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The Vaccine: Inside the Race to Conquer the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The dramatic story of the married scientists who founded BioNTech and developed the first vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic. Nobody thought it was possible. In mid-January 2020, Ugur Sahin told Özlem Türeci, his wife and decades-long research partner, that a vaccine against what would soon be known as COVID-19 could be developed and safely injected into the arms of mill The dramatic story of the married scientists who founded BioNTech and developed the first vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic. Nobody thought it was possible. In mid-January 2020, Ugur Sahin told Özlem Türeci, his wife and decades-long research partner, that a vaccine against what would soon be known as COVID-19 could be developed and safely injected into the arms of millions before the end of the year. His confidence was built upon almost thirty years of research. While working to revolutionize the way that cancerous tumors are treated, the couple had explored a volatile and overlooked molecule called messenger RNA; they believed it could be harnessed to turn the human body into its own pharmacy. As the founders of BioNTech, they faced widespread skepticism from the scientific community at first; but by the time Sars-Cov-2 was discovered in Wuhan, BioNTech was prepared to deploy cutting edge technology and create the world’s first approved inoculation for the coronavirus. The Vaccine draws back the curtain on one of the most important medical breakthroughs of our age; it will reveal how Doctors Sahin and Türeci were able to develop twenty vaccine candidates within weeks, convince Big Pharma to support their ambitious project, navigate political interference from the Trump administration and the European Union, and manage to provide more than two billion doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to countries around the world in record time. Written by Joe Miller—the Financial Times’ Frankfurt correspondent who covered BioNTech’s COVID-19 project in real time—with contributions from Sahin and Türeci, as well as interviews with more than 50 scientists, politicians, public health officials, and BioNTech staff, the book covers key events throughout the extraordinary year, as well as exploring the scientific, economic, and personal background of each medical innovation. Crafted to be both completely accessible to the average reader and filled with details that will fascinate seasoned microbiologists, The Vaccine explains the science behind the breakthrough, at a time when public confidence in vaccine safety and efficacy is crucial to bringing an end to this pandemic.


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The dramatic story of the married scientists who founded BioNTech and developed the first vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic. Nobody thought it was possible. In mid-January 2020, Ugur Sahin told Özlem Türeci, his wife and decades-long research partner, that a vaccine against what would soon be known as COVID-19 could be developed and safely injected into the arms of mill The dramatic story of the married scientists who founded BioNTech and developed the first vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic. Nobody thought it was possible. In mid-January 2020, Ugur Sahin told Özlem Türeci, his wife and decades-long research partner, that a vaccine against what would soon be known as COVID-19 could be developed and safely injected into the arms of millions before the end of the year. His confidence was built upon almost thirty years of research. While working to revolutionize the way that cancerous tumors are treated, the couple had explored a volatile and overlooked molecule called messenger RNA; they believed it could be harnessed to turn the human body into its own pharmacy. As the founders of BioNTech, they faced widespread skepticism from the scientific community at first; but by the time Sars-Cov-2 was discovered in Wuhan, BioNTech was prepared to deploy cutting edge technology and create the world’s first approved inoculation for the coronavirus. The Vaccine draws back the curtain on one of the most important medical breakthroughs of our age; it will reveal how Doctors Sahin and Türeci were able to develop twenty vaccine candidates within weeks, convince Big Pharma to support their ambitious project, navigate political interference from the Trump administration and the European Union, and manage to provide more than two billion doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to countries around the world in record time. Written by Joe Miller—the Financial Times’ Frankfurt correspondent who covered BioNTech’s COVID-19 project in real time—with contributions from Sahin and Türeci, as well as interviews with more than 50 scientists, politicians, public health officials, and BioNTech staff, the book covers key events throughout the extraordinary year, as well as exploring the scientific, economic, and personal background of each medical innovation. Crafted to be both completely accessible to the average reader and filled with details that will fascinate seasoned microbiologists, The Vaccine explains the science behind the breakthrough, at a time when public confidence in vaccine safety and efficacy is crucial to bringing an end to this pandemic.

