Covering Coronavirus: The Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine

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Delivering a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 by this winter would count as one the most ambitious scientific feats in history. With a handful of vaccines now in the midst of large-scale clinical trials, a growing number of experts say it’s an achievable goal. But many potential roadblocks could stymie “Operation Warp Speed,” with leading vaccine candidates relying on innovative but unproven technologies. Even if one vaccine is shown to be safe and effective, enormous manufacturing and distribution challenges remain, as well as difficult questions of who gets vaccinated first. Many public health experts fear that political pressure from the Trump administration to deliver an “October surprise” could compromise safety and public trust. As this drama unfolds, pharmaceutical and biotech companies are bringing in billions in government funding, raising questions about potential cronyism, accountability and regulatory oversight. In this webinar, we’ll take a broad look at where we stand, take a deeper look at how these vaccines actually work, and discuss key challenges and story lines to track as we enter a critical phase in the race for a vaccine against the coronavirus.

This webinars is free and made possible by the Commonwealth Fund and the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation.



Umair Irfan covers climate change, energy, and the environment for Vox. He is also a contributor to Science Friday. Before joining Vox, Umair was a reporter for ClimateWire at E&E News in Washington, DC, where he covered health and climate change, science, and energy policy.  





Dan Vergano is a science reporter at the Washington D.C. bureau of BuzzFeed News, where he reports on science and politics. He was previously a science reporter at USA TODAY and National Geographic. He is on the board of the Council for Advancement of Science Writing, and was a 2007-08 Nieman Fellow at Harvard, where he focused on global warming. His educational background is in engineering and science policy.



View Umair Irfan's slides here.

View Dan Vergano's slides here.

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