Waiting for a vaccine

| By Alana, 7th grade |

June 2020 … Dr. Elizabeth Rappaport met this spring with East Norriton Middle School reporters through a Zoom teleconference to discuss vaccines for COVID-19. A vaccine can protect a person from getting an infectious disease.

There currently is no vaccine against COVID-19 since it is a new virus. But scientists and doctors are working hard to create one.

Dr. Rappaport told students that the creation of a vaccine will most likely not be that fast. Dr. Rappaport has worked in basic and clinical research, public health, pharmaceutical development, and medical education. 

Dr. Rappaport said there are research phases that a vaccine must go through before being released to the world. Phase 1 involves testing it on a few people to make sure that it is safe.

In Phases 2 and 3, the vaccine will need to be tested on more people to see whether it protects people against COVID-19. The vaccine also will need to have a low percentage of people who have any bad side effects.

Phase 2 and Phase 3 will require producing a lot of the vaccine to use for testing, which can be difficult to produce. These phases can take more than a year, if all goes well, according to medical experts.

So what will this mean for students trying to live their lives? 

Dr. Rappaport said, “our life will be different than it was.” She said we may have different school arrangements. For instance, some students may go to school on Mondays and others will attend on Tuesdays. This would limit the amount of people in the school at one time.  People may still need to wear masks for a while.

While people wait patiently for the scientists to work their magic, they need to continue to wash their hands, use sanitizer, and wear masks to stop the spread of the virus.  –Alana is a reporter with the East Norriton Bulldog Bulletin


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