Story Publication logo November 21, 2022

Vaccine Inequity

a nurse loads a syringe with a vaccine

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


A radical plan could solve a historic global health inequity. 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.

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In a special episode, supported by the Pulitzer Center, journalist Amy Maxmen shares her reporting from southern Africa about the inspiring project led by the WHO that’s made fast progress. But it could fail, and a global imbalance will remain, if Big Pharma has its way. Find out what’s at stake.


  • Amy Maxmen—Award-winning science journalist, Edward R. Murrow press fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the Nature article, "The Radical Plan for Vaccine Equity"
  • Professor Petro Terblanche—Managing Director, Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Kondwani Charles Jambo—Senior Lecturer and immunologist at the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Clinical Research Programme in Blantyre, Malawi
  • Barney Graham—Former deputy director at the Vaccine Research Center at NIH and professor of medicine and microbiology immunology biochemistry at Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Emile Hendricks—Research technologist at Afrigen Biolgics and Vaccines in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Achal Prabhala—Fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation, Coordinator at AccessIBSA, a medicines-access initiative in Bengaluru, India
  • Patrick Tippoo—Head of Science and Innovation at Biovac in Cape Town, South Africa, founding member of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative (AVMI)
  • Harrison Chauluka—chief of the Mkunda village in Malawi
  • Agnes Joni—farmer in Chiradzulu, Malawi
  • Prophet Dauda—translator and writer in Blantyre, Malawi

Contributors to this podcast include members of Big Picture Science's team:

  • Molly Bentley—Executive producer and host
  • Seth Shostak—Host
  • Gary Niederhoff—Senior producer
  • Shannon Rose Geary and Brian Edwards—Assistant producers

Descripción en español

Featuring music by Dewey Dellay and Jun Miyake


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