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The Antigen

The Antigen

Author: Pfizer

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The Antigen podcast goes behind the science of vaccines. We examine basic science principles, review vaccine history, explore the many facets of their global impact (including COVID-19), and the public sentiment about vaccines around the world. In our latest season, we will dive into maternal immunization: the history, the challenges, the innovations, and the exciting developments to come.

This podcast is created by Pfizer.
19 Episodes
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common virus that causes respiratory illness. For many people, RSV can be mild and presents symptoms similar to the common cold. But for certain groups, RSV can be serious, especially for babies 0 through 6 months old. In this bonus episode of The Antigen, Board-certified pediatrician Dr. Mona Amin explains the dangers of RSV in babies. Mom, reality television star, and businesswoman Catherine Guidici Lowe also joins the podcast to talk about her experience with her son contracting the virus. 
Protection from serious infant illnesses isn’t enough. Helping prevent the disease from happening altogether is the goal of physician-scientists, like Dr. Bill Gruber. As the Senior Vice President of Pfizer Vaccine Clinical Research and Development, Bill explains how maternal vaccinations are developed, the inequities in this process, and the importance of clinical trial participants. This final episode concludes with the real life-changing impact of maternal immunization.Special thanks to the maternal immunization team at Pfizer. The Antigen is produced by Wonder Media Network.
What stands in the way of pregnant people getting vaccination shots? Part two of our maternal immunization mini-series answers this question and more. Host Kari Yacisin talks with Dr. Fauzia Malik, an associate research scientist at the Yale School of Public Health, about the barriers to widespread maternal immunization and the solutions to those challenges. We’re covering everything from the truth about vaccine hesitancy, the role of healthcare providers, and who and where we can look to for guidance as we work to increase uptake.Special thanks to the maternal immunization team at Pfizer and the production team at Wonder Media Network.
In the first episode of this three-part series, host Kari Yacisin introduces us to the world of maternal immunization. Vaccinations for pregnant people are not new, but they have historically been left out of the vaccine narrative. With the help of expert Beate Kampmann, pediatric infectious disease specialist, Kari walks us through the importance of maternal immunization, its history, and what it really means to transfer protection from mother to child.Special thanks to the maternal immunization team at Pfizer and the production team at Wonder Media Network.
The Antigen returns with a three-part mini-series spotlighting maternal immunization. When it comes to vaccine development, there is a shifting paradigm – help protect pregnant women and their infants through research rather than from research. As maternal immunization is advancing vaccine science and innovation, this series delves into the history of maternal immunization, the potential benefits of boosting infant immunity, and the role of maternal antibodies in helping protect infants. We’ll also explore the challenges of maternal immunization and what the future holds. Listeners will hear from three experts who are making significant contributions to the field.This season of The Antigen is hosted by Kari Yacisin, MD. She is an infectious disease physician and the U.S. Medical Pipeline Vaccines Lead at Pfizer. Tune in on November 15th to listen to our first episode, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Listen to the full series now: Will Win explores the fascinating science, policy, and humanity which is shaping the future of healthcare with the potential to transform patients’ lives for the better. Hosted by Adam Rutherford, geneticist and Honorary Fellow at University College London, our first miniseries takes listeners on a journey behind the science of gene therapy; the next generation of medicines bringing new possibilities for patients living with rare genetic diseases. At a time when innovative science is achieving the seemingly impossible, we’ll look at gene therapy from every angle, speaking to scientists and experts on the forefront of medical research, as well as the patients and families who are holding new hope in the life-changing potential of gene therapy. 
In the last episode of The Antigen’s #COVID19 mini-series, we examine the teamwork & collaboration across communities in the fight against coronavirus. How are companies working together to develop potential vaccines for COVID-19? How has the global health community at large been helpful in responding to the pandemic?Host Lindsey Dietschi speaks with two guests — Elsie Soto, Vice President of Emerging Markets for Pfizer’s Global Supply & Dr. Frank Mahoney, Senior Immunization Officer at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).For the latest updates, visit
What does finding a vaccine actually look like? Who’s involved? Last season on The Antigen we outlined the many steps it takes for a vaccine to go from discovery to distribution, in this episode we ask if that process can safely accelerate for COVID-19. We’ll also wrap up with the latest headlines on Pfizer's response to the crisis.Host Lindsey Dietschi speaks with Phil Dormitzer, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Viral Vaccines at Pfizer.Episode references:Pfizer Partners with Direct Relief to Provide Critical COVID-19 Supplies to HospitalsPfizer, BioNTech to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine tests, plot major trial boost in fall
