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Understanding Vaccines: What They Are How They Work

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Portable Document Format
Average Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars from 4 ratings.
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Description This is a PDF booklet providing information on vaccines including how they prevent disease, how they are developed and researched, and what the future holds for vaccines in production. Benefits of vaccines, and specific vaccine types are discussed.
Type of Resource Dictionary/Glossary, Pamphlet / Brochure
Format Portable Document Format - PDF - 1.44 MB
Technical Note Adobe Acrobat or other PDF viewing program required.
NIH, National Institutes of Health
Development Date July 1, 2003
Grade/Age Levels High School lower division (Grades 9-10)
High School upper division (Grades 11-12)
Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14)
Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16)
General Public
National Science
Educational Standards
Evidence, models, and explanation (K-12), Form and function (K-12), Historical perspectives (9-12), Natural and human-induced hazards (9-12), Nature of scientific knowledge (9-12), Personal and community health (9-12), Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges (9-12), Science as a human endeavor (K-12), The cell (9-12), Understanding about science and technology (K-12), Understandings about scientific inquiry (K-12)
Learning Time 2-3 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed by Partner Organization
Review Date August 31, 2011
Funding Source National Institutes of Health
Suggested Use


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This booklet is an excellent resource to bring the study of the immune system to a personal level for students. The only drawback is that it was published 11 years ago. The information is currently available online and seems to be regularly updated, which is important since science and medicine are everchanging. Here is the online version: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/vaccines/understanding/Pages/Default.aspx

Deborah Miller, D.C., Chattahoochee Technical College

This is more than information on vaccines, it's an excellent resource for teaching about the immune system.  There are numerous ways to use this booklet for individual student work - reading/comprehension, developing an infographic, preparing a visual presentation. 

Anne Artz, The Preuss School UCSD

Useful as a supplement to the immune system!

Andrea Kosinski, CABoces