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Publisher's Summary

This is the incredible story of the scientists who created a coronavirus vaccine in record time. 

In Longshot, investigative journalist David Heath takes listeners inside the small group of scientists whose groundbreaking work was once largely dismissed but whose feat will now eclipse the importance of Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine in medical history. With never-before-reported details, Heath reveals how these scientists overcame countless obstacles to give the world an unprecedented head start when we needed a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The story really begins in the 1990s, with a series of discoveries that were timed perfectly to prepare us for the worst pandemic since 1918. Listeners will meet Katalin Karikó, who made it possible to use messenger RNA in vaccines but struggled for years just to hang on to her job. There’s also Derrick Rossi, who leveraged Karikó’s work to found Moderna but was eventually expelled from his company. And then there’s Barney Graham at the National Institutes of Health, who had a career-long obsession with solving the riddle of why two toddlers died in a vaccine trial in 1966,  a tragedy that ultimately led to a critical breakthrough in vaccine science. 

With both foresight and luck, Graham and these other crucial scientists set the course for a coronavirus vaccine years before COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan, China. The author draws on hundreds of hours of interviews with key players to tell the definitive story about how the race to create the vaccine sparked a revolution in medical science.

©2022 David Heath (P)2022 Center Street

What listeners say about Longshot

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Longshot

I don’t read a lot of non fiction books, but this was the book we choose for the brand new book club I am part of. I am really glad I decided to read it. It was full of information that I think anyone who still has doubts about the mRNA vaccine should have. I was surprised at how long they have actually been working on mRNA, and what it means for the future of medicine.

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great history information

loved this book! as a healthcare worker who was pregnant when the vacine roll out started it helped confirm the research I had already done prior to getting it. There are so many brilliant minds working on all sorts of vaccines and cures. Take time to educate yourself. great read. they took complex science and wrote it at a high school level of understanding, for those who are not science nerds like myself.

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Great story

Despite being in the pandemic for almost 2 years, there is much that I didn’t know about the history of the development of the vaccines. This is a great overview of the history of the development of the covid vaccines.