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The Market For Emergency Vaccines Is Like No Other

COVID-19 is not the first coronavirus outbreak we've experienced. There was SARS in 2003, and then MERS in 2012. If coronaviruses have been around for years, why don't we have a vaccine already?

The answer partially has to do with economics. Turns out that the market for emergency vaccines is weird. So weird that it involves top-secret chicken flocks, the creation of a new government agency and an annual stockpile of upwards of 900,000 chicken eggs. This is the story of what it takes to produce a national vaccine supply.

Listen to the original Planet Money podcast episode here! Subscribe to our video series here — and while you're at it, subscribe to our podcast.

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Annabel Edwards