QUESTION TYPE: Sufficient Assumption
CONCLUSION: We’ll need to vaccinate all high-risk individuals every year.
REASONING: Each year’s vaccination protects only against the strain considered most likely to be common that year.
ANALYSIS: This may already seem like a good argument. That’s a sign you’re making an unstated assumption. Identifying the assumption will let you see how to prove the argument correct.
In this case, the assumption is that flu strains won’t repeat. If the same flu strain was prevalent multiple years in a row, then it might not be necessary to re-vaccinate everyone.
- The number of people vaccinated doesn’t matter. The conclusion was about whether we need to vaccinate all people or only some of them.
- This is about the odds of an epidemic. But serious cases of the flu can occur even in the absence of an epidemic.
- Careful. The stimulus already said that the vaccines the program is using only protect against one strain. So it doesn’t matter if some vaccines can protect against multiple strains – those vaccines aren’t the ones being used in the program.
- CORRECT. If this is true, then a vaccine will only ever be good for one year at most. That means high risk individuals will need a new vaccination each year.
- Side effects don’t matter. The program is going to protect high-risk individuals regardless of side effects. (Probably, side effects are minimal.)
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