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The Biden administration’s vaccine rollout priorities

While surgeon and public health expert Dr. Atul Gawande thinks that the Biden administration has been hitting most of the marks when it comes to turning around the US vaccine rollout operation, there's one area where they need to step things up: the development of cheaper and more effective antiviral drugs for people infected with COVID-19. But when it comes to vaccine distribution itself, Dr. Gawande believes that the current administration has a firm grasp on boosting vaccine supply.

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Getting vaccine distribution right: ideas from health expert Dr. Atul Gawande

When Boston-based surgeon and public health expert Dr. Atul Gawande talks about vaccinating the American public, he's not speaking in hypotheticals. "I'm running vaccine distribution right now with a team of people and a partnership I've put together at Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park, and beyond." And the most important thing about vaccine distribution that Dr. Gawande has learned so far is to know how much vaccine is coming and when. Dr. Gawande's experience has also revealed a fundamental truth about the American health care system: "We're all breakthrough and no follow through." What can be done to get more vaccines into more arms before COVID-19 variants take hold? Dr. Gawande has a variety of ideas and he shares them with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: The race to vaccinate

COVID successes in India and Israel

For a while, says surgeon and public health expert Dr. Atul Gawande, India was on the same skyrocketing COVID-19 infection rate pathway as the United States. But then something remarkable happened: masking went way up, and infection rates plummeted. And in Israel, Dr. Gawande estimates that enough of the population has already been vaccinated to meaningfully bring down infection and hospitalization rates. The key to effective pandemic responses around the globe, Dr. Gawande concludes, is effective leadership. Dr. Gawande joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about some of the success stories from around the world. He'll also weigh in on whether or not China and Russia's less-vetted vaccines are safe to take.

Watch the episode: The race to vaccinate

The race to vaccinate: Dr. Atul Gawande provides perspective

Can the US vaccinate enough of its population to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths before new and more contagious COVID-19 variants take hold? And will these vaccines even be effective against more adaptable mutations of the virus? Surgeon and public health expert Dr. Atul Gawande, most recently of the Biden/Harris COVID-19 Transition Task Force, joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to discuss the latest in the global effort to vaccinate our way out of this pandemic. He also explains why people should get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if offered the chance, despite its lower overall efficacy rate compared to the mRNA-based vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

Podcast: The Race to Vaccinate: Dr. Atul Gawande Provides Perspective

Listen: Can the United States vaccinate enough of its population to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths before new and more contagious COVID-19 variants take hold? And will these vaccines even be effective against more adaptable mutations of the virus? Surgeon and public health expert Dr. Atul Gawande, most recently of the Biden/Harris COVID-19 Transition Task Force, joins the podcast to discuss the latest in the global effort to vaccinate our way out of this pandemic. He also explains why people should get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if offered the chance, despite its lower overall efficacy rate compared to the mRNA-based vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Should you get the J&J vaccine? Why Dr. Atul Gawande says yes

On Thursday, February 4, Johnson & Johnson requested emergency FDA approval for its single-shot vaccine. In the days since the company first released efficacy and safety data, many of the headlines focused on its lower efficacy rate compared to that of mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. But that's the wrong takeaway, says surgeon, public health expert and former member of Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, Dr. Atul Gawande. "This is a highly effective vaccine. It stops people from getting sick. If some people have some sniffles and mild effects from the coronavirus, that's okay, this is going to stop the deadly disease. And that is the ultimate goal of the vaccine."

Gawande's conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World, which starts airing on public television nationwide beginning this Friday, February 5th. Check local listings.

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