Pfizer has launched a special podcast series to discuss COVID-19 issues.
The goal of the miniseries is to offer accurate information and updates on the pandemic with discussion that will include the history of other viral outbreaks, the quest for a vaccine, what to do before a vaccine is available and how companies and people are working together to control the spread.
Pfizer’s efforts, including its vaccine partnership with BioNTech, will also be discussed during the series. Host Lindsey Dietschi, vice president and lead on global health partnerships for Pfizer’s emerging markets, will interview Pfizer scientists and other experts.
The new miniseries debuted under Pfizer's existing podcast "The Antigen," which began last year as an educational podcast about the role and value of vaccines.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put vaccines front and center in a new way,” Nanette Cocero, global president of Pfizer Vaccines, said in an email interview. “When our original, eight-episode series came to an end in March, we felt we couldn’t ignore this new element to the story we had set out to tell. While we’ve changed the format with this miniseries to be a bit more nimble in our approach, we see this as a natural extension of the first season and the conversation about society’s ongoing fight against infectious disease.”
In the first show, Dietschi interviewed David Swerdlow, Pfizer Vaccine’s COVID-19 global vaccine lead who is also a former 25-year CDC veteran and worked on Ebola and MERS responses. He talked about COVID-19 in relation to his experiences as an infectious disease specialist on other outbreaks, the science around the virus and his concerns and hopes for what happens next.
Four episodes about COVID-19 are planned.
The first "Antigen" podcast vaccine series wrapped up in March with good reception from listeners, Cocero said. She was “pleasantly surprised” at the positive global response, with people tuning in from more than 100 countries.
“The Antigen" began as a way to advance the public conversation around vaccines during a time of growing vaccine hesitancy around the world. Pfizer is “proud of the number and caliber of expert guests who have lent their voices and insights to this project," Cocero said, adding, that "it’s clear we aren’t alone in recognizing the need for this kind of thoughtful discussion around vaccines and the opportunity to address misinformation.”