30 review for The Vaccine: Inside the Race to Conquer the COVID-19 Pandemic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    BioNTech, the German company which partnered with Pfizer to create the Covid vaccine, was started by Ugur and Ozlem, a husband and wife team of scientists, both children of Turkish immigrants. It was interesting to read about the evolution of this company, which begun with the mission of treating cancer, and to learn that it was not only amazing scientific know-how, but also funding, which was important to the vaccine’s development. Ugur proudly told Angela Merkel in January of 2021 video confer BioNTech, the German company which partnered with Pfizer to create the Covid vaccine, was started by Ugur and Ozlem, a husband and wife team of scientists, both children of Turkish immigrants. It was interesting to read about the evolution of this company, which begun with the mission of treating cancer, and to learn that it was not only amazing scientific know-how, but also funding, which was important to the vaccine’s development. Ugur proudly told Angela Merkel in January of 2021 video conference , that the team ”consisted of experts from over 60 countries, and more than half were women.” The author made the information both accessible to the general reader, and technical enough to please most "science geeks." Recommended for anyone with an interest in science, or readers just wanting to know about the vaccine development process. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Y.N.

    Ich bin ein großer Fan von diesem Buch. Hier finden Sie alle Antworten darüber, wie der Impfstoff überhaupt hergestellt wurde, die Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Impfstoffherstellern, ihr Spezialgebiet, das Vorteile schafft, die schnellen Reaktionen, um etwas zu tun, und Taktiken, die funktionieren. Ein sehr interessantes Buch, das Sie heute unbedingt lesen sollten.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lukas T. Schmidt

    Spannende erkenntnissreiche Rekonstruktion mit vielen Hintergrundinfos und vielen wissenschaftlichen sowie unternehmerischen Einblicken.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily Correia

    I was really excited to see this come the shelves from Net Galley after reading Gottleib’s book last year. I think it’s interesting to have read both of these books, as this one doves much more into the scientific response to the pandemic, while Gottleib’s focuses more on agency response within the U.S. this also largely takes place in the German BioNTech facilities, which added another layer to the complexity. From the get go, I felt I was reading quickly, but didn’t seem to be making much prog I was really excited to see this come the shelves from Net Galley after reading Gottleib’s book last year. I think it’s interesting to have read both of these books, as this one doves much more into the scientific response to the pandemic, while Gottleib’s focuses more on agency response within the U.S. this also largely takes place in the German BioNTech facilities, which added another layer to the complexity. From the get go, I felt I was reading quickly, but didn’t seem to be making much progress which was discouraging, only to realize that it was because just over the final 20% is acknowledgements, appendices and footnotes. The thing I wasn’t expecting here though, was that this feels like a heroes tale of two scientists fighting the pandemic. I felt like it was heavy on feeling the humanity of the work they were doing, and really shone a light on the drug discovery process in lay terms. As someone intimately familiar with the R&D processes to bring a drug to market, it was a refreshing description of the steps companies normally have to take compared to what was done in the pandemic. I really appreciated the story of how a small biotech company’s science helped the world through a pandemic. This is definitely a worthwhile read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ylve

    *3.5 - 4.0 ⭐️

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl M-M

    What Vaccine does really well is capture the entirety of the picture, especially when we are only able to see parts of it. For someone to openly recognise and be honest about the trajectory and evolvement of the pandemic, then following the battle to find a solution and way to curb the pandemic, and of course the amount of fatalities. During a time when people are fractured into different sides, especially when it comes to Covid and subsequently the vaccine, it’s important to shed light on the sc What Vaccine does really well is capture the entirety of the picture, especially when we are only able to see parts of it. For someone to openly recognise and be honest about the trajectory and evolvement of the pandemic, then following the battle to find a solution and way to curb the pandemic, and of course the amount of fatalities. During a time when people are fractured into different sides, especially when it comes to Covid and subsequently the vaccine, it’s important to shed light on the science to counter the conspiracies. Conspiracy theorists see and make connections where others don’t. There is a general feeling of mistrust towards science, government and the medical experts in general, which is why books or audiobooks like this are of paramount importance. Countering the stream of misinformation and hopefully allaying some fears along the way. It’s science heavy – obviously – but for the majority it is explained quite well for a reader who is also a layperson. The use of metaphors really helped with equivalency and association. I could do with a written version of it too. Given the book was written during the time of the pandemic, the author had certain limitations to deal with and yet he still managed to interview scientists, politicians and staff at BioNTech, and of course Uğur Şahin und Özlem Türeci. The result is a fascinating window into the world behind the vaccine, the company, and the people who created it. I think it’s worth pointing out that our media, and often the mouthpieces of governments, focus on the negative to gain traction and viewers. The numbers we hear and read about tend to be the losses, the victims, and whilst they are important it’s perhaps impossible to quantify the positive results of the vaccine. Both now and in the future. It’s a compelling audiobook – I highly recommend it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Definitely my BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021! Great writing! Joe Miller makes this mix of biography, documentary and science textbook rather feel like a crime novel, a thriller you won't put down until finished: A page turner. This book helped me understand quite some things. It touches on: - the nature of our immune system - how different kinds of vaccines work - how biontechs COVID-19 vaccine work - entrepreneurship - how (some) investors work - how companies in Germany (can) work together with government agen Definitely my BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021! Great writing! Joe Miller makes this mix of biography, documentary and science textbook rather feel like a crime novel, a thriller you won't put down until finished: A page turner. This book helped me understand quite some things. It touches on: - the nature of our immune system - how different kinds of vaccines work - how biontechs COVID-19 vaccine work - entrepreneurship - how (some) investors work - how companies in Germany (can) work together with government agencies tasked with governance All in all: A strong recommendation!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Philipp Kittler

