relevant information to develop an informed argument

Literacy and English

 

LIT 3-06a / LIT 4-06a

Listening and talking - Finding and using information

 

LIT 3-07a

Listening and talking - Understanding, analysing and evaluating

I can show my understanding of what I listen to or watch by commenting, with evidence, on the content and form of short and extended texts.

 

LIT 4-07a

I can show my understanding of what I listen to or watch by giving detailed, evaluative comments, with evidence, about the content and form short and extended texts.

 

 LIT 3-14a / LIT 4-14a

Reading - Finding and using information

 

LIT 3-15a / LIT 4-15a

Reading - Finding and using information

 

LIT 3-16a

Reading - Understanding, analysing and evaluating

 

LIT 4-16a

Reading - Understanding, analysing and evaluating

Technologies

 

TCH 4-03b

ICT to enhance learning

I can use ICT effectively in different learning contexts across the curriculum to access, select and present relevant information in a range of tasks.

 

TCH 3-04a

ICT to enhance learning

I enhance my learning by applying my ICT skills in different learning contexts across the curriculum.

 

TCH 4-04a

ICT to enhance learning

Throughout my learning, I can make effective use of a computer system to process and organise information.

Social Studies

 

SOC 3-15a

People in society, economy and business

I can use my knowledge of current social, political or economic issues to interpret evidence and present an informed view

 

SOC 4-15a

People in society, economy and business

I can evaluate conflicting sources of evidence to sustain a line of argument.

 

SOC 4-16b

People in society, economy and business

Through discussion, I have identified aspects of a social issue to investigate and by gathering information I can assess its impact and the attitudes of the people affected.

Children in this country are vaccinated to prevent them and others from catching some of the deadliest diseases in the world.

Surprisingly, many of these vaccines were created by just one man, Maurice Hilleman. He made more than 40 vaccines including those for mumps, chickenpox, measles, German measles, meningitis and flu.

Vaccination has been so effective that some of these diseases have nearly been eradicated (got rid of) in industrialised countries like the UK, but they are still big killers in the developing world. So far only smallpox has been eradicated throughout the world, because to do the same for all diseases would be expensive, not to mention the difficulties with reaching everyone.

Key fact: In theory, we could get rid of many more diseases throughout the world, like we did with smallpox, but in practise this is very difficult to achieve.

 

 

In the UK, children are not normally vaccinated against chickenpox. Chickenpox is generally a mild illness with blisters appearing for a few days and then healing occurs without leaving many scars. However, there is a vaccine available.

You will be debating that...

Syringe_250

 

 

"This house believes that chickenpox vaccinations should be given to children before they start school."



 

 

 

 

You will be divided into teams to argue for and against this motion.  There are three topics to consider during this debate and each team will need to research each of the topics.

Do your research:

Here are questions you might like to research when working out your arguments, and some websites to help you with your research.

Download and print this worksheet to help you make your arguments.

 

Chickenpox
Is chickenpox horrible?
Would it be better not to get it?
How dangerous is chickenpox?
Is it ever fatal?
Are there any complications, or illnesses which happen after the disease has gone away?
http://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/chicken_pox.html
http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/chicken_pox.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/chickenpox2.shtml

 

Cost
How much would it cost to vaccinate each child?
How long are children ill?
Does this affect whether their parents can work?
Does it matter that the children are off school because they are ill?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8557236.stm
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article5439829.ece

 

The vaccine
Does the vaccine always stop the person from getting chickenpox?
How long does the vaccination last?
Is it possible to get chickenpox again?
Would it ever be possible to get rid of chickenpox entirely?
Are there side effects of the vaccination later in life which makes it less appealing?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7082853.stm
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1562918/Children-may-get-chickenpox-vaccine.html
http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1032.aspx?CategoryID=62&SubCategoryID=63