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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 PlagueWelcome 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


  • Year
    2022
  • Runtime
    109 minutes
  • Language
    English
  • Country
    United States, Brazil, South Africa, United Kingdom, India
  • Social Media
  • Director
    David France
  • Screenwriter
    David France, Tyler H. Walk
  • Producer
    Mira Chang, Sara Rodriguez
  • Executive Producer
    Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Jenny Raskin, Jim Swartz, Susan Swartz, Nina Sing Fialkow, David Fialkow, Joy A. Tomchin, Greg Boustead, Jessica Harrop
  • Cast
    Jon Cohen, Peter Marks, Dan Barouch
  • Cinematographer
    Wolfgang Held
  • Editor
    Tyler H. Walk, Adam Evans