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Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu

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Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu  [#permalink]

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Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu season, because they are at greatest risk of dying if they contract the virus. This year’s flu virus poses particular risk to elderly people and almost none at all to younger people, particularly children. Nevertheless, health professionals are recommending vaccinating children first against the virus rather than elderly people.

Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest reason for the health professionals’ recommendation?


A. Children are vulnerable to dangerous infections when their immune systems are severely weakened by other diseases.

B. Children are particularly unconcerned with hygiene and therefore are the group most responsible for spreading the flu virus to others.

C. The vaccinations received last year will confer no immunity to this year’s flu virus.

D. Children who catch one strain of the flu virus and then recover are likely to develop immunity to at least some strains with which they have not yet come in contact.

E. Children are no more likely than adults to have immunity to a particular flu virus if they have never lived through a previous epidemic of the same virus.


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Originally posted by AbdurRakib on 06 Jul 2016, 16:40.
Last edited by Bunuel on 26 Sep 2018, 04:47, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2016, 17:16
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AbdurRakib wrote:
Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu season, because they are at greatest risk of dying if they contract the virus. This year’s flu virus poses particular risk to elderly people and almost none at all to younger people, particularly children. Nevertheless, health professionals are recommending vaccinating children first against the virus rather than elderly people.

Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest reason for the health professionals’ recommendation?
A. Children are vulnerable to dangerous infections when their immune systems are severely weakened by other diseases.
B. Children are particularly unconcerned with hygiene and therefore are the group most responsible for spreading the flu virus to others.
C. The vaccinations received last year will confer no immunity to this year’s flu virus.
D. Children who catch one strain of the flu virus and then recover are likely to develop immunity to at least some strains with which they have not yet come in contact.
E. Children are no more likely than adults to have immunity to a particular flu virus if they have never lived through a previous epidemic of the same virus.

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Dear AbdurRakib,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

I found it very easy to predict the answer on this question. Old folks are at risk from this virus, and young folks, especially children, are not. We need to protect the old folks. How it is that vaccinating the children first protects the old folks? There must be some way that the old folks could get infected with the virus from infected children: therefore, if we prevent children from getting infected, we block a major avenue by which the infections reach the old people.

Let's look at the answer. We want to strengthen the reasons for the health professionals’ recommendation.

A. Children are vulnerable to dangerous infections when their immune systems are severely weakened by other diseases.

From the prompt, it doesn't sound as if children are going to be particularly weakened by this flu virus: if anything, it sounds as if they will fight it off handily. Therefore, the danger from a compromised immune system is minimal. At least, it is not at all clear whether this is any concern at all. This is incorrect.

B. Children are particularly unconcerned with hygiene and therefore are the group most responsible for spreading the flu virus to others.
Bingo! What we predicted above. Those filthy unwashed children get the old folks sick.

C. The vaccinations received last year will confer no immunity to this year’s flu virus.
Usually true with vaccines. Why does this matter? If no one is immune, why not vaccinate the old folks first? This does not strengthen the argument. This is incorrect.

D. Children who catch one strain of the flu virus and then recover are likely to develop immunity to at least some strains with which they have not yet come in contact.
Well, that's great for the children, who weren't at risk anyone, but no matter how healthy the children are, this doesn't prevent the old folks from dying. This does not strengthen the argument. This is incorrect.

E. Children are no more likely than adults to have immunity to a particular flu virus if they have never lived through a previous epidemic of the same virus.
This seems irrelevant. Even if they have no immunity, for whatever reason the children seem to be able to fight off this flu virus without much trouble. They are already doing fine: they don't need the vaccine for themselves, and it's not clear why helping them would help the old folks. This does not strengthen the argument. This is incorrect.

Does this make sense?
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Re: Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2016, 13:00
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My guess is that A is the most tempting wrong answer choice here since it gives us a reason for not wanting kids to get sick, and that is sort of what we're looking for.

