Learning outcomes for e-Bug 16-18 year old resources: Understanding Antibiotics
1. Many infections get better on their own without the need for antibiotics (coughs, colds, ear infections,
sinusitis, sore throats. Country specific)
2. Bacteria and viruses may cause similar symptoms
3. Antibiotics are special they are not like other medicines, therefore we should not use antibiotics like painkillers
or anti allergy drugs.
4. You should not share antibiotics as each antibiotic is personal to you and your infection. Therefore antibiotics
taken for one infection will probably not work on another.
5. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, as bacteria and viruses have different structures. Antibiotics can only
damage the bacterial structures or genetic material, and therefore do not work on viruses. E.g. antibiotics (ending
in the word cillin, penicillin, amoxicillin, flucloxacillin) all work on the bacterial cell wall which viruses do not have.
Some antibiotics work on a particular part of the bacterial DNA which isn’t present in viruses.
6. Bacteria are continually adapting to develop ways of not being killed by antibiotics, this is called antibiotic
7. We need to use antibiotics only when we are advised by a doctor or nurse, because overuse may make the
antibiotics less effective against the bacteria, and then the next time we have an infection they may not work.
8. Taking antibiotics also affects your useful bacteria, not just the ones causing an infection. So antibiotic
resistance may also develop in many different bacteria in your body, not just the ones you are treating.
9. Antibiotic resistant bacteria remain in your body for at least a year after you finish the antibiotics.
10. Antibiotic resistance is carried silently by us and spreads between our own different bacteria within our body,
and between people. Genes and mutations in bacteria can pass easily and silently between bacteria in our gut,
from person to person through contact (hands, sneezes) or everything we touch (door handles, food, buses) or
our poo! More able students will understand in more detail how resistance is spread.
11. Development of new antibiotics takes at least 10 years, and there are very few new ones in the pipeline.
12. Antibiotics do not have any effect against your immune system, and do not reduce your ability to fight off future
Taking antibiotics and practical help
1. You should care for yourself at home for most sore throats, earache, coughs, colds and flu using painkillers and
other remedies to reduce your symptoms, but be familiar with the warning signs about when you should go to a
doctor or nurse with an infection. Infections like meningitis and pneumonia do need urgent antibiotics.
2. Antibiotics should always be taken as instructed by a doctor or nurse. Taking an antibiotic incorrectly increases
the risk of your bacteria developing antibiotic resistance. If taken less times per day than instructed, there may
not be enough antibiotic at the site of infection to kill the bacteria. If all the days of the course are not completed
the infection may also not be completely killed.
If you forget an antibiotic dose, always take it as soon as you remember, even if it means taking two at once.
Then finish the rest of the course as instructed.
4. Country specific examples e.g. Antibiotics and alcohol , Antibiotics and acne
Understanding Vaccinations learning outcomes. Students will understand:
1. Why vaccines are important to you now and throughout your life.
2. The important diseases prevented by vaccines, and why these are important to young people including you.
Vaccines are a victim of their own success. Country & time specific examples of diseases prevented: measles,
3. You may develop natural immunity after an infection but it comes with the risk of severe disease and
permanent disability due to the infection.
4. Vaccination helps you to develop your immunity against an infection(s) and helps you fight off the infection(s).
5. The role of herd immunity. The importance of a certain number of people being vaccinated to prevent an
infection circulating in the community. Understand your personal responsibility through vaccination of protecting
those in close contact with you, your family, friends and future work colleagues.
6. Why some vaccinations need to be repeated now and throughout your life. Flu, measles
7. How vaccines are made and why. (e.g. Could use photos of meningococcal vaccine development). There is a
rigorous evaluation of vaccines before they are licensed. Can include historical perspective. (MMR)
8. A single vaccine can protect against
Several different infections (e.g. Td/IPV, specific for each country 14-16yrs)
Several different types of a single infection in one injection, (specific for each country e.g. Human Papilloma
Virus vaccine prevents the viruses that cause both cervical cancer and genital warts).
In contrast natural infection and immunity only protects against one infection type each time
Vaccine debate
1. How media and epidemics can affect vaccine uptake positively (flu vaccine in EU, MMR recently in UK measles
vaccine in UK and France, country specific) and negatively (MMR in UK, pandemic flu vaccine in Saudi Arabia and
France, hepatitis B in France country specific).
2. Be able to evaluate different views about vaccines and the reasons for them (religious, scares, media)
3. That a vaccine is only introduced into the National programme by Ministries of Health (specific for each
country) if it protects against infection, after assessing the benefits to the individual and the population, and
there are more positives than negatives, and it is cost effective.
4. The role of parents/guardians in making the important decision of protecting children (consent, country specific)
Having Vaccinations and Practical help
1. Having a vaccine is almost painless and the sting is only temporary, but the protection is long term. (some
students talked about phobias, e.g. needle going into arm)
2. It is quite common to get redness and swelling at the site of injection, but major side effects are very rare,
country specific.
3. How/where to access vaccines (including non-standard vaccines), your vaccine history, and which vaccinations
you need (country specific)
4. The importance of getting the correct vaccines for travel (including hajj, gap years), work placements and future
careers, university.

16 -18 year old Learning Outcomes - e-Bug