    Dieses Buch wird dem Thema und den dargestellten Personen nicht gerecht. Der Buchtitel bezeichnet eher die Arbeitsweise und die damit verbundene Gewissenhaftigkeit des Autors, als die im Buch skizzierte Forschung. Dem Buch lag ein Zettel bei, in dem zwei fehlende Absätze abgedruckt waren, sowie eine Entschuldigung für diesen Missstand. Tatsächlich werden viel häufiger Sätze nicht zuende gebracht, so dass man zwischen den Gedanken des Autors springt. Hätten sich der Autor und/oder das Lektorat meh Dieses Buch wird dem Thema und den dargestellten Personen nicht gerecht. Der Buchtitel bezeichnet eher die Arbeitsweise und die damit verbundene Gewissenhaftigkeit des Autors, als die im Buch skizzierte Forschung. Dem Buch lag ein Zettel bei, in dem zwei fehlende Absätze abgedruckt waren, sowie eine Entschuldigung für diesen Missstand. Tatsächlich werden viel häufiger Sätze nicht zuende gebracht, so dass man zwischen den Gedanken des Autors springt. Hätten sich der Autor und/oder das Lektorat mehr Zeit gegeben, wären die Texte sicherlich besser lesbar. So färbt leider die fehlende Sorgfalt des Autors die Inhalte des Buches. Ironischerweise wird versucht, die Wissenschaftler als sehr gewissenhafte und exakt arbeitende Menschen darzustellen, die beinahe unmenschlich fehlerlos zu sein scheinen. Man muss das als ein überzogenes Bild annehmen, das der Autor gerne in die Köpfe der Leser einpflanzen will. Die wissenschaftlichen Inhalte sind sehr oberflächlich und stark vereinfacht dargestellt. An ein paar Stellen auch falsch oder zumindest irreführend. Analogien werden falsch eingesetzt und sprachlich schlecht unterfüttert ("[...] im mikroskopischen Bereich [...] um Haaresbreite" - der Virus hat einen Durchmesser von etwa 140 nm und eine Haaresbreite entspricht in dem Kontext einer optischen Verkleinerung statt einer Vergrößerung). Natürlich kann man dem Leser keinen naturwissenschaftlichen oder lebenswissenschaftlichen Fachtext zumuten, aber man kann diese Inhalte korrekt und ansprechend vermitteln, statt ewig in schlechten Analogien zu elaborieren. Die beiden BioNTech-Gründer werden sehr distanziert, kühl, minimalistisch und gewissenhaft dargestellt. Vor allem der familiäre Einblick wirkt inszeniert, ist aber für den Leser auch nicht überprüfbar. Solche Einblicke könnten Nähe zum Leser aufbauen, stattdessen hat man das Gefühl, Ausschnitte aus einer Autobiographie zu lesen, die allein aus PR-Gründen geschrieben wurde. Ich kann mir vorstellen dass die Gründer herzensgute, gewissenhafte Menschen sind - und sie haben Großes geleistet, aber eben auch nicht allein. Ihre Erfolge in der mRNA-Forschung wären ohne den Vorlauf unzähliger Wissenschaftler in dem Gebiet nicht möglich gewesen. Der BioNTech-Erfolg ist gewiss nicht vom Himmel gefallen. So sehr wie sie wissenschaftlich engagiert sind, so sehr haben sie auch ein wirtschaftliches Interesse, dass sie Absatz-Chancen erkennen lässt. Daran ist nichts schlechtes, aber so altruistisch die Darstellung im Buch ist, können die Gründer dem nicht gerecht werden. Weiterhin wird die mRNA so dargestellt, als hätte man sie praktisch vor dem wissenschaftlichen Engagement der Gründer vernachlässigt oder nicht ernstgenommen. Das stimmt schlichtweg nicht. Das Feld der Genetik ist so unheimlich komplex, dass man einfach nur vorsichtig mit Prognosen und Deutungen ist. Das ist gute wissenschaftliche Arbeitsweise. Ein Potential in der mRNA nicht zu erkennen, heißt, dass man nicht alle Informationen zu dem Zeitpunkt hatte oder nicht zu kombinieren wusste. Offenbar haben die Gründer von BioNTech da ihren Heureka-Moment gehabt, der ihnen zu gönnen ist. Last but not least: Ein solches Thema lässt man besser von einem SciComm-Autor aus der Naturwissenschaft, idealerweise den Lebenswissenschaften, in Buchform aufarbeiten. Ein Financial-Times-Journalist taugt hierfür leider nicht. Aber: Die wirtschaftlichen Zusammenhänge scheint Joe Miller bestens recherchiert und gut aufgearbeitet zu haben, sofern ich das beurteilen kann. Im Thema lag Potential, das einfach nur für die Relevanz in diesen Tagen schnell verheizt wurde um Kasse im Buchhandel zu machen. Eine Retrospektive in drei oder vier Jahren liest sich sicherlich besser.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David White

