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Scientists behind Oxford vaccine to publish book

Two of the scientists behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, Professor Sarah Gilbert and Dr Catherine Green, are set to publish a book entitled Vaxxers: The Inside Story of the Oxford Vaccine and the Race Against the Virus, on the 8th July 2021. 

The book concerns the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, notable amongst other approved vaccines for being particularly cheap and easy to store and distribute. The UK has currently ordered enough doses for 50 million people.

Professor Gilbert has led the Oxford vaccine project since January 2020 and is also a professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute and Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine. She has recently commented publicly on the jab’s efficiency against new coronavirus variants, suggesting the vaccine should still prevent the most severe cases of the disease.

Dr Green is the head of Oxford University’s Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility and played a critical part in producing doses for medical trials. She is also an associate professor of chromosome dynamics at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics.

In their book, Gilbert and Green seek to reveal “the heart-stopping moments in the eye of the storm” and “separate fact from fiction”. 

“As we wait for vaccinations to release us from lockdown, Vaxxers will invite 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”, explains the book’s synopsis.

“With vaccination now being rolled out, we are one step closer to bringing an end to the devastation caused by Covid-19,” Gilbert said, speaking in The Bookseller. “There was so much teamwork involved behind the scenes in the rapid, yet safe, development of this vaccine. We decided to write this book to tell our personal story, to reveal how we made this vaccine as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and how it will benefit the whole world.”

The book will be published by Hodder and Stoughton with Anna Baty as senior commissioning editor and will be available in hardback, e-book, and audiobook format.

Professor Gilbert and Dr Green have been contacted for further comment.

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