B also gives us a reason for not wanting kids to get sick.

So it would be pretty easy to get stuck between the two answers.

One thing that can really help in this situation is to compare the strength of the language in the answer choices.

In B we are told not just that kids are likely to spread the disease but they are the group most responsible for spreading the flu to others.

In A we are just told that children 'are vulnerable' to other diseases when their immune systems are severely weakened. But this language is much weaker. Most importantly, it doesn't tell us that kids are more vulnerable than anybody else. It's possible that the elderly are far more vulnerable when their immune systems are weakened.

So B gives us a much stronger reason to get the kids vaccinated first. This way the group that is most likely to spread the disease if they have are less likely to get a chance to do so.

Guideline: In general, strong language tends to be better than weak langauge in questions that include 'if true' in the stem (which of the following if true would most strengthen..., which of the following, if true, would most weaken..., which of the following, if true, provides the best reason for...) For these questions, we are looking for an answer choice that would have a great impact, and strong language is more likely to have a significant impact than weak language.

Of course this doesn't mean that you should just scan for strong langauge and click the answer with the strongest. But it does mean that if you're down to a couple answer choices, you can compare the strength of the language and then think about whether it affects the strength of the answer choices.

And be sure to remember that the 'stronger tends to be better than weaker' guideline doesn't apply to all CR questions. It applies only to 'if true' q-stems. For other question-types the reverse guideline is more reliable. So be careful.
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Re: Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2017, 12:08
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In this passage, we have an apparent discrepancy:

  • "Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu season, because they are at greatest risk of dying if they contract the virus."
  • "This year’s flu virus poses particular risk to elderly people and almost none at all to younger people, particularly children." - This sentence suggests that the conventional wisdom should be followed this year, vaccinating elderly people first.
  • If conventional wisdom suggests that elderly people should be vaccinated first and there is reason to believe that this year's flu poses particular risk to elderly people, why are health professionals recommending vaccinating children first against the virus rather than elderly people?

We need an answer choice that explains this apparent discrepancy:

Quote:
A. Children are vulnerable to dangerous infections when their immune systems are severely weakened by other diseases.

Even if children are vulnerable to dangerous infections when they contract other diseases such as the flu, this does not change the given fact that elderly people are at greatest risk of dying if they contract the virus. Thus, statement (A) does not explain why the children should be vaccinated first, when the elderly people are more likely to die if they contract the flu. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
B. Children are particularly unconcerned with hygiene and therefore are the group most responsible for spreading the flu virus to others.

The point of vaccinating elderly people is to help them avoid contracting the flu virus. Choice (B) tells us that children are the group MOST RESPONSIBLE for spreading the flu virus to others. Thus, if we can keep the children healthy by vaccinating them first, we can greatly reduce elderly people's risk of contracting the virus from those children. Choice (B) explains why we might want to vaccinate the children first, so hang on to (B).

Quote:
C. The vaccinations received last year will confer no immunity to this year’s flu virus.

This statement simply tells us that last year's vaccinations will not be effective against this year's flu virus. This does not address the discrepancy and can be eliminated.

Quote:
D. Children who catch one strain of the flu virus and then recover are likely to develop immunity to at least some strains with which they have not yet come in contact.

Choice (D) describes an advantage to a child's contracting of the flu virus. This does not explain why we would want to vaccinate children first, even when the elderly are more likely to die if they contract the virus. Eliminate (D).

Quote:
E. Children are no more likely than adults to have immunity to a particular flu virus if they have never lived through a previous epidemic of the same virus.

This statement might suggest that children are no more likely than elderly people to have immunity to the flu virus, but that doesn't change the fact that elderly people are at greatest risk of dying if they contract the virus. Choice (E) does not explain why children should be vaccinated first and can be eliminated.

(B) is the best answer.
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Re: Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2017, 12:21
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Awaiting the OA

Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu season because they are at greatest risk of dying if they contract the virus. This year’s flu virus poses particular risk to elderly people and almost none at all to younger people, particularly children. Nevertheless, health professionals are recommending vaccinating children first against the virus rather than elderly people.

Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest reason for the health professionals’ recommendation?
A. Children are vulnerable to dangerous infections when their immune systems are severely weakened by other diseases.
Okay. This is just a fact set. It's already given in the premise that the virus doesn't impact the children.

B. Children are particularly unconcerned with hygiene and therefore are the group most responsible for spreading the flu virus to others.
Correct. If the children spread the virus then elderly people who play with the children will be impacted.

C. The vaccinations received last year will confer no immunity to this year’s flu virus.
Out of scope

D. Children who catch one strain of the flu virus and then recover are likely to develop immunity to at least some strains with which they have not yet come in contact.
Okay. This is a fact set. It depicts the ability of a child, and we are not worried about the child's ability.

E. Children are no more likely than adults to have immunity to a particular flu virus if they have never lived through a previous epidemic of the same virus.
Okay. This is again a fact set. We have not been given any information about an epidemic.
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Re: Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2017, 12:24
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 88: Critical Reasoning


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Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu season because they are at greatest risk of dying if they contract the virus. This year’s flu virus poses particular risk to elderly people and almost none at all to younger people, particularly children. Nevertheless, health professionals are recommending vaccinating children first against the virus rather than elderly people.

Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest reason for the health professionals’ recommendation?


IMO B

the conclusion is the recommendation by health professionals "vaccinating children first against the virus rather than elderly people."

A. Children are vulnerable to dangerous infections when their immune systems are severely weakened by other diseases.----Incorrect. argument provide no information about other dangerous infections. it talks only about flu

B. Children are particularly unconcerned with hygiene and therefore are the group most responsible for spreading the flu virus to others.-------Correct. this clearly shows that if children are nor vaccinated then they can spread the disease to others

C. The vaccinations received last year will confer no immunity to this year’s flu virus.------Incorrect. No information regarding last year's vaccination

D. Children who catch one strain of the flu virus and then recover are likely to develop immunity to at least some strains with which they have not yet come in contact.-------Incorrect. the conclusion is about vaccinating children first. this choice in a way opposes the conclusion by presenting the fact that if children catch flu then their immunity system is likely to improve

E. Children are no more likely than adults to have immunity to a particular flu virus if they have never lived through a previous epidemic of the same virus.------Incorrect. No information regarding previous epidemic given in the passage
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Re: Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2018, 03:29
Am I the only one who finds Answer B funny because a vaccinated child still can carry and spread the virus like an unvaccinated child does. Being vaccinated and being able to spread the virus seem independent.
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Re: Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2018, 02:45
Question stem says "This year’s flu virus poses particular risk to elderly people and almost none at all to younger people"

Option B is correct because health professionals don't want younger people to become "carriers" of the flu virus and spread them to elderly people.
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Re: Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2018, 05:59
A. Children are vulnerable to dangerous infections when their immune systems are severely weakened by other diseases.
- ok. But then this does not give a reason as to why children first ?

B. Children are particularly unconcerned with hygiene and therefore are the group most responsible for spreading the flu virus to others.
- looks good. This could be the reason as children have a tendency to get unhygienic and spread the virus to others/elderly people.

C. The vaccinations received last year will confer no immunity to this year’s flu virus. - but children are not going to be affected by virus this time, as stated. Eliminate.

D. Children who catch one strain of the flu virus and then recover are likely to develop immunity to at least some strains with which they have not yet come in contact.
- doesn't explain why first. Eliminate.

E. Children are no more likely than adults to have immunity to a particular flu virus if they have never lived through a previous epidemic of the same virus. - ok, then why should they be vaccinated first ?

Thus, B is the best.

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Re: Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu  [#permalink]

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Re: Conventional wisdom suggests vaccinating elderly people first in flu   [#permalink] 18 Jun 2019, 00:42
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