    In January 2020, we watched and read news from Wuhan in China regarding an outbreak of disease which appeared to jump from animal to human the previous month. It was a long way away, and not bothering a whole lot of people in Europe at the time. That changed as we moved into February and March, and case numbers exploded in Italy and subsequently around the continent, and then further afield. Before we knew it, schools were closing, workers were adjusting to carrying out their jobs remotely, and In January 2020, we watched and read news from Wuhan in China regarding an outbreak of disease which appeared to jump from animal to human the previous month. It was a long way away, and not bothering a whole lot of people in Europe at the time. That changed as we moved into February and March, and case numbers exploded in Italy and subsequently around the continent, and then further afield. Before we knew it, schools were closing, workers were adjusting to carrying out their jobs remotely, and lockdowns were in place throughout the world. Back in January, however, when the rest of us were unaware of what was truly about to happen next, two scientists in Germany (a husband and wife), Dr. Ozlem Tureci and Dr. Usurp Sahin, were trying to figure out if mRNA techniques could be used to develop a vaccine to help with the outbreak. They ran a small biotech firm called BioNTech, usually dedicated to using mRNA to develop cancer vaccines. What followed in the months to come from Tureci, Sahin and BioNTech was a breathless pursuit of a COVID vaccine in order to contain the pandemic. Ultimately, the pursuit was successful, with a potent vaccine identified, tested and in production (in partnership with Pfizer) in mere months. It was a remarkable achievement. “The Vaccine” is the story of the development of the BioNTech Pfizer vaccine. It’s an excellent account of one of the most significant breakthroughs in modern medicine. Author Joe Miller assembled the story from interviews with many of the principles involved, including Tureci and Sahin. Tureci and Sahin showed that science and rational calm thinking trumps ego and hysteria. They were able to get a plan together to identify a suitable candidate vaccine, scale up BioNTech R&D and testing, make a key partnership, and navigate regulator requirements, and do so within as aggressive timeframe as possible without comprising patient safety. While it can get tiring listening to the daily ups and downs of the pandemic in the media, I still found this book a great read, and an excellent reminder of how innovation and science play a critical role in our modern lives. I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Johanna Lückel

