How to Survive a Pandemic (2022)
Directed by David France, 104 minutes
UK Festival Premiere
Online screening and discussion
"If the film’s first half is a shocking success story – multiple vaccines with efficacy rates over 90% – its final section is a tragedy: the deeply inequitable distribution of vaccines, in which rich, powerful nations maintain a surplus while low-income nations struggle to reach double digit vaccination rates and protect the most vulnerable" The Guardian
"Smart, humane and gripping ... How to Survive a Pandemic ends with plenty yet to be discussed and explored; it provides a road map to survival, but doesn’t suggest we’ve all made it just yet." Variety
How to Survive a Pandemic takes an inside look at the historic, multi-national race to research, develop, regulate, and roll out Covid-19 vaccines in the war against the coronavirus pandemic.
The documentary began filming in early 2020 as the largest public health effort in history got underway and followed those efforts over the next 18 months, exploring in real time the hard work and collaboration of health agencies worldwide, as well as the political and moral failures of governments to act impartially and equitably.
With unparalleled access to world-renowned scientists, the heads of pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and frontline workers, How to Survive a Pandemic is the definitive chronicle of the most consequential undertaking of the 21st century. It is where towering achievements in science collide with the geopolitical realities of desperation, greed and national self-interest.
Directed by Oscar-nominated, best-selling author and award-winning investigative journalist David France (How to Survive a Plague, Welcome to Chechnya).
Featuring interviews with global health thought-leaders, scientists and policy-makers including:
- Jon Cohen, senior correspondent Science Magazine
- Dr Peter Marks, Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Dr Dan Barouch, lead scientist behind the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
- Dr Kizzmekia Corbett, former scientific lead of the National Institutes of Health's Vaccine Research Center who co-developed Moderna’s mRNA vaccine
- Dr Adrian Hill, who led the research for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
- Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General World Health Organization
- Adar Poonawalla, CEO Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer
- Dr Seth Berkley, CEO Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and head of the global COVAX initiative (in partnership with the World Health Organization)
- Dr Glenda Gray, President and CEO South African Medical Research Council, the face of South Africa’s Covid-19 response
- Rev Paul Abernathy of Pittsburgh, PA, who tries to address vaccine hesitancy and access to healthcare in his community
The discussion after the screening was moderated by Dr Stephen Roberts, Institute of Global Health, University College London, in conversation with How to Survive a Pandemic director David France, Fr Paul Abernathy from the Neighborhood Resilience Project whose work features in the film, and Dr Sibylle Herzig Van Wees, social scientist and global health educator at Karolinska Institute.
Selected highlights from the 45-minute panel discussion are available below.
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