August 16, 2022

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and investigative reporter David France (How to Survive a Plague, Welcome to Chechnya) is bringing us the upcoming documentary, How To Survive a Pandemic, a deep-dive into the race to develop, regulate, and roll out the vaccines against Covid-19.

HBO unveiled the documentary’s trailer which showcases exclusive footage of experts in the scientific field documenting their progress, challenges, and victories in the development of the vaccines. How To Survive a Pandemic shows us the unseen side of the race to come up with a vaccine to counteract the global pandemic. It details everything from the lab tests to the volunteer trials to the emergence of new variants. Other accounts featured in the documentary include CEOs of pharmaceutical companies, essential frontline workers and government agents.


Some of the interviewees in the film include Jon Cohen, senior correspondent for Science Magazine, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Dan Barouch, lead scientist behind the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, the former scientific lead of the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center who co-developed Moderna’s mRNA vaccine, Dr. Adrian Hill, lead researcher for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India, Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi and head of the global COVAX initiative, Dr. Glenda Gray, President and CEO of the South African Medical Research Council, Rev. Paul Abernathy of Pittsburgh, who tries to address issues such as vaccine hesitancy, among many others.

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Image via HBO

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The HBO documentary was in the making since early 2020, at the start of the pandemic, and over the following 18 months, it explored in real-time the collaboration of health agencies around the globe and the repeated failures of governments to act impartially and timely. It is officially premiering this week at the 24th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, which kicked off Thursday, March 10th.

How to Survive a Pandemic was written by France and Tyler H. Walk, produced by Mira Chang, edited by Walk and Adam Evans, and executive produced by Joy Tomchin, Jenny Raskin, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Jim & Susan Swartz, Nina & David Fialkow, Greg Boustead, and Jessica Harrop.

This documentary chronicling one of the most consequential scientific endeavors of this century will be premiering on HBO Tuesday, March 29, and it will become available for streaming on HBO Max.

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