    Wow. mRNA als zukünftige mainstreamRNA ? Ich denke schon. Wahnsinnig spannende Einblicke in den Prozess der Impfstoffherstellung. 88 Tage brauchte es um die erste Injektion am Menschen durchzuführen. Lightspeed trifft es gut. Für mich waren die Einblicke in die Finanzwelt, die Investionen sowie die Projekte von Ganymed sehr spannend und neu. Von wissenschaftlicher Seite habe ich Vieles mitgenommen. Vor allem die Bedeutung der T-Zell Antwort neben der Rolle der Antikörper in der Bekämpfung des Vi Wow. mRNA als zukünftige mainstreamRNA ? Ich denke schon. Wahnsinnig spannende Einblicke in den Prozess der Impfstoffherstellung. 88 Tage brauchte es um die erste Injektion am Menschen durchzuführen. Lightspeed trifft es gut. Für mich waren die Einblicke in die Finanzwelt, die Investionen sowie die Projekte von Ganymed sehr spannend und neu. Von wissenschaftlicher Seite habe ich Vieles mitgenommen. Vor allem die Bedeutung der T-Zell Antwort neben der Rolle der Antikörper in der Bekämpfung des Virus. Gut, dass sich B2.9 bewährt hat. Ich bin gespannt, welche Krankheiten mit dieser Technologie behandelt werden können und in welchem klinischen Kontext mRNA in Zukunft eingesetzt wird. „Die Entwicklung des Corona-Impfstoffs profitierte von der Krebsforschung, und jetzt werden unsere Krebsprogramme vom Erfolg unseres Corona-Vakzins profitieren.“ „Grundsätzlich gibt mRNA BioNTech eine Chance, Gesundheitsfürsorge zu demokratisieren.“ (Klingt utopisch, aber vielleicht doch ein Meilenstein um rare diseases zu bekämpfen.)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Niklas Heer

    This book tells the incredible story of the BioNTech vaccine. I found it inspiring and very informative. The story is told in a very captivating way. It also covers more details about the vaccine and how it works. Overall this is a fine book. I can recommend it to everyone interested in this story or who wants to understand mRNA vaccines better.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christian

    Ein packendes Buch, welches die Entwicklungsgeschichte des SARS-CoV-2 Impfstoffes beschreibt. Das Buch tut aber noch viel mehr als das: Es bringt dem Leser die beiden Menschen näher, welche all das erst möglich gemacht haben. Man empfindet große Dankbarkeit für Menschen wie Türeci und Sahin, weil sie durch ihren wissenschaftlichen Willen die Tür zur Heilung vieler Krankheiten geöffnet haben.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I loved this book. It is so much more than just a science story. While there is much science involved, the story also involves politics, finance, business and, most importantly, people. The scope of the book is narrow in that it really is only about the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and there is not much on the other vaccines. On the other hand, this allows the book to spend a lot of time on biography. I found the book hard to put down. It is well written, with a conversational tone, with . Thank yo I loved this book. It is so much more than just a science story. While there is much science involved, the story also involves politics, finance, business and, most importantly, people. The scope of the book is narrow in that it really is only about the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and there is not much on the other vaccines. On the other hand, this allows the book to spend a lot of time on biography. I found the book hard to put down. It is well written, with a conversational tone, with . Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the advance reader copy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lilia

    Sehr interessantes Buch mit vielen Hintergrundinformationen!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Callum Wilson