In this episode, we talk about what public health experts are focused on now to help minimize the impact of COVID-19. We’ll cover how routine health programs are being impacted and what is being done to plan for recovery. And we’ll discuss what we can do now that's working & what we can improve. Host Lindsey Dietschi speaks with Shanelle Hall, Founder Member of The Yellow House & AI Advisory Council Member for the World Economic Forum. Prior to her current roles, she worked at UNICEF for over 20 years, most recently as the Assistant Secretary General.Episode references:All Hands on Deck as Scientists Revive SARS Protease Inhibitor to Attempt to Fight COVID-19Pfizer Advances Battle Against COVID-19 on Multiple FrontsThe Yellow House
The Antigen is back with a special mini-series focused on COVID-19. In this first episode, we’ll share what we’ve discovered from past global health emergencies. What did we learn from Ebola, MERS, cholera, and how does it compare to the current coronavirus? How do we recover? We’ll also wrap up with the latest headlines on Pfizer's response to the crisis. New host Lindsey Dietschi speaks with Dr. David Swerdlow, Clinical Epidemiology Lead for Pfizer Vaccines and infectious disease expert. Prior to Pfizer, David worked at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for 25 years.Episode references:CDC Modeling Efforts in Response to a Potential Public Health Emergency: Influenza A(H7N9) as an Example
In this final episode, we’ll examine the potential of vaccines to help fight emerging global health threats, like anti-microbial resistance & new diseases like COVID-19, as well as what the medical community—and the rest of the world—is doing about it. We'll also wrap up the series by understanding how vaccines may help us lead healthier lives, from the moment we’re born to older age.Host Yasmeen Agosti speaks to Anna Mouser of Wellcome Trust, Prof. David Salisbury of Chatham House, Prof. Kevin Outterson of Boston University’s CARB-X Foundation, Jane Barratt of IFA, and Dr. Carol J. Baker of University of Texas Health Science Center.Episode  references:World Health OrganizationDisease XAgingCenters for Disease ControlCoronavirusAntibiotic ResistanceAdult ImmunizationMaternal ImmunizationCARB-XEpisode credits: BBC News (opening audio)
Innovation can mean different things to different people. When it comes to vaccine innovation, we’re really talking about two things: creating new vaccines that we need or improving something about the ones we currently have. In this episode, we’ll cover a few examples of vaccine innovation, from vaccine design to delivery. Host Yasmeen Agosti speaks to Anna Mouser of Wellcome Trust, Naa Adorkor Yawson of Zipline, Alison Witkoff of the IRC, Prof. David Salisbury of Chatham House , Dr. Peter Palese of Mount Sinai, and Dr. James Gulley of the NIH.Episode references:Centers for Disease ControlWellcome TrustZiplineInternational Rescue Committee 
‘Policy’ is often considered a dry topic – but vaccine policy can become emotionally charged, quickly. In this episode, we explore the balance between individual freedom and public good as we dive into vaccine laws, mandates, and exemptions across the U.S. We also examine how individuals can make their voices heard at the local, state, and national level. Host Yasmeen Agosti speaks with Drexel University Professor Robert Field, Congresswoman Dr. Kim Schrier, LJ Tan of the Immunization Action Coalition, and parent-advocate Patti Wukovits.Episode references:The Kimberly Coffey FoundationHealthyChildren.orgCenters for Disease Control
80% of internet users are seeking health-related information. Why? On the surface, the internet seems to be an easy way to look for answers. The challenge is that there is a lot of information to sort through, and misinformation can sometimes be hard to recognize. On this episode, we continue our conversation on vaccine hesitancy and expand into digital health skills. Host Yasmeen Agosti speaks to parent-advocate Tara Hills, Johns Hopkins Professor Dr. Steven Salzberg, Congresswoman Dr. Kim Schrier, and communications expert Chad Hermann.Episode references:Centers for Disease ControlVaccine SafetyVaccines and ImmunizationsThe Vaccine Education CenterAmerican Academy of PediatricsThe History of Vaccines from the College of Physicians of PhiladelphiaNational Institutes of Health
Anti-vaccination sentiment dates back farther than many realize. Since the first vaccine reached the United States over 200 years ago, concerned citizens have been raising objections and even making hyperbolized political cartoons. What exactly sparked the modern anti-vaccination movement? And how has that perspective spread and changed over time? This episode starts The Antigen’s dive into everything anti-vax. Host Yasmeen Agosti talks with experts, journalists, pediatricians, and parent-advocates including Kathryn Edwards, Todd Wolynn, Robert Field, Sara Novak, Steven Salzberg, Chad Hermann, Tara Hills & LJ Tan.Episode references:Centers for Disease ControlVaccine SafetyVaccines and ImmunizationsThe Vaccine Education CenterHealthyChildren.orgThe History of Vaccines from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
With preventable disease rates dropping around the world, vaccination efforts are largely a success. What are the barriers that still prevent vaccines from reaching the people who need them? This episode of The Antigen is going global. Host Yasmeen Agosti talks with experts about worldwide efforts to make vaccines more accessible, from organizations like The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GAVI, Shot@Life, Save the Children, and The Wellcome Trust.Episode references:Wellcome Global Monitor 2018
The History of Vaccines

