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Summary

The inside story of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, from two of the leading scientists who created it.

This is the story of a race - not against other vaccines or other scientists, but against a deadly and devastating virus.

On 1st January 2020, Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, read an article about four people in China with a strange pneumonia. Within two weeks, she and her team had designed a vaccine against a pathogen that no one had ever seen before. Less than 12 months later, vaccination was rolled out across the world to save millions of lives from COVID-19.

In Vaxxers, we hear directly from Professor Gilbert and her colleague, Dr Catherine Green, as they reveal the inside story of making the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and the cutting-edge science and sheer hard work behind it. 

This is their story of fighting a pandemic as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Sarah and Cath share the heart-stopping moments in the eye of the storm, they separate fact from fiction, they explain how they made a safe vaccine in record time with the eyes of the world watching and they give us hope for the future.

Vaxxers invites us into the lab to find out how science will save us from this pandemic, and how we can prepare for the inevitable next one.

©2021 Vaxxers Limited (P)2021 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

What listeners say about Vaxxers

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I don't think this book will date well.

The narration was very patronising and at times quite forced. it It was very biased (which all books are on this subject, both pro vaccine and vaccine sceptical ones). This book is very much like an advertisement for the AZ vaccine. This is interesting when the government yellow card system show the other vaccination brands are much, much safer.

10 people found this helpful

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Thank you

If you are interested in how these amazing people developed the vaccine then this book is for you. Read it today, day of release and really enjoyed it. So grateful we have such amazing talented scientists xxx

8 people found this helpful

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  • h
  • 12-07-21

Answered a lot of my questions

A fascinating tale. Covered all aspects of an incredible year for two supremely competent, systematic and hardworking scientists who are also clearly very human. The two voices worked well, both literally and as different takes on the same story. Only drawback, I am left feeling very inadequate (!) but even that is compensated for by the feeling I learned a lot. A timely reminder not to believe everything (anything?) you read in the media, social or traditional. Look at the data in its real world context and listen to the primary sources like these two. Let’s hope the idiot loudmouths have not undermined a safe, cheap, practicable and effective vaccine that can help the poorest as well as the rich. Thank you.

6 people found this helpful

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  • DJ
  • 01-08-21

Everyone should read this especially all politicians and any anti-vaxxers

This is a superb account by two of the scientists who played a lead road in planning and developing and producing the Covid vaccine at Oxford with Astra Zeneca
It is written in a language fully accessible to non scientists and explains the stages of the process, the set backs fears and ultimate incredible success of a vaccine that is saving millions of lives
The authors also lay out clearly what must be done now to make us better prepared for the next pandemic which will surely come

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Brilliant - Straight from the "Horse's mouth".

Anyone who would like to gain an insight into the real "coal-face" challenges and processes in the sciences needs to read this book. Any "anti-vaxxers" will be comforted/educated and so for sure - need to read this book. Anyone who gets their news from social media needs to read this book.

Actually, anyone who would like to be informed by the experts vaxxer or anti-vaxxer will enjoy.

It's an excellent and accessible account of the amazing work of the Oxford scientists and the complexities of their world. I devoured it record time whilst walking and just pottering around. I particularly liked the personal/professional mix of narrative coupled with enough science to give me some "Aha" moments but not too deep as to switch me off.

Thoroughly recommend.

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Brilliant

factual account of how the Oxford Astra zenica vaccine was developed funded and manufactured.
written from real life accounts of 2 of the leading scientist behind the vaccine.
easy to follow and gives a balamced understanding of why the vaccine is so important to the world and it's saftey.

2 people found this helpful

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Remember these people not the politician's

incredibly well explained, by dedicated scientists doing their jobs to the best of their ability saving lives. Always thinking how to improve the outcomes for people globally. Thank you for sharing your stories.

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Read the book!

A fascinating book. Not just the story of the Oxford vaccine but also a discussion of vaccinations and the political implications. (That sentence makes it seem rather dry -it isn’t!).

Two narrators. The narrator reading Sarah’s sections is excellent. The one reading Catherine’s struggles at time. There are sections which sound like bad sight reading suggesting either the narrator had not prepared fully or the editor/producer was at fault for not doing retakes when necessary.

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Must read! Timely, human, factual

Fantastic book! Very well timed, I laughed, I cried. I’ve referred this book to everyone I know.

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Fantastic

Really good read. I would highly recommend this book.

Also I could listen to Heather Long and Nicky Diss talk all day. Really good voices for audible

1 person found this helpful

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  • Pranay Garg
  • 25-08-21

Down to earth truth of saving the world

A real tale out the effort that goes to doing
Something to save the world

And the money that goes, sadly.

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  • Darciuca
  • 09-08-21

Girl and science power!

A wonderful tale about two extraordinary ordinary women who are helping change our world. Their humanity pushes them forward and it is important to understand the story behind the news. From Katalin Kariko's MRNA to Sarah Gilbert's AZ these vaccines are made by women. The narrators make the story even more humane. A must read in these covid times! And to understand the battle between science and media.