Pfizer to debut podcast series around vaccines, probing scientific, cultural and political issues

Pfizer’s latest podcast is a documentary-style dive into vaccines. The eight-part series, called “The Antigen,” launches in mid-December and tackles the scientific, cultural and political issues around vaccination.

Host Yasmeen Agosti, a pediatrician and global medical affairs lead for viral vaccines at Pfizer, interviews a variety of experts, beginning with the general introduction in Vaccines 101 and taking listeners around the world to look at the history of vaccines. Later episodes dive into the current hot topic of anti-vax or vaccine hesitancy, which the World Health Organization named as one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019.

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“Podcasting is one of the latest innovative ways of capturing a broad audience. We do believe that the timing is great because now during the holiday people have a little bit more time to listen to some of these stories,” Nanette Cocero, global president of Pfizer Vaccines, said.

The audio series allows Pfizer to tell the longer story of vaccines, albeit broken up into smaller pieces that people can consume when and where they want, she said. The expert guests include well-known organizations and executives such as the director HIV program at the Gates Foundation, Dr. Emilio Emini, and Save the Children U.S. President and Chief Operating Officer Janti Soeripto, who will step into the CEO role Jan. 1.

The name “The Antigen” comes from the immunology term for the critical part of the germ that stimulates the immune system to create antibodies and is key to vaccine research and creation.

This is Pfizer’s third podcast, but it’s the first for a specific therapeutic area. The company plans to evaluate the latest podcast for potential use in other therapy areas.

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“While we don’t to focus only on hesitancy, we want to use the medium to help us educate around how vaccines are made, the important impact vaccines have had on global health and the important role we all have as individuals in ensuring that we keep protecting our family members, our kids and our adults to ensure global public health,” Cocero said.

Pfizer’s portfolio of vaccines includes Prevnar 13 to fight pneumococcal disease and Trumenba for meningococcal disease.