Sway
Sway
Dec 3, 2020
They Made the ‘Pfizer Vaccine’
Play • 27 min

Dr. Ozlem Tureci and Dr. Ugur Sahin, the co-founders of BioNTech, are behind the first coronavirus vaccine to be approved in the West. Starting next week, the “Pfizer vaccine” will be available in Britain.

While Pfizer is financing and distributing the vaccine, the science behind it was actually spearheaded by the couple’s lesser-known company. When Drs. Tureci and Sahin, along with their BioNTech team, embarked on this mission, the record for the fastest vaccine creation was four years. They did it in less than one.

BioNTech started working on a vaccine in January. By early November, the company shared the results of its Phase 3 trials: over 90 percent efficacy. The announcement was made days after the presidential election was called for Joe Biden, and Donald Trump claimed the timing was politically motivated.

In this episode of “Sway,” the couple dismiss that accusation and speak instead to the science. “Clinical trials are highly regulated,” Dr. Tureci says. “And this is something which you cannot really delay or stop or expedite.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Left, Right & Center
Left, Right & Center
KCRW
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52 min
Political Gabfest
Political Gabfest
Slate Podcasts
End this Uncivil War
Emily, John and David discuss the unusual but uplifting inauguration, Joe Biden’s priorities, and the Trump aftermath. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Joe Biden’s inauguration speech Inauguration video from former Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton Kevin Quealy for the New York Times: “The Complete List of Trump’s Twitter Insults (2015-2021)  Here are this week’s cocktail chatters:  John: The books of P.G. Wodehouse read by Jonathan Cecil Emily: Beth LeBlanc and Craig Mauger for the Detroit News: “Michigan Republicans Seek to Replace GOP Canvasser Who Certified Election” David: Jules Suzdaltsev’s Twitter thread of photos of weird things Trump did in office. Listener chatter from Clay Jeffries @clayjeffries: Sam Kean for the Atlantic: “22 Orphans Gave Up Everything to Distribute the World’s First Vaccine” Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show. For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, and John imagine some classes they would like to teach. You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank. Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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