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Oxford vaccine team shortlisted for parliamentary awards

23/11/2020

The University of Oxford team who have developed a COVID-19 vaccine in record time have been shortlisted for the Excellence in Healthcare Award at the NHS Parliamentary Awards.

The team from the Oxford Vaccine Group and Jenner Institute were nominated by Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, and won the regional Excellence in Healthcare award.

The news coincided with announcement of interim data from phase III of the vaccine trial, which showed that the Oxford candidate vaccine was effective at preventing COVID-19 and offered a high level of protection. One dosing regimen indicated that the vaccine is 90 percent effective.

Layla Moran said:

"I'm absolutely delighted. There were nearly 700 nominations by MPs this year, so to be shortlisted is a huge achievement - the vaccine team really deserve it!

"The Oxford Vaccine Group and the Jenner Institute have been working so incredibly hard since the beginning of the pandemic to produce a vaccine that will be life changing for so many people around the world. They're the jewel in our community's crown.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards are an annual opportunity to recognise and appreciate the very best about our local healthcare service.

This year Layla Moran's nominations focused on the adaptability, innovation and hard work that so many Oxfordshire teams have shown throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of Oxford Vaccine Group, said:

"We are delighted and honoured that our vaccine teams have been shortlisted, and a real boost to us all after tireless efforts of the year to test the Oxford vaccine across the UK, Brazil and South Africa.

"We have been fully focused on developing a vaccine for the NHS, that could also reach all corners of the world and it is wonderful to be part of the NHS awards list."

Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive of Oxford University Hospitals, said:

"We are very proud of the close and dynamic relationship between the University and our Trust, and of the world-leading research that takes place here. The Oxford vaccine team, who have worked tirelessly to find a vaccine since the start of the pandemic, are worthy recipients of this recognition. It is fitting that they have learned of this recognition as they publish such positive and hopeful findings about the trial."

The coronavirus pandemic, the greatest public health challenge in NHS history, has prompted a record number of nominations from MPs across the country; nominations were up by more than 20 percent compared to 2019.

Vaughan Lewis, South East NHS England and NHS Improvement Medical Director, said:

"I was impressed by the high standard of all entries from the South East this year, and choosing between the dozens of teams and individuals who all go above and beyond, to go forward and represent our region, has been incredibly difficult. I wish our champions the best of luck in the national heats and will be rooting for them on the day."

The Oxford vaccine team and the other regional champions will now compete with other winners from across the country to be judged by a national panel made up of senior leaders representing staff and patients, for the chance to win the prestigious national award which will be presented at a special ceremony in the House of Commons on 7 July 2021.

England's Chief Midwife and chair of the national judging panel this year, Professor Jaqueline Dunkley Bent, said:

"Huge congratulations to all those who have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the NHS as well as making a genuine difference to the patients they care for. NHS staff and volunteers make the health service what it is today - the largest and greatest care team in the world.

"This year more than ever, the nation owes a debt of gratitude to the 1.3 million-strong army of nurses, midwives, doctors, physios, pharmacists, healthcare and maternity care assistants, porters, cleaners and countless other staff who ensured no patient who could benefit from NHS care was unable to receive it."

Visit the NHS Parliamentary Awards website for a full list of award winners

Image: John Cairns, University of Oxford