As a College community we are incredibly proud of our Vice-Master and Fellow, Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial and Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group. On Monday 23 November Prof Pollard and colleagues Professors Sarah Gilbert and Adrian Hill announced the interim trial data from the Oxford University/AstraZeneca Phase III trials, showing that their vaccine against COVID-19, ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019, offers a high level of protection. Crucially, the vaccine can be stored at ‘fridge temperatures’ (2-8 °C), meaning it can be distributed and stored using existing logistics and infrastructure around the world, and can be easily administered by healthcare systems.
This exciting news was accompanied by a flurry of media coverage and Prof Pollard appeared with the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty in a press conference on Monday evening.
Speaking about the vaccine, Prof Pollard said: “We have a vaccine for the world, because we've got a vaccine which is highly effective – it prevents severe disease and hospitalisation”.
He also thanked the thousands of volunteers who have supported the vaccine’s development: "I think it is important to pay tribute to the 20,000 volunteers that there are in the trials around the world and over 10,000 here in the UK who have come forward in this uncertain time feeling an absolute duty to play a part to help us get back on our feet and perhaps beat the virus". You can watch the press conference here.
Prof Pollard appeared in a video for the Department of Health and Social Care talking about the safety protocols in place during the vaccine study, and spoke to Radio 4 Today about the team’s reaction to the news. Profs Pollard and Gilbert also held a meeting with the Duke of Cambridge and the Vice-Chancellor of the University Prof Louise Richardson, where the Duke congratulated the team on their 'amazing achievement'.
Earlier this month, Prof Pollard welcomed Sir Keir Starmer MP and Anneliese Dodds MP to the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, with Sir Keir saying: "It was a privilege to meet the Oxford teams who are leading the fight against Covid-19 and giving our entire country hope. Through their dedication and hard work, there is now a light at the end of the tunnel."
You can keep up-to-date on the latest Oxford Vaccine news on their dedicated website here.