U.S Secretary of defense’s photo of Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)
U.S Secretary of defense’s photo of Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

The COVID-19 Vaccines, with Irwin Redlener

Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine. Credit: DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando – U.S. Secretary of Defense, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

What’s up with the COVID-19 vaccines? On this episode of StarTalk, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice talk about getting vaccinated for COVID-19 with Dr. Irwin Redlener, Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness. 

Why are so many people suspicious of the vaccine? We break down why so many Americans feel distrusting and why they should not be. How have past public health projects failed certain demographics like African Americans? How can scientists and public health officials win this trust back? Plus, you’ll learn the unique way the mRNA vaccine works with the immune system.

We answer burning questions about the vaccine from our patrons. Can we eliminate COVID-19 forever? Why make an mRNA vaccine as opposed to the way we usually produce vaccines? Why do we fail at enforcing mass vaccinations? You’ll also learn about vaccine trials and the years of work that made this breakthrough happen. 

How does the vaccine’s need to be stored at extremely low temperatures impact distribution? We talk about the differences between the three vaccines in production and the importance of the most recent Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We explain how herd immunity works and what the risk of reinfection is. We explore whether there were any technological leaps made with the development of this vaccine? What does this have in store for our disease fighting future? All that, plus we explore future solutions to our disaster preparedness through, of course, our need for science education.

Thanks to our Patrons Joe Selmser, Daniel Smith, C Hough, Sheri Eaton, Jon O’Rear, Jennifer Sell-Knapp, Catherine Nelson, Wesley Karl Trevenzoli, Carl Simmons, and Chris Reynolds for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

In This Episode

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