    I feel like everyone who receives the BioNTech vaccine should read this. I certainly appreciated the background, science and, perhaps most noticeably, the personalities behind this most significant of scientific breakthroughs. This medical accomplishment deserves to be ranked one of the most important of the last century, perhaps longer. It therefore stands to reason that it should be well known. The book is decently written. It does its best to simplify the science, but when covering developmen I feel like everyone who receives the BioNTech vaccine should read this. I certainly appreciated the background, science and, perhaps most noticeably, the personalities behind this most significant of scientific breakthroughs. This medical accomplishment deserves to be ranked one of the most important of the last century, perhaps longer. It therefore stands to reason that it should be well known. The book is decently written. It does its best to simplify the science, but when covering development of a viral vaccine ots tough, and I found myself over my head on multiple occasions. Its at its best when explaining the science in metaphors. Really great job to all those that had a part in developing the vaccine and to Miller for documenting the event. I think this is an Audible Original, therefore only available as audiobook.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    THE VACCINE: INSIDE THE RACE TO CONQUER THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC BY: JOE MILLER This was a fantastic and profoundly interesting glimpse into one coup;e's dynamic knowledge and their foreboding early predictions of knowing ahead of time that we were heading into a pandemic. As early as January of 2020, Ugur Sahin was home reading a scientific journal and he saw where there was a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Wuhan, China. Ugur and his wife Ozlem Tureci are doctors that are also research scientists that are b THE VACCINE: INSIDE THE RACE TO CONQUER THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC BY: JOE MILLER This was a fantastic and profoundly interesting glimpse into one coup;e's dynamic knowledge and their foreboding early predictions of knowing ahead of time that we were heading into a pandemic. As early as January of 2020, Ugur Sahin was home reading a scientific journal and he saw where there was a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Wuhan, China. Ugur and his wife Ozlem Tureci are doctors that are also research scientists that are both emigrated from Turkey where they have been living in Mainz, Germany running a cutting edge company named BioNTech. They have been using mRNA to treat cancerous tumors as immunologists which is cutting edge in their field. They owned a former company which was successful before developing BioNTech. Ugur, who while thinking about the virus outbreak was also trained in Mathematics. As Ugur did some quick calculations figuring in for Wuhan's size and the many travel routes in this city's metropolis he predicted that this could lead to a full scale, World wide International pandemic back in early January 2020. mRNA is messenger RNA which this couple used and they thought that they ought to try to develop a vaccine using mRNA to attack the bulbous spikes which are the part of what would later be called COVID19. This Author, Joe Miller has written an accessible book detailing these two amazing Scientists journey into the race to develop a Covid19 vaccine to help save lives from what they predicted would be a global crises. The Author provides a historical record of the steps that this couple used as a strategy to develop a safe vaccine in record time for emergency use. He also includes the multiple other health scares that the world has faced like Ebola, SARS, MERS, Polio, Small Pox, the Swine Flu that the Obama administration handled. Ugur and Ozlem didn't work in infectious disease, but from their success with mRNA, they thought that it could also be used to attack the spikes that pierce the lungs like Velcro and they used their immune system knowledge to develop in record time. They named their operation "Project Lightspeed." Developing a vaccine in months was no easy task. This book chronicles the process of every step of the way of the miraculous decisions that led to these two to harness a molecule that most of pharmacologists shunned. Starting with the recognizing that the fifty or so cases of this novel respiratory illness caused by Pathogens that broke the species barrier, known as zoonotic viruses, weren't uncommon, and the likelihood of a small cluster of infections leading to a public health crises was usually minimal except for this time. While Ugur read on that there was a submission from more than twenty Hong Kong based researchers offering an analysis of a "familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus," didn't concern Ugur. What did concern him was the second part of the article, "indicating person-to-person transmission." A quintet of a family checked into a teaching hospital with all of the symptoms we associate with COVID19, but what terrified Ugur was that one member who was a child was asymptomatic and as the six member of the family a seven year old tested positive for the new coronavirus. This suggested that, unlike the SARS-CoV outbreak of 2002, here was a pathogen that could travel undetected between perfectly healthy people. It was, in effect a silent assassin as this family denied having come in contact with the animals and they were all sick except the seven year old. Ugur was no infectious disease expert, but he lived through SARS-CoV outbreak and its successor that emerged in Saudi Arabia a decade later, known as the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, and out of curiosity he had studied the data modeling that predicted their rapid spread. He knew by instinct that with this emergence of a new undetected pathogen that could be spread unwittingly by healthy people in one of the most connected and populous cities provided an almost perfect platform for a pandemic. This with some calculations in the best case scenario could mean 2 million deaths worldwide, far surpassing recent epidemics. He told his wife and they began with the help of others the race to develop a vaccine using mRNA. This was absolutely fascinating to read about this multifaceted history in the making. They did join forces with Pfizer, but they did all of the work. There is so much information on this to encapsulate in a review. This was very engaging and I was able to understand the science thanks to the way this talented Author narrated this journey. There is so much that can go wrong developing a vaccine and it is all described in an easy to understand way. If you got the Pfizer vaccine you will learn the complex way that it was developed. Moderna used mRNA also but they were funded by the United States government. I really loved this and am so impressed how this Author was able to pack so much information in such a short book. I felt like I was a silent witness inside the narrative. I learned so much and am grateful that I read this. I was never bored and this doesn't read like a dense text book which I appreciated. I highly recommend giving this book consideration if you are interested in learning without being overwhelmed by not understanding the science. Publication Date: February 1, 2022 Thank you to Net Galley, Joe Miller and St. Martin's Press for generously providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. #TheVaccine #JoeMiller #StMartin'sPress #NetGalley

