In 2015, the city of Olot registered an outbreak of diphtheria that ended up with the life of a child. No cases of this disease had been detected for 32 years in Catalonia thanks to the availability of a very effective preventative vaccine that is recommended during the first months of life. However, it is not always easy to know where to find objective information about vaccination and sometimes there are reluctance among families to vaccinate their children.
With the objective of providing educational resources that facilitate decision-making based on scientific evidence and reflections on ethical aspects, the European educational program Xplore Health, which is jointly promoted by IrsiCaixa and "la Caixa" Banking Foundation, will soon release a new module about vaccination. It will offer contents about current research in this field and educational multimedia resources aimed especially at secondary and high school students.
The module will contain an introductory video on the subject, two card games to debate about the legal and social ethics of vaccination and a virtual experiment, where the user can decide whether to approve a new vaccine, after overcoming the different tests of effectiveness, quality and safety that are required for its development. All these materials will be incorporated into a new teaching guide for secondary school teachers, which will facilitate their implementation in the classroom through the teaching of science based on inquiry (IBSE), project work, group dynamics and formative evaluation.
These new resources will be complemented by other vaccination resources that are part of one of the other 8 thematic health modules on aspects as diverse as drug development, biotechnology revolution, genomics, skin cancer, malaria and AIDS among others.