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*BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK*

An enthralling tale of toil, tenacity and triumph’ RACHEL CLARKE

This is the story of a race – not against other vaccines or other scientists, but against a deadly and devastating virus.

On 1 January 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 seen before. Less than 12 months later, vaccination was rolled out across the world to save millions of lives from Covid-19.

In Vaxxers, we hear directly from Professor Gilbert and her colleague Dr Catherine Green as they reveal the inside story of making the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and the cutting-edge science and sheer hard work behind it.

This is their story of fighting a pandemic as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Sarah and Cath share the heart-stopping moments in the eye of the storm; they separate fact from fiction; they explain how they made a highly effective vaccine in record time with the eyes of the world watching; and they give us hope for the future.

Vaxxers invites us into the lab to find out how science will save us from this pandemic, and how we can prepare for the inevitable next one.

Reviews

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. The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is a triumph and its creators are life savers. Science is the exit strategy, as long as we make that science equitably available to the world - as all the incredible people behind the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine always intended - truly the "People's Vaccine".
Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust
[Sarah Gilbert] has been the adult in the room and the accidental leadership figure the moment demands, embodying the competence, command of the detail, vision and, crucially, hope, that people have needed to see.
New Statesman
This Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine has provided the single best piece of news from the pandemic so far, allowing us to accelerate our vaccine programme, which we know will save lives and provides the long-term solution to this pandemic.
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, The Times
What an enthralling tale of toil, tenacity and triumph this is. The authors' intelligence, idealism and sheer, bloody-minded grit shine through. The world needs all the Sarah Gilberts and Catherine Greens it can get. Just brilliant.
Rachel Clarke
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. The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is a triumph and its creators are life savers. Science is the exit strategy, as long as we make that science equitably available to the world - as all the incredible people behind the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine always intended - truly the "People's Vaccine".
Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust