Vaccine Race

October 23, 2020
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 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. 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 will probably go to health-care workers and elderly people.

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