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Scientists at Oxford University have been studying the coronavirus. They have been trying to find a vaccine for the virus that can make people immune to it. If people are immune, then they won’t be able to get the virus and life will be able to go back to normal. Scientists all over the world have been working very hard to find a vaccine for Covid-19. There have been a few potential vaccines for the disease in different countries.

The scientists at Oxford think they have a vaccine that works. They have started to test the vaccine on humans earlier than normal. Normally, potential vaccines take a long time to get to the human testing phase. The scientists at Oxford are moving quickly because of the seriousness of Covid-19 and because of their confidence in the vaccine. The scientists at Oxford were already studying vaccines for very similar viruses. This meant they were able to switch their studies to the coronavirus and they were able to use some of their work. This gave them a big head start on creating a vaccine for the coronavirus.

The same team at Oxford have already created a virus for Mers which is also a type of coronavirus. They are using the same techniques for the Covid-19 vaccine. The lead scientist said they could have one million vaccines by September. They want to make sure they have enough vaccines for the people who need them most. They are now testing it on 800 people in the UK.

Difficult Words

Vaccine (n): Something which protects against disease.

Immune (adj): To be unable to catch a disease.

Potential (adj): Having the possibility to develop in the future.

Phase (n): A stage or next step in a process.

Technique (n): A special way to do something.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: Coming Soon!

Match the Synonym!

 1. Vaccine  A. Unable to get a disease.
 2. Immune  B. Stage
 3. Potential  C. Skill
 4. Phase  D. Protects against disease.
 5. Technique  E. Possibilities

True or False?

1. Scientists have been studying the coronavirus at a hospital. T / F

2. A vaccine makes people immune to a disease. T / F

3.  A vaccine will not allow life to go back to normal. T / F

4. The scientists have started to test the vaccine early. T / F

5.  This is the first coronavirus the scientists have tested. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. for / a vaccine / They have / find / the virus / to / been trying

2. been / There / potential / vaccines / have / a / few

3. have / vaccine / the / started / test / They / to

4. vaccines / Normally, / take / potential / a / long time

5.same / using / the / They / techniques / are

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: Coming Soon!

Disease Switch Testing
Potential Virus Scientist

Scientists at Oxford University have been studying the coronavirus. They have been trying to find a vaccine for the (1)________ that can make people immune to it. If people are immune, then they won’t be able to get the virus and life will be able to go back to normal. Scientists all over the world have been working very hard to find a vaccine for Covid-19. There have been a few potential vaccines for the (2)__________ in different countries.

The scientists at Oxford think they have a vaccine that works. They have started to test the vaccine on humans earlier than normal. Normally, (3)____________ vaccines take a long time to get to the human testing phase. The scientists at Oxford are moving quickly because of the seriousness of Covid-19 and because of their confidence in the vaccine. The scientists at Oxford were already studying vaccines for very similar viruses. This meant they were able to (4)__________ their studies to the coronavirus and they were able to use some of their work. This gave them a big head start on creating a vaccine for the coronavirus.

The same team at Oxford have already created a virus for Mers which is also a type of coronavirus. They are using the same techniques for the Covid-19 vaccine. The lead (5)___________ said they could have one million vaccines by September. They want to make sure they have enough vaccines for the people who need them most. They are now (6)_________ it on 800 people in the UK.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Do you think there will be a vaccine soon?
5. Who do you think should get the vaccine first?
6. How should it be decided who gets the vaccine first?
7. Should a vaccine created in one country be shared with every other country?
8. Should people stay inside until there is a vaccine?
9. Should the vaccine be free?
10. Do you know of any Covid-19 vaccine research in your country?
11. Do you think life can go back to normal before there is a vaccine?
12. Is there an anti-vaccination movement in your country?
13. Do you think it is dangerous to do human trials this early?
14. Would you volunteer for the human trials of a Covid-19 vaccine?
15. Should healthcare workers have the vaccine tested on them first?
16. Do people trust Science in your country?
17. What scientific achievements have been made in your country?
18. How is your country fighting the virus?
19. How seriously are people taking the coronavirus pandemic in your country?
20. What question would you like to ask the team of scientists at Oxford University?