  17. 5 out of 5

    Firetruckmama

    I received an e-ARC copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. “The Vaccine” by Joe Miller, Ugur Sahin, and Ozlem Tureci is a non-fiction book telling the story about BioNTech, which developed the first vaccine against COVID-19. I’ll be honest, reading a book about the COVID vaccine’s creation while waiting 15 minutes after a COVID-19 booster shot felt rather surreal. This book basically tells the story of a couple, Ugur Sahin and Ozlewm Tureci, and how working together in their biotech c I received an e-ARC copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. “The Vaccine” by Joe Miller, Ugur Sahin, and Ozlem Tureci is a non-fiction book telling the story about BioNTech, which developed the first vaccine against COVID-19. I’ll be honest, reading a book about the COVID vaccine’s creation while waiting 15 minutes after a COVID-19 booster shot felt rather surreal. This book basically tells the story of a couple, Ugur Sahin and Ozlewm Tureci, and how working together in their biotech company they found a way - in a hurry too - to create a vaccine for COVID-19. Was it easy? No. Was their company an overnight success story? No and, in fact, the author gives the backstory of Sahin and Tureci finding funding and trying to keep their previous company afloat. Was it quick? Since I’ve worked with companies that had FDA oversight, yes, getting a vaccine approved in less than a year is a near miracle. Was it just the two people working on this? No, they had a company (albeit small) with dedicated workers, researches, backers (fortunately), and help from others in the scientific community to start (and continue helping) the ball rolling on the COVID-19 vaccine. Was it breaking new technology? Yes and no. Others had looked into mRNA vaccines before, but getting it to work consistently was an issue. Biotech is not easy - nor is going through regulations, testing, and manufacturing - and for all of those things, this book rather clearly spells out what BioNTech needed to do and how they went about accomplishing the seemingly impossible at times (Phase 3 testing - never easy, but they did it). If you want a book explaining more about how the US companies (such as Moderna) made decisions, this is not the book for you (that’s not a negative, it’s just not the scope of this book). This book is about a European-based company, dealing with German and EU regulations (which differ from those in the US), and trying to do the seemingly impossible in a short time. If you want more background on the COVID-19 virus, how BioNTech became the forefront company in developing a vaccine, and what went into making that happen, then read this book. While I found the information about the company and science interesting, I wish that the book had included images and better organization. I’ve a tiny bit of knowledge about genetics, so, while I knew that a lot of the technical science was going to be above my head (and it was), I found myself really wishing for some drawings (even line ones) to explain what the author was describing (in this case, I’m pretty sure a picture would’ve saved a few hundred words). Visuals would have greatly helped “the layman” understand some of the technical bits of this book. I also would’ve liked an orderly timeline - sometimes the author talks about the present, then flips back a few years to the past, then returns to the present - then takes a zip down history lane - then returns to the present. Subheads with years (or even a different subtitle) would’ve helped. As a positive, there are a number of footnotes (over 200, I believe) and the last 20% of the e-ARC version I read was mainly the footnoted information. I found the last bit a bit lackluster - but since COVID is ongoing, it's hard to conclude a book when the subject is current.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashleys Bücherkabinett

    Vielen lieben Dank an @netgalleyde und @rowohltverlag für das Rezensionsexemplar! 💞 Als ich über #projektlightspeed von #joemiller #özlemtüreci & #uğurşahin gestolpert bin, war für mich sofort klar - dieses Buch MUSS ich lesen! Und ich wurde nicht enttäuscht, dieses Buch hat mir genau das gegeben, was ich davon erwartet habe. Nämlich alle Informationen rund um die Entwicklung, die Erprobungsstudien und die Zulassung des berühmten Impfstoffes von #biontech. On top gab es dann noch viele interessante Vielen lieben Dank an @netgalleyde und @rowohltverlag für das Rezensionsexemplar! 💞 Als ich über #projektlightspeed von #joemiller #özlemtüreci & #uğurşahin gestolpert bin, war für mich sofort klar - dieses Buch MUSS ich lesen! Und ich wurde nicht enttäuscht, dieses Buch hat mir genau das gegeben, was ich davon erwartet habe. Nämlich alle Informationen rund um die Entwicklung, die Erprobungsstudien und die Zulassung des berühmten Impfstoffes von #biontech. On top gab es dann noch viele interessante Infos über andere Infektionskrankheiten, frühere Impfstoffentwicklungen und das Virus #sarscovid19 selbst. Ausserdem hat man auch kleine Einblicke in das Leben der beiden Wissenschaftler bekommen, die sie super sympathisch und vorallem authentisch rübergebracht haben ❤️ Schade fand ich lediglich, dass 2-3 mal das Wort #notfallzulassung gefallen ist. Denn das könnte manche Menschen wieder verunsichern. Von einer Art "Notfallzulassung" kann hier nämlich nicht die Rede sein, das wird im Buch auch mehr als deutlich! Ausserdem hat mir so ein bisschen der "rote Faden" gefehlt, da die Erzählungen öfters mal auf dem Zeitstrahl hin und her springen und so den Leser eher verwirren 😅 das hat mich manchmal wirklich genervt! Das Fachliche wird sehr verständlich rübergebracht, sodass auch ein Laie es verstehen und folgen kann 👍🏻 Generell kann ich jedem dieses Buch empfehlen, der sich vllt immer noch sehr unsicher ist in Bezug auf die Impfung oder einfach mehr fundiertes Hintergrundwissen haben möchte 🙌🏻

