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Boosters: Worth it or not, here they come


Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's German Lopez to talk about the Biden administration’s plan to authorize third doses of the vaccine for Americans beginning in September. They discuss the scientific, political, and moral reasons behind the decision. They also look at the international implications of sharing vaccines and the difficulties of ramping up production in the vaccine supply chain ecosystem. This week’s white paper is a study of how slave-owning southern families retained their wealth and influence after the Civil War. The conversation illuminates the importance of social ties to political continuity and explores a similar study of Chinese generational wealth spanning the Maoist revolution.


"U.S. officials’ decision on Covid-19 booster shots baffles — and upsets — some scientists" by Helen Branswell (Stat News; Aug. 18, 2021)

"Myths of Vaccine Manufacturing" by Derek Lowe (Science Translational Medicine; Feb 2, 2021)

"The U.S. Is Getting a Crash Course in Scientific Uncertainty" by Apoorva Mandavilli (New York Times; Aug 22, 2021)

“Following full FDA approval Pfizer-BioNTech must share Covid-19 vaccine technology to boost global supply” by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF; Aug 23, 2021)

White Paper: “The Intergenerational Effects of a Large Wealth Shock: White Southerners after the Civil War” by Philipp Ager, Leah Boustan, Katherine Eriksson (American Economic Review; Forthcoming)

The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility by Gregory Clark (Princeton University Press; Feb 23, 2014)


Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com

Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica

German Lopez (@germanrlopez), Senior Correspondent, Vox


Ness Smith-Savedoff, Producer & Engineer

Erikk Geannikis, Producer, Talk Podcasts

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