Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Brendan Borrell's "The First Shots"

Brendan Borrell is Outside magazine correspondent 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

Borrell applied the “Page 99 Test” to The First Shots: The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccine, his first book, and reported the following:
Page 99 of The First Shots opens with the first line of Chapter 11: "The path from a scientific hunch to a lifesaving product is rarely a linear one.” And, wow, that just about sums up my book perfectly! The rest of the page begins the story of the decade-long path that mRNA technology took from an academic laboratory to one company’s patent holdings, and eventually into the hands of Moderna and Pfizer, where it made possible the rapid rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines in 2020.

That first sentence also encapsulates a central theme of the book as a whole. Over the course of The First Shots, we learn about other breakthroughs that made the COVID-19 vaccines possible. As the clock is ticking amid the unfolding coronavirus pandemic, we watch these precious vaccines move through clinical trials and towards FDA authorization under the overheated political atmosphere of the presidential election season. By the end of the book, Operation Warp Speed and healthcare providers around the country deliver those vaccines to the people who need them the most.
Visit Brendan Borrell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue