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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.

Operation Warp Speed: Does credit for Moderna’s COVID vaccine go to the US taxpayer?

Without the help of the US government initiative "Operation Warp Speed," Moderna co-founder Noubar Afeyan says that it would have been impossible for the company to develop and deliver its vaccine so quickly. The fact, he says, that the American people may be days away from receiving its first doses is, in large part, thanks to their taxpayer dollars. Does President Trump, himself, deserve credit? "Without caveat," Afeyan says. He spoke with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

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

How development of the COVID-19 vaccine shattered records

They said it couldn't be done: a vaccine developed in record time. In 1967, Merck had a license for a mumps vaccine, less than five years for work that normally takes decades. But that record is now being shattered as the COVID-19 vaccine reaches the market in less than a year. It's an unprecedented scientific development in a whirlwind year of crisis.

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

Does the arrival of Moderna’s vaccine mean we’re back to normal?

"I think we're going to live with the pandemic for much of 2021, but I don't think it's a binary thing where we have a pandemic and everything's awful, or the pandemic's gone and everything is great again." Noubar Afeyan, co-founder of the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Moderna, levels with Ian Bremmer that even with a vaccine the pandemic will not be gone in a matter of day, weeks, or even months. But that doesn't mean that everything will be as bleak as it may feel now. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

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

What are the “known unknowns” about Moderna’s vaccine?

Moderna co-founder Noubar Afeyan concedes that there is plenty he still doesn't know about his company's COVID-19 vaccine, just as there's plenty he still doesn't know about the virus. But he is confident about one thing: "I view the vaccine as the best mask. It's a molecular mask, and once we have it onboard once, then presumably it will protect us." His conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

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

Moderna’s co-founder Noubar Afeyan on the growing pushback against a COVID-19 vaccine

"In any debate, if one side has to offer facts and the other side can offer doubts and they're considered of equal value, then the ones who offer doubts will always have an advantage." Moderna co-founder Noubar Afeyan isn't naïve about the pushback that his company's COVID-19 vaccine will receive when it hits the US market. Disinformation around vaccine safety and efficacy was rampant even before the pandemic began. His conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

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

A shot in the arm: Moderna’s co-founder on the COVID-19 vaccine

The pandemic's US death toll shows no signs of abating and the holiday season's spike will likely dwarf any surge that came before it. But in the midst of this dark winter there are glimmers of hope, as the first of the COVID-19 vaccines have nearly arrived (or, depending on when you read this, already have). On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer interviews Noubar Afeyan, the co-founder of a leading vaccine developer Moderna. They'll discuss distribution plans, the revolutionary science behind Moderna's vaccine, and how a company younger than Twitter became a frontrunner in the race to end the pandemic.

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