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The First Shots

The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccine

Brendan Borrell



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Text Publishing Company
03 November 2021
An enthralling real-life thriller that tells the full inside story of the high-stakes race for a lifesaving vaccine to end the COVID-19 pandemic The full inside story of the high-stakes global race for the lifesaving vaccine to end the pandemic Heroic science. Chaotic politics. Billionaire entrepreneurs. In The First Shots, award-winning journalist Brendan Borrell brings to life the defining story of our times through absorbing, first-time reporting on those leading the fight against a vicious virus.

Borrell draws on exclusive, high-level access to take us inside the intense competition among brilliant scientists and the epic rivalries among Washington power players. His propulsive narrative depicts key players such as infectious-diseases expert Michael Callahan, who was secretly on the ground in Wuhan to gauge the terrifying ravages of 'disease X'; Robert Kadlec, one of Operation Warp Speed's architects, whose audacious plans ran straight into the buzz-saw of the Trump White House factions; and Stephane Bancel of Moderna Therapeutics, the upstart company that went toe to toe with pharma behemoth Pfizer.

A real-life thriller playing out over eighteen months of fear, resolve and triumph, The First Shots lays bare the stunning story behind the medical-science 'moonshot' of our lifetimes.
By:   Brendan Borrell
Imprint:   Text Publishing Company
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm,  Spine: 1mm
Weight:   1g
ISBN:   9781922458247
ISBN 10:   1922458244
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   03 November 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Brendan Borrell is a correspondent for Outside magazine and has written on science, health and business for the Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, National Geographic, Wired and the New York Times. He lives in Los Angeles. The First Shots is his first book.

Reviews for The First Shots: The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccine

'In his vivid account of the tumultuous journey toward developing a coronavirus vaccine, Brendan Borrell offers immediate and hugely valuable insights. Beyond the chaotic politics, clashing egos, and erratic logistics were unprecedented scientific achievements. Those audacious efforts, and the people behind them, come fully to life in Borrell's absorbing narrative.' * Marty Baron, executive editor (retired) of the Washington Post * 'In The First Shots, Brendan Borrell delivers a riveting, sometimes startling, sometimes chilling page-turner of a book...It's also a remarkable illumination of the politics, the personalities, and the human drama underlying a desperate scientific fight against an invisible enemy.' * Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author * 'Astonishingly powerful...Brendan Borrell has written a compelling, up-to-the-minute chronicle of a pivotal moment in the history of science. You will learn something new on every page of The First Shots.' * Dan Fagin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author * 'Brendan Borrell has delivered the definitive account of the race to develop and manufacture the vaccines needed to combat COVID-19. The book does a masterful job of explaining the science behind the vaccines while unfurling a vivid story full of exceptional characters locked in a thrilling competition to do nothing less than try and save the world. It's a gripping tale of what happens when unlikely heroes battle through extraordinary circumstances.' * Ashlee Vance, New York Times bestselling author *

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