Free course


Free statement of participation on completion

Vaccinations are now considered a part of everyday life, but how do they work? Vaccination is a free course that will help those with a background in biology understand the historical development of vaccination, assess the various types of vaccines used today, examine their production and explore the limitations that are placed on vaccination programmes.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • define and use, or recognise definitions and applications of, each of the terms in bold in the course
  • use examples from the history of vaccination to illustrate the conduct and outcomes of vaccine strategies to control infectious diseases
  • discuss the principle strategies available for developing a vaccine and explain the significance of critical antigens, immunogens and adjuvants in developing effective vaccines
  • identify examples of infectious diseases for which effective vaccines are available and some for which they are not. Explain why it has been scientifically difficult or commercially unprofitable to develop vaccines against certain infectious diseases, and why others have been amenable to control by vaccination
  • discuss the prospects for developing a vaccine against a named infectious disease, given information on its biology and epidemiology, and on the immune response in human hosts.

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content