The Duke of Cambridge visited Oxford University researchers who are at the forefront of the worldwide hunt for a successful vaccine against COVID-19

By Simon Perry
June 24, 2020 05:00 PM
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Prince William made an important visit on Wednesday to speak with some of the scientists at the forefront of finding a successful vaccine against COVID-19.

The royal, 38, headed to the University of Oxford’s Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) to learn more about the work being done by researchers. The expert team has developed a vaccine in order to begin protecting people against the coronavirus and clinical trials are now underway.

The vaccine is being developed and trials are now taking place at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

During his visit, William was briefed by Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the Jenner Institute, who developed the vaccine and Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity at the University of Oxford, who is leading the clinical trial team.

William was taken around the laboratory where the vaccine has been produced and was shown where samples from the clinical trial are being examined by researchers. He also met a small number of the 10,000 people in the U.K. who are being vaccinated in a program across 19 sites in the country that began on April 23. Trials have also started in Brazil and South Africa.

Prince William
Prince William
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Shutterstock

The university is in partnership with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, and the vaccine will be made available around the world, on a non-profit basis, during the pandemic period, including to low-and middle-income countries.

As a prelude to his trip to Oxford, William spoke via video call on Tuesday to representatives from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, as well as from CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance.

Prince William
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Prince William
Shutterstock

The prince heard how the partnership between AstraZeneca and Oxford University has placed British science and innovation at the heart of the global response to the pandemic, his office at Kensington Palace said.

Prince William during his video call with the team involved in the COVID-19 vaccine work
Kensington Palace

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The royals have started to emerge from lockdown and carry out face-to-face duties after carrying out most of their interaction with the public via video and phone calls.

Prince William at the bakery in King's Lynn
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Kate Middleton at Fakenham garden center
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William's wife Kate Middleton went to a garden center last week, while William headed to a bakery in King's Lynn, Norfolk as they both showed how businesses are tentatively getting back to normal after being closed for several months.