リーディング＆リスニング “COVID-19 Vaccine Trials”
The world got some exciting news recently when pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that the trials of its COVID-19 vaccine showed it could be 90% effective. We find out what that means and how researchers go about testing their vaccines.
DR. FRANKENSTEINISH: I’ve done it. I’ve finally done it.
DR FRANKENSTEINISH: I’ve created the thing we’ve all been waiting for my most perfect achievement yet.
ASSISTANT: Oh, that guy?
DR FRANKENSTEINISH: No, no, no no. Between you and me that was a big mistake. Huge. No, no, no. I’ve created this, the COVID-19 vaccine.
OK that’s not exactly how things work in the real scientific world, but actual scientists across the globe have been getting excited about the news that we might finally have a vaccine to protect people from COVID-19.
DR ALBERT BOURLA, PFIZER CHAIRMAN AND CEO: It’s such a great day for science and humanity. You know I’ve never felt professionally such a moment of joy to put an end to this dreadful pandemic.
PROF. JONATHAN VAN-TAM, DEPUTY CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER FOR ENGLAND: I have to say this is really a very important scientific breakthrough. I am certain of that.
You might already know that a vaccine works by teaching our bodies how to fight against a disease which then helps to protect us from that disease the next time we encounter it. But creating a vaccine is a long process that usually takes years of research and three big phases of testing, on humans, that is.
To make sure it’s both safe and effective. Now, in record time this company says it’s in the final phase of human trials on a COVID-19 vaccine. Its human trials involved more than 43 thousand volunteers across a few different countries, and it says people who had the vaccine had no serious side effects and were much less likely to get COVID-19. In fact, it says the vaccine seems to be effective more than 90% of the time. While that sounds like great news, some experts and world leaders say we shouldn’t be like these two and get ahead of ourselves.
BORIS JOHNSON, UK PRIME MINISTER: We cannot let our enthusiasm tonight run away with us, folks. It’s more vital than ever now that we follow the basics, that we wait and see whether this vaccine lives up to its promise.
JOE BIDEN, US PRESIDENT-ELECT: For the foreseeable future a mask remains the most potent weapon against the virus.
The results of the trial haven’t all been released yet, and they haven’t been reviewed by other people in the scientific community. Plus, there’s the issue of getting the vaccine out there to billions of people. This vaccine uses some pretty new technology which means it has to be stored and transported at the really low temperature of minus 80 degrees. But if the vaccine does get approved the company says it’ll put 1.3 billion doses out there by the end of 2021. And Australia’s government has signed up to get ten million doses of the vaccine and a few other vaccines that are in the works.
SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: These results are very promising and I’m optimistic and hopeful about next year.
So, while it’s definitely not the end of this scientific journey, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. And preferably a big step away from whatever these guys are doing.
MONSTER: Umm excuse me, but has this vaccine been peer reviewed by the scientific community?
DR FRANKENSTEINISH: I didn’t understand a word it said, did you?
ASSISTANT: No, no.