In January 2020, just weeks after the first known case and months before it took grip globally, immunologist Uğur Şahin 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 before the end of the year.
Initially facing widespread scepticism in the scientific community, by November their firm BioNTech, in partnership with Pfizer, became the first to develop and test a working vaccine; as of 2021 over two billion doses have been made, administered in almost 100 countries.
Financial Times Frankfurt correspondent Joe Miller covered this world-changing story in real time, followed by his book The Vaccine: Inside The Race To Conquer The COVID-19 Pandemic – praised by Angela Merkel – and now joins Haaretz journalist Anshel Pfeffer to discuss this truly remarkable scientific, business and personal story.
Joe Miller is the Frankfurt correspondent for Financial Times. He previously reported for BBC News in London, New York, Delhi, and Berlin.
Anshel Pfeffer has covered Israeli politics and global affairs for two decades. He is a senior correspondent and columnist for Haaretz, and the Israel correspondent for The Economist. He is the author of Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu. He lives in Jerusalem.