This is the first of a series of discussions in Spanish about the new COVID-19 vaccines.  The primary purpose of these lessons is to practice useful Spanish vocabulary and phrases when discussing vaccination against Covid-19. Much of the discussion refers to the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna and the information regarding all the Covid-19 vaccines may change as we learn more. Therefore, when speaking with patients, you should always use information provided by current trusted medical sources. 

In this lesson, Elizabeth Cortéz, my Spanish teacher at the San Pedro Spanish School in Guatemala, discusses why we can trust the safety of these vaccines despite their rapid development. In doing so, she repeatedly uses the passive se. (Members, see also: RN05 Describe Medical Equipment – Passive Se. )

In upcoming lessons, we will discuss side effects, severe allergic reactions, how the vaccine will not alter your DNA, protection against new strains, administration and more. I will try to publish these as quickly as possible. If there is something specific about the vaccines that you want us to cover in Spanish, leave a comment at the bottom of this post. 

More Lessons on Spanish for COVID-19

LEVEL - UPPER INTERMEDIATE

Me preocupa que no sea segura 

2:12

Hicieron la vacuna tan rápido que me preocupa que no sea segura.

Sí, es verdad que se desarrolló esta vacuna más rápido que cualquier otra vacuna. Sin embargo, no lo hicieron tomando atajos a la hora de verificar su eficacia y seguridad. Lo hicieron con mucho cuidado y precaución.

Más rápido que cualquier otra vacuna

2:39

Sí, es verdad que se desarrolló esta vacuna más rápido que cualquier otra vacuna.

desarrollar
to develop

cualquier otra vacuna
any other vaccine

Sí, es verdad que se desarrolló esta vacuna más rápido que cualquier otra vacuna.
Yes, it is true that this vaccine was developed faster than any other vaccine.

  • Note: When we use the PASSIVE SE the verb agrees in number to with whatever you are referring to.

Se desarrollaron estas vacunas
These vaccines were developed

No lo hicieron tomando atajos

4:22

Sin embargo, no lo hicieron tomando atajos a la hora de verificar su eficacia y seguridad.

sin embargo
however

(los) atajos
short cuts

verificar
to verify

la eficacia
effectiveness

la seguridad
security

Sin embargo, no lo hicieron tomando atajos a la hora de verificar su eficacia y seguridad.
However, they did not do it by taking shortcuts when it came to verifying its effectiveness and safety. 

No lo hicieron tomando atajos.
They did not do it by taking short cuts. 

  • Note: We do not use POR here to say, “by taking shortcuts.” We simply use the gerund: “tomando.”

a la hora de
when it came to

Con cuidado y precaución

6:37

Lo hicieron con mucho cuidado y precaución. 

con cuidado
with care

la precaución
caution 

Lo hicieron con mucho cuidado y precaución.    
They did so with great care and caution. 

Los mismos procesos y criterios 

7:09

Se siguieron los mismos procesos y criterios al desarrollar las vacunas contra el Coronavirus que se siguen al desarrollar cualquier vacuna. 

el proceso
process

los criterios
criteria

cualquier vacuna
any vaccine

Se siguieron los mismos procesos y criterios al desarrollar las vacunas contra el Coronavirus
The same processes and criteria were followed when developing the Coronavirus vaccines

que se siguen al desarrollar cualquier vacuna.
that are followed when developing any vaccine. 

Se evitaron muchos trámites burocráticos

9:00

Debido a la urgencia de la pandemia, se evitaron muchos trámites burocráticos, pero no se omitieron las medidas necesarias para garantizar la eficacia y la seguridad de la vacuna.

due to
debido a

(la) urgencia
urgency

(la) pandemia
pandemic

evitar
to avoid

red tape
los trámites burocráticos

to omit
omitir

las medidas
measures

garantizar
to ensure

Debido a la urgencia de la pandemia, se evitaron muchos trámites burocráticos,
Due to the urgency of the pandemic, many bureaucratic procedures were avoided, 

… pero no se omitieron las medidas necesarias para garantizar la eficacia y la seguridad de la vacuna.
… but measures necessary to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine were not omitted.

References  

The following is a great series of YouTube videos by drvellermd.com explaining the pathophysiology and trial results of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.  They have videos covering a lot more on Covid, including the other vaccines. 

Related Lessons


Special thanks to Elizabeth Cortéz, my Spanish teacher at the San Pedro Spanish School in Guatemala who provided most of the Spanish for this lesson.

The lessons offered at docmolly.com are a fun way to practice medical Spanish. They are not intended to teach medicine or provide medical advice. These lessons are intended to improve communication with Spanish-speaking patients, but they are not intended to substitute for a qualified medical interpreter.

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