Duke of Cambridge visits Oxford Vaccine Centre
The Duke of Cambridge visited the University of Oxford’s Oxford Vaccine Centre to learn more about their work on a vaccine against COVID-19.
The Duke paid a visit to the Oxford Vaccine Centre at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford on Wednesday (24 June) where the vaccine has been developed and trials are now underway.
Clinical trials are being held to establish whether the vaccine generates immunity in humans.
He was briefed by Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the Jenner Institute, which developed the vaccine and Professor Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity at the university, who is leading the clinical trial team.
His Royal Highness was shown around the manufacturing laboratory where the vaccine has been produced and given a tour of the laboratory where samples from the clinical trial are being examined by researchers.
He also met trial volunteers and heard from staff who have been coordinating the trial across nineteen sites in the UK.
The trials began on 23 April, with 10,000 people across the UK in the process of being vaccinated. This week, trials have begun in Brazil and South Africa.
Prof Pollard said: “We were delighted at the time he took to thank the members of the public who volunteered to take part in this important research.
“His words of praise to not only the staff he met but all those contributing to this important work has given our teams, who have been working very hard at unprecedented urgency for several months, a real boost, as we continue to tackle this current and pressing challenge.”
The UK Government has provided £84 million for the university to develop and manufacture its coronavirus vaccine. A university partnership with AstraZeneca means the vaccine will be available globally on a non-profit basis during the pandemic period, including to low and middle income countries.