Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Oxford vaccine teams

The Prime Minister heard about the developments, success and challenges at Oxford in relation to the University’s ongoing COVID-19 research. 

Boris Johnson at Jenner Institute Sept 2020

Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street


Meeting with Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, Professor Gavin Screaton, Head of Medical Sciences Division, and senior researchers from the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 coronavirus vaccine team, the Prime Minister praised the efforts of our researchers during the pandemic. 

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:

The UK is home to the brightest minds working tirelessly to find a successful and safe coronavirus vaccine, backed by government funding. Scientists at Oxford University, whose herculean efforts are developing one of the most promising vaccine candidates, are no exception. It was fantastic to hear how they are leading the charge and we will continue to back them all the way.

The Prime Minister was able to meet with the senior researchers leading the trial. Professors Adrian Hill (Director, Jenner Institute & Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine), Sarah Gilbert (Professor of Vaccinology, Jenner Institute) and Andrew Pollard (Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, Oxford Vaccine Group), discussed the latest developments and the team’s major achievement of running the trial in a shorter timeline than standard – whilst maintaining the safety of all involved. 

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richardson said:

It was a pleasure to welcome the Prime Minister, the 28th UK Prime Minister to have been educated at Oxford. He took a keen interest in the vaccine work of our scientists and peppered them with questions about their research and the prospects for an effective vaccine.  

Following the meeting, the Prime Minister was led on a tour of the Jenner Institute laboratories by Dr Katie Ewer, Associate Professor and Senior Immunologist, Jenner Institute. During the tour he met some of the team members who have been working around the clock on analysing samples from the trial volunteers. 

Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, Professor Pollard said:

The talented team of Oxford vaccine clinicians and scientists are pleased that the Prime Minister visited and recognised the importance of our work on the Oxford vaccine for COVID-19. We continue our tireless efforts to undertake rigorous clinical trials of safety and efficacy in the immense effort to control the coronavirus pandemic.