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KS3 Vaccinations

This section covers the topic of disease prevention through vaccinations. Vaccines are used to help prevent infections from causing us harm. If we hadn't discovered vaccines, over half of your students would not have survived long enough for you to teach them!

Last Updated: 13 August 2021
English Antibodies, Antigen, Bacteria, Disease, Immune system, Immunise, Vaccination, Vaccine, Virus
  • Overview

What will you learn:

This lesson builds on previous sessions on the immune system and explores how vaccines have been developed to utilise the immune system to protect us from diseases. The main activity aims to introduce the importance of 'herd immunity'.

Activities include:

  • An activity where students take part in a simulation to see how vaccines are used to prevent the spread of infections and discover the significance of herd immunity.
  • Activity for more able students, examining World Health Organisation (WHO) data on the measles vaccination and attempt to explain why measles kills more children in Africa than in Europe despite the vaccine being available.
  • Activity asking students to assess which vaccines are necessary to visit certain countries of the world, and why.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand that vaccines help prevent a range of bacterial and viral infections.
  • Understand that there are not vaccines for all infections.
  • Understand that previously common infections are now rare due to vaccines.
  • Understand that the most common infections such as the common cold or sore throat are not prevented by vaccines.
  • Understand that vaccines are dead or weakened microbes.
  • Understand that declining vaccination rates mean that rare infections could become more common again in some places.


  • A print out of Student worksheet 1 and 2 for each student
  • One of each colour cards taken from Student handout 1 through 5

Curriculum Links:

  • Science: Working Scientifically, Experimental skills and investigations, Analysis and evaluation
  • RSHE: Health & Prevention
  • Geography: Human and physical geography, Geographical skills and fieldwork
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