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How the Moderna vaccine works, why it’s effective, and how it’ll be distributed

"What we're trying to do is to educate the immune system to see the protein before it's seen the virus." In a race for a COVID vaccine, Moderna, a 10-year old company with no products previously on the market, developed a vaccine in 10-months, by using revolutionary new mRNA technology. Now the focus shifts to how to distribute and safely administer this vaccine. Moderna co-founder and chairman Noubar Afeyan explains.

His conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of the latest episode of GZERO World, which began airing nationally in the US on public television Friday, December 11th. Check local listings.

Watch the GZERO World episode: A Shot in the Arm: Moderna's Co-Founder on the COVID-19 Vaccine

Trump & COVID sing The Damage Song

Trump & COVID might be on their way out. But there's still time for them to do as much damage as they can.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME.

Quick Take: Latest vaccine news may be a light at the end of the tunnel

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hey, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, happy Monday, Thanksgiving week. Things starting to look increasingly normal in terms of outlook, in terms of having all of these vaccines. I understand that the next few months in the United States are going to be incredibly challenging, but so much easier when you see that there's light at the end of the tunnel and you know where that's coming. Most recently, the AstraZeneca announcement, which for me, in some ways is a bigger deal globally, even than what we've seen from Moderna and Pfizer, because it doesn't require freezing, it's just refrigeration, which means that countries around the world that don't have the infrastructure to deal with this cold chain requirements of these vaccines will be able to use another set of vaccines with different technology. That's not just AstraZeneca, it will be Johnson and Johnson. It's the Russians. It's the Chinese.

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Quick Take: Coronavirus is still here & the numbers are getting worse

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here and welcome to your week. I hope everyone's having a decent Monday. So much talk about. I want to really focus on coronavirus. Still have to think that is the story in the United States and globally. Everything else is second, third place. A very critical driver of the US election, of course, as it should be. The most important crisis of our lifetimes, irrespective of where you place responsibility, accountability, blame. Your view of that has to be a significant driver of how you think about voting.

The numbers are getting worse. Both in the United States, in Canada, in Europe, and in global developing markets, we are seeing larger numbers of coronavirus cases. In part, that is increased testing though, in many states in the US, we still have positive rates well over 10% of testing, which means we're not testing as much as we need to. That is true in the United Kingdom, that is true in other countries as well. I would argue that the numbers that we're seeing are still so much lower than what the reality is in terms of total cases that we've had. The World Health Organization believes at this point that we probably have about 10% of humanity that has gotten coronavirus. In other words, something like 800 million people, about 20 times the total numbers of cases that we are aware of.

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What makes the UN’s top refugee advocate, Filippo Grandi, the angriest?

"All over the industrialized world, the refugee issue has been manipulated for political reasons…it has become popular to say 'Let's get rid of them. Let's send them away. Let's not rescue them at sea.'" The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has faced an uphill battle in getting the leaders of the world to care about refugees for years. But, he says, the recent increase in the politicization of refugees as disease-carrying hoards truly makes his blood boil. Not only, he says, because it's morally wrong, but also because it's not an efficient way to handle the problem. His conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of a new episode of GZERO World.

Watch the episode: UNHCR chief: How the pandemic has upended the lives of refugees

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