A Shot to Save the World

Gregory Zuckerman


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Penguin Books Ltd
28 October 2021
ISBN: 9780241531709
384 pages

From the publisher

This is the definitive account of the global effort to develop a vaccine for Covid-19, charting the failure and success of every major vaccine in use.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, many of the world's biggest drug and vaccine makers were slow to react or couldn't muster an effective response. It was up to a small group of unlikely and untested scientists and executives to save civilization; a French businessman dismissed by many as a fabulist, a Turkish immigrant with little virus experience, a quirky American Midwesterner obsessed with insect cells, a Boston scientist employing questionable techniques, a British scientist despised by his peers. They scrambled to turn their life's work into life-saving vaccines in a matter of months, each gunning to make the big breakthrough - and to beat each other for the glory that a vaccine guaranteed.

A number-one New York Times bestselling author and award-winning Wall Street Journal investigative journalist, Zuckerman takes us inside the top-secret laboratories, corporate clashes and high-stakes government negotiations that led to effective vaccines development and roll out. Meticulously reported and endlessly gripping, this is a dazzling, blow-by-blow chronicle of the most consequential scientific breakthrough of our time. It's a story of courage, genius and heroism, optimism. It's also a tale of heated rivalries, unbridled ambitions, crippling insecurities and unexpected drama.

A Shot to Save the World is the story of how science saved the world.