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Aside from finding the scientific story fascinating, I really loved the human story that runs through this book. This is a time through which we all know that emotions have run high and that so much has been turned upside down, but to see the incredible progress and breakthroughs that these scientists made in light of all that was going on in the world is just truly amazing. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand not only the story of the creation of the Aside from finding the scientific story fascinating, I really loved the human story that runs through this book. This is a time through which we all know that emotions have run high and that so much has been turned upside down, but to see the incredible progress and breakthroughs that these scientists made in light of all that was going on in the world is just truly amazing. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand not only the story of the creation of the covid vaccines (BioNTech/Pfizer's in particular, of course), but also what it takes to be a human working on the most complex and pressing challenges of our time under incredible amounts of pressure.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Sehr spannend zu lesen. Am Ende überwiegt Dankbarkeit und das Erstaunen, wieviele Menschen sich mit großer Leidenschaft und unglaublich viel Mut und Kraft in diesen Prozess eingebracht haben und wieviel Zufälle auch zeitlich zusammen kommen mussten um die Entwicklung des Impfstoffes überhaupt möglich zu machen. Und es bleibt die Hoffnung, dass hier weitere therapeutische Innovationen zu erwarten sind, dass die Pandemie mit all ihren Schrecken auch Kristallisationspunkt für weitere großartige Neu Sehr spannend zu lesen. Am Ende überwiegt Dankbarkeit und das Erstaunen, wieviele Menschen sich mit großer Leidenschaft und unglaublich viel Mut und Kraft in diesen Prozess eingebracht haben und wieviel Zufälle auch zeitlich zusammen kommen mussten um die Entwicklung des Impfstoffes überhaupt möglich zu machen. Und es bleibt die Hoffnung, dass hier weitere therapeutische Innovationen zu erwarten sind, dass die Pandemie mit all ihren Schrecken auch Kristallisationspunkt für weitere großartige Neuigkeiten gewesen sein wird: „Das war erst der Anfang.“

  21. 4 out of 5

    SecondMe80

    Eine atemberaubende Geschichte, spannend und mit vielen wissenschaftlichen, wirtschaftlichen und organisatorischen Details erzählt. Eigentlich müsste ich für das schlampige Lektorat (Absätze enden manchmal im Nichts) und die wenig stringente Erzählweise (es wird nicht nachvollziehbar zwischen Zeitpunkten und Erzählebenen gesprungen) einen Stern abziehen. Ich wünsche dem Buch aber viele Leser*innen - und vielen Leser*innen den Genuss dieses Buches - daher 5 Sterne und absolute Empfehlung.

  22. 5 out of 5

    R Anıl

    İf you are working in pharmaceuticals or medicine this is for you. İts unnecessarily long and detailed for anyone that wants to get an idea of covid and covid vaccines. İts about why they chose to work on mRNA vaccines and how they adapted to making a Covid vaccine while everyone knew BioNTech as a cancer researching company.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katarina Janoskova

    Excellent. I got their vaccine and it was wonderful to read the journey of it being developed. From the very first mention of Wuhan to my arm being a bit sore - just over a year. Mad! But they did it. Looking forward to see what BioNTech does next!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Ein Buch über die Entwicklung eines Impfstoffes erscheint erst einmal nicht sehr spannend. Dem Autor ist es jedoch gelungen, die Geschichte von Biontech interessant und kurzweilig zu erzählen. Chapeau für die großartigen Mitarbeiter von Biontech und deren Leistung.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kendy

    Und 10 Sterne für den Impstoff <3 <3 <3

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lorenz Adlung

    https://lorenzadlung.wordpress.com/20... https://lorenzadlung.wordpress.com/20...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christiane Göpf

    Eine Offenbarung!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Zeena Dealman

    Joe Miller tells the captivating story of two extraordinary people and an extraordinary technology – highly recommended read to learn about mRNA and its potential in an accessible way. The German translation is a bit clumsy at times, but will surely be better in a later print.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jane Regan

    A good read , only 3 stars because I would have liked it set more into a real time line . Nit picking really

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thomass17

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