With millions of Americans already infected with COVID-19, public health officials are working to ensure that a safe and effective vaccine is available for every American who wants one. They also want to be sure people aren’t afraid of getting those shots. Nancy Messonnier, M.D., is director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. She leads the Center for Disease Control’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts in the areas of distribution, administration, implementation, safety, and access. For 25 years, she’s worked to strengthen public trust in vaccines and prevent vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. Dr. Messonnier speaks with award winning journalist and National Geographic science editor Nsikan Akpan about the speed of development of coronavirus vaccines, safety concerns, and the government’s work to distribute them quickly and equitably.
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This conversation was held by the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program.