Vaccines and Immunology – HLTH 626

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the immune system. The course will cover immune mechanisms believed to be related to vaccine induced disease protection. The course will examine vaccine development.


HLTH 625


Vaccines are an invaluable tool in the public health effort to prevent morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases. Vaccine use is not without controversy. The public health practitioner must understand basics of immunology and vaccine development to respond properly to the legitimate concerns of the public and to use this resource wisely.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe major components and functions of the immune system.
  2. Discuss immune mechanisms related to vaccine function.
  3. Assess the efficacy and efficiency of currently available vaccines.
  4. Describe the limitations to future vaccine development.
  5. Analyze vaccine data for safety.
  6. Develop protocols for vaccine usage in a variety of healthcare settings.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

The student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words.

Avian Influenza H7N9 Project

This is a 4-part project. The student will be given a background paper describing the origins of a novel avian influenza threat that began in the winter of 2013 and a fictional scenario based in Zambia suggesting the potential for development of a more serious epidemic situation.

Part 1: The Situation Assessment

The student will write a 5-page research-based paper in current AMA format focusing on the potential of avian influenza A (H7N9) to expand into a local epidemic or spread beyond to pandemic proportions. The paper must include at least 5 references, in addition to the readings supplied in the scenario, the course textbooks, and the Bible. A biblical perspective on the response must be considered and referenced appropriately.

Part 2: Vaccine Development Progress Report

The student will write a 5-page research-based paper in current AMA format that focuses on the progress in the development of avian influenza A (H7N9) vaccine. The paper must include at least 5 references. All references must be peer-reviewed, scientific papers published since August 2013; however, peer-reviewed, scientific papers on related influenza vaccines from an earlier date may be used if a definitive correlation to the scenario presentation can be drawn.

Part 3: Designing a Mass Vaccination Campaign

The student will assume a pandemic of avian influenza is imminent if the outbreak cannot be confined to the geographic area identified in the fictional scenario. The student must design a culturally appropriate campaign and write a 5-page paper in current AMA format describing the vaccination campaign, using a newly available vaccine believed to have a 90% efficacy. The paper must include at least 5 references, which are restricted to World Health Organization, UNICEF, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Medical Journal of Zambia, and Zambian governmental documents related to vaccination strategies.

Part 4: Implementation

In this final installment, the student will edit previous installments of the project (Parts 1–3) based on instructor feedback and combine them to produce a single document. This document will also include 1 additional section devoted to implementation barriers. Current AMA format will be used, and proper citation of at least 20 sources is essential. The instructor will be looking for a 20-page paper, as this document will contain new information in addition to materials unified from the documents created in the previous related assignments.

Reading Quizzes (8)

Each reading quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain a variety of matching, multiple-choice, and/or true/false questions, and have a 1-hour time limit.