The MMR Vaccine OpenCourseWare: A Free Undergraduate Public Health Course on the MMR Vaccine by The Open University

Published Feb 13, 2009

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In 'The MMR Vaccine: Public Health, Private Fears', an OpenCourseWare, students can examine the argument about the use of the MMR vaccine in Britain and why it continues to generate debates in public and medical communities. The free advanced undergraduate Science and Society course is offered by The Open University and can be completed in approximately 20 hours.

The MMR Vaccine (Public Health, Private Fears): Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
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The MMR Vaccine (Public Health, Private Fears): Course Description

The OpenCourseWare 'The MMR Vaccine: Public Health, Private Fears' shows students the disputes that surround this controversial vaccine in Great Britain. Students can read about the alleged public health risks associated with the vaccine and the media's reaction to the situation. Students learn about Dr. Andrew Wakefield - the first doctor to suggest a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism in young children he examined - and about the publishing controversy surrounding Wakefield's research. The free course provides an extensive outline with information, such as the involvement of the Medical Research Council, testing the MMR vaccine and autism theory, the MMR vaccine hypothesis and parents' reaction to the vaccine. The course includes two readings: 'Communication and miscommunication of risk: understanding UK parents' attitudes to combined MMR vaccination' from the British Medical Journal and a book excerpt discussing Wakefield's initial paper in The Lancet, taken from MMR and Autism: What Parents Need to Know by Michael Fitzpatrick. These articles show different arguments on the pros and cons of the MMR vaccine and its suspected associated risk in children's health. Students can learn that medical issues should be clinically investigated before being made public. Theories that aren't fully researched can harm many children's health and cause panic for parents. Students can discuss the MMR controversy further in the course forums and share their opinions about the MMR vaccine.

This OpenCourseWare includes notes, readings and study materials. If you are interested in taking this free course, visit the MMR vaccine course page.

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