Join two of the leading scientists behind the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, marking this historic moment for science and humanity.
‘This is one of the most epic and pioneering moments in human history, comparable to the race to put a man on the moon, the discovery of DNA, or the first ascent of Everest.’ – Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust
On New Year’s Day 2020, Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University, read an article about four people in China with a strange pneumonia. Within two weeks, she and her team had designed a vaccine against a pathogen that no one had ever heard of. Less than 12 months later, vaccination was rolled out across the world to save millions of lives from Covid-19.
Professor Gilbert and her colleague Dr Catherine Green, who led on the manufacturing of the vaccine, join us to share the heart-stopping moments in the eye of the storm. They separate fact from fiction and explain how they made a highly safe vaccine in record time with the eyes of the world watching.
The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is one of the leading UK coronavirus vaccines and the government has ordered 100 million doses (enough for 50 million people, many of whom have already received it). The vaccine is both cheaper and easier to distribute than some other vaccines as it can be stored at fridge temperatures. As this life-saving, cutting-edge science releases us from lockdown and gives hope for the future, Professor Gilbert and Dr Green will shine light on exactly how the vaccine was designed and manufactured at huge scale and at rapid speed.
They will explore the reasons behind vaccine hesitancy, how science is communicated in the media, and how science and politics collide. They will also look to the future and ask what lessons can be learned from this pandemic to prepare us for the inevitable next time.