The Vaccine by Joe Miller

The Vaccine by Joe Miller – Inside the Race to Conquer the COVID-19 Pandemic – with Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci – is a great book. I’ve enjoyed reading it, so well written, clear, and it flows nicely too. I highly recommend the book. Şahin and Türeci are a husband and wife team, who founded BioNTech and developed what was the first vaccine against the COVID-19 virus.

The Vaccine by Joe Miller

The book is mainly focused on what happened from January 2020 to 2021, when the vaccination roll-out started. Their vaccines and technology was created to treat cancers. When Uğur read in mid-January that there is the possibility for human-to-human transmission he knew that there will be a pandemic like in the 1918s and that a vaccine was the only way out of this. So, he decided with his wife to focus in 2020 on creating a vaccine against COVID-19.

In the book Miller explains how from the 20 vaccine candidates were selected 4 for the first stages of the clinical trials before the best one went to be selected for the Phase III of the trials, which involved over 40,000 people. Miller offers such a wide overview of the developments, sharing some lovely details about the private lives of Şahin and Türeci, but without oversharing. I think he got the right balance between respecting privacy and giving some interesting details about them.

I liked that he was balanced in his writing when it came to politicians from UK, EU, and US, to medical associations, such as MHRA, EMA, and FDA. He made some brief sarcastic remarks, just to add a bit of flavour to the narrative instead of a “these people lied” over a couple of paragraphs of “analysis” as I saw, unfortunately, in other books on COVID and vaccination. This is why I think the book is so well worth reading, it is a blend of science with personal notes on the scientists, a blend of what politicians said and smart (or stupid) remarks made by scientists related to health organisations.

The Vaccine by Joe Miller

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes!
Published by: Welbeck Publishing Group
Year it was published: 2021
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Science & IT
Pages: 272

About the author: Joe Miller is a journalist and writer, who covered BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine project in real time as the Financial Times’ correspondent in Frankfurt, where he also reports on German business, tech and innovation.
Website & Social Media Links: –

2 thoughts on “The Vaccine by Joe Miller”

  • I’m glad you enjoyed this one. It sounds like they handled some of the “negative” things said or done by others in a civil way.
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    • Yes and that’s a hard thing to do. I liked everything about the book, how much science-stuff it had, how it was explained, how the issues with politics were dealt with.
      It’s obvious he has a lot of respect for Uğur, which is understandable. I too think he is an inspiration after knowing more about him, seems to be a visionary.

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