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Pulitzer Center Update April 7, 2023

‘Vaccine Inequity’ Podcast Episode Nominated for a Webby

a nurse loads a syringe with a vaccine

Such inequity is not only unjust—it also makes the world vulnerable to health emergencies.

Vaccine Inequity,” an episode from the Big Picture Science podcast with Pulitzer Center grantee Amy Maxmen, has been nominated for a Webby People’s Voice Award. It was nominated in the Individual Episodes, Technology category.

In the episode, Maxmen shares findings from her reporting in southern Africa about a World Health Organization project to combat vaccine inequity. She also explores the role of large pharmaceutical companies in vaccine distribution.

“A radical plan could solve a historic global health inequity,” says the episode description. “Countries in the global south who waited for more than a year for ample supplies of Covid vaccines have banded together to make mRNA vaccines locally. If successful, they could end a dangerous dependency on wealthy nations and help stop pandemics before they start.”

Maxmen is an award-winning science journalist and a senior reporter at Nature. The podcast episode is part of her Pulitzer Center-supported project on the unequal global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. She has covered medicine and disease since 2015, including reporting projects on Ebola and malaria in multiple countries. When COVID-19 emerged, she began to report on it from the onset.

“To me, it’s insane that we were able to develop mRNA vaccines within about 10 months and yet it takes more than two years to get them around the world,” Maxmen said at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Kavli Science Journalism Award lecture in November. “Having middle- and low-income countries not be fully protected is bad for all of us. We are all connected here.”

The episode also features insights from medical experts and professionals from South Africa and around the world. 

Maxmen has also spoken at Pulitzer Center events, such as a recent webinar on vaccine inequities and hesitancies, and she worked with the Pulitzer Center’s Education team on resources for teachers and students.

The Webby Awards is “the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet,” according to its website. It is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

This is the 27th annual People’s Voice Awards. Voting for People’s Voice is open to the public and ends on April 20.


global health reporting initiative


Global Health Inequities

Global Health Inequities


navy halftone illustration of a syringe