By Eashar S (Lower Figures 1/Y6)

On Friday 15th May, Dr Ruth Oliver joined us via SJB Reach to talk to us about the Covid-19 Virus, and the work being done to find a potential vaccine. The SJB boys were fascinated and had so many questions.

We started the Magis by discussing who discovered the first vaccine (Dr Edward Jenner) and how he did this.  Dr Jenner noticed that milkmaids who had contracted a disease called cowpox, which caused blistering on cow’s udders, did not catch smallpox. On May 14, 1796, Jenner took fluid from a cowpox blister and scratched it into the skin of James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy. A single blister rose on the spot, but James soon recovered. On July 1, Jenner inoculated the boy again, this time with smallpox matter, and no disease developed. He realised the boy had developed immunity from the original infection. Dr Jenner realised that by infecting someone with a mild version of the disease, the body developed an immunity. Doctors all over Europe soon adopted Jenner’s innovative technique, leading to a drastic decline in new sufferers of the devastating disease. The first vaccine was hence created.

We then started to talk about different viruses and how microscopic they are, not even seen under a microscope. Thirdly, we talked about how long the process normally takes to find a suitable vaccine for a virus and the many stages involved with its production (it is sometimes a ten-year-long process).

In conclusion not only did the SJB Boys learn about how deadly and dangerous the Coronavirus is but we also learnt how tirelessly the Scientists are working to gain knowledge on the Coronavirus and how fast they have dealt with this crisis compared to others in such a short time. However, we must not forget about all the front-line workers heroically risking their lives for others and there are just a few things we can do to help them:

Lastly, on behalf of all the SJB boys, we would like to say thank you to Dr Oliver for her incredibly insightful talk and we hope she can join us again soon.


Thank you, Eashar for the well-written article.