Resources

Virus and Vaccination

Theme

Fight the Pandemic

Relevant Grades

Class 8 and above

Key Learning Objectives

  1. Explain human health and its importance
  2. Define disease, infectious and non-infectious diseases
  3. Explain vaccines in context with how they help in increasing resistance
  4. Explain the importance of vaccination
  5. Describe control and safety measures to be taken during virus outbreak

Session Duration

1 hour (Approximately)

 

THE MISSION:

The mission starts with pandemic spreading fast in the entire country. Since the virus is highly infectious, the student will have to act quickly and smartly to contain and stop the pandemic. Various vaccines have been developed by researchers and scientists, will the student be able to stop the pandemic by choosing the right vaccine.

CONCEPT TO UNDERSTAND

1. Human Health and its importance

Our day to day bodily functions depend heavily on our wellbeing. Proper nutrition and exercise has known to have vital impact on our wellbeing. The idea of wellbeing comes not only from proper nutrition and exercise, but also from the mental state and mental wellbeing. Healthy individuals are known to perform better in day to day life. Being healthy also improves the quality of tasks or work that we do and also increases productivity. Additionally, good health increases people’s longevity and reduces mortality rate. There are several factors that improves the quality of health apart from diet and nutrition. Activities like practicing yoga, regular exercise contributes to physical and mental well being.

2. Common Diseases

A disease is a disorder of a function in living beings including humans, plants and animals. Disease can mildly or severely affect bodily functions, cause structural disorder in all living beings. Diseases are mainly classified into two types viz. infectious and non-infectious. Infectious diseases are easily transmitted from the infected individual to another, whereas, non-infectious are not transmitted. Diseases like AIDS, corona virus (COVID-19) are examples of infectious diseases. Additionally, diseases like cancer are non-infectious diseases.

Diseases are commonly caused due to micro-organisms like bacteria, protozoa, fungi, virus, algae, helminths, parasites etc. These disease causing organisms are called as pathogens. Pathogens can enter human body through different means, upon entering they tend to multiply and interfere in functioning of different organs, vital activities etc. Pathogens inside the host have to adapt to the host surrounding and environment to multiply and cause damage to the host’s vital functions. Salmonella typhi, a pathogen bacterial in nature causes typhoid in humans. This bacteria enters the host in the small intestine through contaminated food and water, then they migrate to other locations in the body through the blood. 

3. Immune System

Our skin is the largest organ that acts as the primary barrier to any harmful micro-organism to enter our body. Apart from skin, mucous membrane, spleen, lymph nodes bone marrow, liver are some of the organs that forms part of our immune system. White blood cell (WBC) and red blood cell (RBC) are the cells that detect the presence of any harmful micro-organisms and release messenger protein in the blood. These protein molecules are carried to different organs via blood and then antibodies are released. The antibodies in-turn fight and kill  the harmful micro-organisms.

Harmful micro-organisms present in our food are also killed by the acid present in the stomach.

4. Vaccination

Vaccines are chemical or biological substances produced from various sources that helps in developing immunity. Since childhood, we are been given different vaccines because of which we develop immunity to a particular disease. For instance, in childhood we are given vaccines on polio. If the vaccine is not given and the person comes in contact with the virus, there is a possibility that the person may develop polio disease. Hence vaccination is very important.

In the modern day, with growing health concerns due to changes in the structure of virus and newer viruses emerging, it is important that right vaccines are developed and used to prevent loss of life. A virus has a specific structure with which it can interact with the body’s host cell and cause damage or hinder the functions of vital organs. The virus then multiplies causing the symptoms to become worse in an infected individual. Most viruses are transmitted through different means and can give rise to a pandemic or epidemic like scenario. Hence, vaccination is very important to prevent such scenarios.

4. Health and Hygiene

During an outbreak, the health ministry, World Health Organisation (WHO) issues guidelines through which the outbreak can be controlled, prevented, and stopped. The guidelines are not only issued to common people, but also issued for health officials, doctors etc. It is vital to strictly follow these guidelines so that the outbreak can be controlled and eradicated.

Interesting Fact

There has been many outbreaks since the ancient times. The outbreaks have been caused by different micro-organisms. Viruses, micro-organisms keep evolving with time and change its functions and structures. Currently the corona virus (COVID-19) has mutated many times and has become more and more infectious in nature. The defence mechanism of the virus is so strong that currently, the existing drugs/vaccines are not able to stop it.

GAME DESIGN

Problem Statement:

A new virus has emerged, the virus is highly infectious in nature. Due to the rapid spread of the virus, people are falling sick and dying. You are working as a top official in the health department of the country. Your job is to ensure the right vaccine is developed and used to eradicate the virus on time.

Game Design Overview:

In the game, there will be multiple vaccines developed by scientists and researchers, but your job is to determine which vaccine will be most potent and useful to stop the pandemic. Depending on your choice of use of vaccine the game results will vary. You have to race against time and make the right choice to save people’s lives.

How to Design the Game:

Step 1: As the game begins, the virus has started transmitting into a few individuals already. You are able to see the spread in one part of the country in your screen.

You can make a dashboard with infected people depicted by one colour and the rest depicted by another colour. As time progressed more and more people will be infected.

Step 2: Since you are the top official in the health department, you will have to initiate actions to contain the spreading and minimize it. The steps that can be taken are:

  1. Impose lockdown and setup containment areas to confine the virus spread
  2. Start development of new vaccine in your research department

Hint: In your dashboard centre, you may send a message or issue an order to the health department, government authorities to initiate 1 and 2 in step 2. If you delay this, the virus will keep on spreading.

Step 3:

Now that the lockdown is in place, you will have to speed up vaccine production by allocating top scientists to the job. After a while, the scientists have come up with 4 potential vaccines. However, each vaccine is not completely potent, rather they have different potency levels. The other factor is the vaccines are not completely stable. Some of the vaccines are more stable and resist change in its function due to different physical conditions like temperature, pressure, change in pH value etc.

Vaccine

Potency

Stability

Development Time

Vaccine 1

50% potent (chance of infection is 50%)

Very Stable in normal temperatures

Can be developed rapidly

Vaccine 2

80% potent at 20 ˚ C (chance of infection is 20%)

Unstable, potency drops by 5% with 1 ˚C change in temperature

Takes time to develop, but if planned properly can be effective

Vaccine 3

75% potent (chance of infection is 35%)

Almost stable, potency drops by 5% with 10 ˚C change in temperature

Takes time to develop, but if planned properly can be effective

Vaccine 4

72% potent (chance of infection is 38%)

Very stable in normal temperatures

Takes time to develop, but if planned properly can be effective

Hint: Vaccine production will happen over time, since vaccines can’t be produced in one shot.  It is important to manage the time efficiently so that enough time for vaccine production is allocated.

Step 4: Once the vaccine is ready, the vaccine has to be dispatched quickly. This will not only save lives, but also stop the pandemic from spreading more. If there is a delay in deciding the vaccine or if a wrong vaccine is chosen, the game will be over since most of the people would have become the victims of the pandemic.

Hint: Your mission will succeed when the right vaccine is chosen. If the wrong vaccine is chosen or there is a delay, the game will end.

Disclaimer: This document is meant to be used for educational purposes only. The content here has been curated from various online sources. We do not intend to infringe on any copyrights. Please note that there are third party links in this module and Atal Innovation Mission or NITI Aayog does not endorse any person(s) or organizations mentioned on or related to these links.