washington post review of books about hunt for covid-19 vaccines

Washington Post image

I was thrilled to have my first book review published in the Washington Post this month. I was asked to read two nonfiction books about the development of the COVID-19 vaccines: Brendan Borrell’s The First Shots and Gregory Zuckerman’s A Shot to Save the World.

The review began this way:

The rapid development and rollout of coronavirus vaccines is one of the biggest news stories in recent memory. As the novel and highly communicable virus began spreading at the end of 2019, the hunt for a vaccine began in early 2020, relying heavily upon a foundation of knowledge created by little-known scientists and researchers. By the time vaccines were being injected into arms at the end of 2020, the United States had lost hundreds of thousands of people to covid-19.

A story this expansive and consequential could surely fill many books. (Think of how many have been written about the 1918 influenza pandemic.) So it really isn’t surprising that two journalists have tackled the same big story in separate new books — with similar titles and stark covers featuring syringes. The books offer dueling tales of how coronavirus vaccines were developed in what seemed like record time. While they cover some of the same territory and quote some of the same people, the books largely shine their respective lights on different narrative slices of the story.

Read the rest of the review here.

Image credit: Washington Post

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