Spectator Briefings

Podcast special: Britain in the global fight against Covid

39 min listen

The UK was the first country in the world to begin its formal vaccine rollout, starting with the 91 year old Margaret Keenan. In the years since, the pandemic has been almost entirely routed in this country (though its impact on the economy, on healthcare, on the criminal justice system, continue to be suffered). But the British vaccine – developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca – was a key part of the global fight against the pandemic. What was it like to be on the inside during those crucial first months? The Spectator has brought together politicians, advisors and scientists who played key roles during that time, to reveal a picture of dealing with unprecedented crisis in smart ways.

On this episode: Kate Andrews, The Spectator’s economics editor, talks to Nadhim Zahawi (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who had been the first Vaccines Minister during the pandemic); Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, head of UK Music who was a special advisor to then-Health Secretary Matt Hancock; Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator for the clinical trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine; and Isabel Hardman, The Spectator’s assistant editor.

This episode is the first of a mini-series taking a look at Britain in the world, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


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