COVID-19 vaccines? Here's your guide to vaccine vocabulary

对新冠疫苗感到困惑? 这是您的疫苗词汇指南

The experts have been saying it for months: The fastest way to end this pandemic is a COVID-19 vaccine.


Now the first ones are almost here, and everyone is talking about them. At times, it can sound like people are speaking a foreign language. But don’t worry — you’ll be able to follow along just fine with the help of this handy glossary.

现在首个疫苗即将到来,每个人都在热议这个话题。 有时,疫苗的词汇听起来好像是外语。 但请放心,在此方便的词汇表的帮助下,您将可以很好地理解它们。

What’s the difference between vaccination and immunization? Regular immunity and herd immunity? A clinical trial and a challenge trial? Read on for all the vaccine vocabulary you need to know.

疫苗接种和免疫接种有什么区别? 什么是一般免疫和群体免疫? 什么是临床试验和挑战试验? 这里您可以找到所有的疫苗词汇。



A type of virus whose outer surface is studded with spike-shaped proteins that resemble a crown. SARS-CoV-2, the specific coronavirus responsible for this pandemic, probably jumped from an animal to a human in late 2019.

一种病毒,其外表散布着类似于冠状的棘突状蛋白质。 SARS-CoV-2(新冠病毒的医学用语)是导致这次大流行的特定冠状病毒,可能在2019年末从动物传染到人类。



The respiratory disease that can result from a SARS-CoV-2 infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 40% of infections do not result in any symptoms.

由SARS-CoV-2感染引起的呼吸道疾病。 疾病控制与预防中心估计,大约40%的感染不会导致任何症状。



A substance that prompts the body’s immune system to recognize a particular pathogen (such as a virus) and create antibodies to destroy it. That way, you’re better prepared to fight off the real thing if you later become infected.

促使人体免疫系统识别特定病原体(例如病毒)并产生抗体以摧毁它的物质。 接种疫苗后,如果被感染,您的机体就准备好了去对抗真实的病原体。

Vaccine candidate


An experimental vaccine that is still being tested.




The process of administering a vaccine to the body. This is typically done through an injection, though some vaccines can be swallowed or given as nasal sprays.

对身体施用疫苗的过程。 尽管某些疫苗有片剂或鼻喷雾剂,但通常是通过注射来完成的。



More or less a synonym for vaccination, though it can also describe other methods of inducing immunity to a disease (such as early methods to fight the spread of smallpox).




A process that makes someone immune to a disease. This is the goal of vaccination.




The body’s ability to fight off an infection, often with the help of antibodies. In active immunity, antibodies are generated through exposure to a pathogen or a vaccine. In passive immunity, a person doesn’t make their own antibodies but receives them from another source. Active immunity is more enduring than passive immunity.

通常在抗体的帮助下,人体抵抗感染的能力。 在主动免疫中,抗体是通过接触病原体或疫苗而产生的。 在被动免疫中,人自身不产生的抗体,而是通过外源接收它们。 主动免疫比被动免疫更加持久。

Herd immunity


When enough people in a population have developed immunity to a disease that it becomes difficult for it to spread. In the case of COVID-19, scientists estimate that about 70% of the population will need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

当人口中有足够的人对某种疾病产生免疫力后,该疾病就很难传播了。 就COVID-19而言,科学家估计需要接种疫苗约70%的人口才能获得群体免疫。

Vaccine efficacy


A measure of how well a vaccine works. If a vaccine is 90% effective, it means that people who got it were 90% less likely to become sick than people who didn’t get it.

衡量疫苗效果的方法。 如果疫苗有效率为90%,则意味着接种疫苗的人患病的可能性要比未接种疫苗的人低90%。

Clinical trial


A way of testing a vaccine’s efficacy by comparing the health outcomes of people who take a vaccine and people who take a placebo, or sham treatment. Researchers also use clinical trials to see whether a vaccine (or other type of medication) causes problematic side effects.

一种通过比较接种疫苗的人和接种安慰剂或不是真疫苗的人的健康结果来测试疫苗功效的方法。 研究人员还使用临床试验来观察疫苗(或其他类型的药物)是否会引起不良的副作用。

Human challenge trial


A type of clinical trial for a vaccine in which study volunteers are deliberately exposed to a virus or other infectious organism. These trials can produce faster results, but they are controversial in the case of COVID-19 vaccines because there is no guarantee that volunteers who become sick can be cured.

一种疫苗的临床试验,让研究志愿者有意暴露于病毒或其他感染性生物。 这些试验可以产生快速的结果,但是对于COVID-19疫苗而言,这是有争议的,因为不能保证生病的志愿者可以治愈。



An ingredient sometimes used in a vaccine that helps it work better by boosting the body’s immune response.


Adverse drug reaction


A fancy term for side effects that are unwanted, uncomfortable and in some cases dangerous. The risks posed by these side effects are weighed against the benefits of the drug, or in this case the vaccine.

形容副作用的一个奇特词,(即不良反应),是不想要的,不舒服的,在某些情况下是危险的副作用。 将这些不良反应所带来的风险与药物或某疫苗的益处做利弊权衡。

Emergency Use Authorization


This is a faster way for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to evaluate new or repurposed medical products during a public health emergency. Vaccines or medicines are still subject to review, but it’s less comprehensive than with the typical FDA approval process. When the health emergency is over, the authorization is no longer in effect.

这是美国食品药品监督管理局在公共卫生紧急情况下,评估新的或新用途的医疗产品的更快授权使用方法。 疫苗或药物仍需接受审查,但与一般的FDA批准程序相比,其涵盖范围不够那么全面。 当突发卫生事件结束时,这种授权不再有效。

Booster injection


An additional dose of a vaccine that primes the immune after the effects of an earlier dose wear off. It is not yet clear whether booster shots of a COVID-19 vaccine will be necessary.

在较早剂量的作用减弱后,可引发免疫效果的疫苗附加剂量。 尚不清楚接种加强注射COVID-19疫苗是否必要。



A measure of a vaccine’s strength. Potency can diminish over time.

疫苗强度的测量。 效力会随着时间的流逝而减弱。

Vaccine hesitancy


When someone delays getting a vaccine or outright refuses it. This can be due to skepticism about the need for it; a lack of trust in the vaccine itself or in the medical professionals who administer it; or if it just seems too inconvenient to get.

当某人推辞或彻底拒绝接种疫苗。 这可能是由于怀疑接种的必要性。 对疫苗本身或实施接种的医务人员缺乏信任; 抑或是太不方便获得疫苗接种。