A Shot to Save the World: The Inside Story of the Life-or-Death Race for a Covid-19 Vaccine

Gregory Zuckerman.. Portfolio, $30 (384p) ISBN 978-0-593420-39-3
Wall Street Journal reporter Zuckerman traces the seemingly miraculous development of the Covid vaccine in this captivating account (after The Man Who Solved the Market). Through interviews with "scientists, academics, executives, government officials, investors, and others," Zuckerman makes a case that the creation of the vaccine was the result of "years of dedication, creativity, and frustration." He introduces a slew of scientists past and present whose work, in one way or another, impacted the efforts to cure Covid: there's Gale Smith, a molecular biologist who "theorized that insect viruses could be used to infect insect cells to produce specific proteins" in the 1980s; Frank Volvovitz, who started a company called MicroGeneSys to pursue a vaccine for AIDS; Jon Wolff, who was a key player in mRNA research; and Moderna scientist Eric Huang, who advised the company that they should be "making vaccines, not drugs" in 2013. Things move at a fast clip as Zuckerman conveys decades of complex scientific research in a gripping fashion. His focus on the slow burn of discovery makes for a fascinating angle and offers plenty of inspiration: "The Covid-19 vaccine story is one of heroism, dedication, and remarkable persistence." The result is tough to put down. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 10/13/2021
Release date: 10/26/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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