Wednesday, December 02, 2020

The couple who brought us a vaccine


Let's now celebrate (legal) immigration! Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin were born in Turkey but emigrated to Germany, she the child of a surgeon, he the son of a "guest worker" at a Ford factory near Cologne. They grew up, became doctors, met, married (during their lunch hour), and founded a firm called BionTech. Playing off their expertise in cancer research, Dr Sahin last year sketched a template for a coronavirus vaccine. The American drug company Pfizer joined BionTech to develop the most promising of the candidates. Thus Germany created, the United States developed, and Britain this week approved the use of the world's first Covid-19 vaccine from a trustworthy company and country. (Seriously, would you want a jab from Vladimir Putin? Or Xi Jinping?) And all because two Turkish parents sought a better future in the West.


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