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Vaccine Race

Xinhua Yan is a scientist. She works in a lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is helping to develop a coronavirus vaccine. DAVID L. RYAN—THE BOSTON GLOBE/GETTY IMAGES

Scientists are in a hurry to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Vaccines protect people from disease.

A vaccine would save lives. It would help end the coronavirus pandemic. A vaccine works by building our immunity immunity CHOJA—GETTY IMAGES protection from sickness or harm (noun) Because I had chickenpox last year, I now have immunity from it. to a virus. “It teaches the body to recognize the virus,” Dr. Rick Malley told TIME for Kids. He works at a hospital. It is in Boston, Massachusetts. “The next time the body sees the bug, it fights it off without ever getting sick.”

A Need for Speed

It can take 10 years to develop a vaccine. Scientists have to do research. They have to make sure the vaccine is safe. First it will be tested on animals or cells cell DANIEL ALLAN—GETTY IMAGES one of the tiny units that make up all living things (noun) A scientist examined the cells through a microscope. . Then it can be tested on people.

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine in the United States? Some say one could be ready by the end of this year. People are working fast to make that happen. But there won’t be enough for everyone at first. It will take time to make that much. The first doses dose JOSE LUIS PELAEZ INC./GETTY IMAGES A measured quantity of a medicine or drug (noun) Peyton dreaded taking a dose of cough syrup. will probably go to health-care workers and elderly people.