Herd Immunity and the Necessity of Vaccinations: Modeling the Effects of MMR Vaccinations
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Science, Engineering and Technology
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Caitlyn Cardetti has lived in Minnesota for the past ten years. She is currently working on earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology with a minor in Mathematics. She will be returning for her second year as a Community Advisor at MSU, Mankato and is also currently a certified nursing assistant back home. After graduation, she hopes on attending the University of Minnesota to get a Master’s degree in Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology. She hopes to follow a career path in research relating to the biomedical field. She had conducted this research as a sophomore with two fellow students for her Mathematical Modeling in Biology class, under the direction of Dr. Anne-Marie Hoskinson and Dr. Namyong Lee. Katie Groskreutz is from Pemberton, MN, and is currently attending Minnesota State University– Mankato. She is in the process of earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and is minoring in Biology. Upon graduation, she plans on attending graduate school in the Midwest. Then, she hopes to find a job that involves mathematical and biological research. In addition to going to school, Katie works a part-time job at Kwik Trip in North Mankato. She worked on research with Caitlyn Cardetti and Melissa Zins with direction from Dr. Anne-Marie Hoskinson and Dr. Namyong Lee her sophomore year at MSU. Katie plans on being involved with research throughout her undergraduate career. Melissa Zins grew up in Madison, WI. She graduated high school in 2008 and came to Minnesota State University Mankato to begin her journey toward a bachelor of science degree initially in astronomy and physics. After losing heart and interest in astronomy, Melissa changed her major to Biology and Pre-Medicine with the plans to eventually go on to graduate school and become a pediatric cancer research doctor. Melissa’s many volunteer opportunities and experiences within her community has guided her toward helping others, especially children, as a professional career one day. The URC has allowed Melissa to get her feet wet in research and start at the bottom, in attempts to work her way up. Melissa has plans to continue going to school and take up new research opportunities in biology and medicine along the way.
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Mathematics and Statistics
Science, Engineering and Technology
The MMR vaccination is a two dose vaccine given to children between the ages of 12 – 15 months and the second dose between the ages of 4 – 6 years to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella. The objective was to mathematically model the effects of the MMR vaccinations in a hypothetical school through multiple compartment and spatial models. These models were based on each disease individually with their respective vaccine effectiveness and disease infection rates. These models demonstrated the limits of herd immunity. Herd immunity occurs when a high enough percentage of the population is immune or vaccinated to prevent the spread of diseases to those who are susceptible. Once herd immunity was determined, the necessity of the vaccinations became evident. This model demonstrated the effects of not vaccinating a child and how it affected not only the individual but the whole population; by weakening the herd immunity of the whole population (Szabo 2010). Through this, parents, educators, and public health officials can be educated on the importance of getting children vaccinated.
Cardetti, Caitlyn; Groskreutz, Katie; and Zins, Melissa
"Herd Immunity and the Necessity of Vaccinations: Modeling the Effects of MMR Vaccinations,"
Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato: Vol. 10, Article 2.
Available at: https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/jur/vol10/iss1/2
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