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Researchers, technicians, students and support staff responsible for the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been awarded the Royal Society’s Copley Medal for their rapid development and deployment of a vaccine against Covid-19.

Copley Medal

This is the first time in the nearly 300-year history of the Copley Medal that it has been awarded to a team.

As the latest recipients of the Society’s most prestigious award, the Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine Team will join figures recognised for their exceptional contributions to science, including Louis Pasteur, Dorothy Hodgkin, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, and Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

Accepting the Copley Medal on behalf of the team, Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert DBE, Saïd Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said: “It is wonderful to receive this recognition for the team that developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. 

“When work started on the vaccine in 2020, we needed to bring together people with complementary expertise to allow us to move quickly and plan many stages ahead. Many people worked extremely hard for a very long time, and winning this prize lets the whole team know how much their dedication is appreciated.”