The History of Vaccines


From the first inoculations in China and the Middle East, to Edward Jenner and his smallpox immunization, all the way to the inception of vaccines we still use today — this episode of The Antigen is all about the history of vaccines. New voices like Emilio Emini, Stanley Plotkin, Sarah Long, and Todd Wolynn join familiar guests from the first episode to paint a historical picture of this scientific innovation.
Vaccines 101

Vaccines 101


Vaccines have saved millions of lives, but they’ve also become victims of their own success. They’ve done such a good job that we’ve forgotten what serious infections like polio and diphtheria look like. On the first episode of The Antigen, host Yasmeen Agosti takes us through vaccine basics with the help of experts Dr. Kathryn Edwards, Dr. Peter Hotez, Martha Rebour, LJ Tan, and Serese Marotta, who explain why vaccines are more relevant now than ever.
The Antigen is an eight-part audio-documentary style podcast about the scientific, cultural, and political elements of vaccination. We start with the basic science, review vaccine history, explore the many facets of their global impact – and the public sentiment about vaccines around the world. Listeners will hear from leading experts about the past, present, and future of this important innovation, as well as people whose families have been impacted by vaccine-preventable diseases.The Antigen is hosted by Yasmeen Agosti, MD FAAP. Yasmeen is a pediatrician and a Global Medical Lead, Viral Vaccines at Pfizer. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Witwatersrand. Yasmeen trained as a general pediatrician in Philadelphia and, later, conducted clinical research on respiratory syncytial virus in South Africa as part of her doctoral studies. She joined Pfizer in 2017. Learn more about her background and current work at Pfizer  
Comments (4)

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Dec 24th

Rich H.

Imagine caring so much about something it becomes your life. God I wish people had less free time.

Dec 17th

matthew Holley

pure propaganda. what a cute little infomercial for Pfizer...

Sep 23rd

William Prosper

You work for Pfizer. You're automatically not trustworthy to give out vaccine information. You cannot tell the truth. You are compromised.

Jan 13th
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