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Home Stories Let’s look at the story of Sarah Gilbert- Oxford’s Coronavirus Vaccine Hunter

Let’s look at the story of Sarah Gilbert- Oxford’s Coronavirus Vaccine Hunter

When the countries are dealing with a dreadful coronavirus and the pharma industries are doing their best to succeed in the human trials of Vaccine. A British vaccinologist Sarah Gilbert and her team at the University of Oxford have moved one step forward to the finish line, leaving other contenders behind in the race to find a vaccine that can cure the patients of coronavirus

In the early findings of the research team of Gilbert shows promising results with trials of 1,077 people, showing that the vaccine led to strong immune responses with minor side effects. This shot creates antibodies and T-cells in the body. This is not a race between the companies this race is all about saving human lives. Therefore, Gilbert is working on extreme timelines to give working results on vaccines. This will not only be the best savior for human life but also it can create the biggest industry in the medical industry. 

And she is working really hard on that. As a result, this is the first vaccine that entered Phase 3 of trials. There are more than 10,000 participants in Brazil, South Africa, and Britain under the trials. Another phase 3 trial will take place in the United States with 30,000 participants next week. She is like superwomen to the Science right now. In the past four months, Gilbert and her 250 members team in Oxford have come up with a vaccine that could take years to manufacture. 

However, it is not a miracle. When the Ebola outbreak happened, Gilbert was assigned by WHO to come up with a vaccine for Disease X – any unknown, but an inevitable pathogen. So that they can be prepared for the future. Now, Gilbert is using the same formula to fight against Covid-19 which is similar to Disease X. She started working on the vaccine from the beginning of January as soon as Chinese scientists published the genetic sequence of Covid-19. The vaccine Gilbert is working on is Chimpanzee’s adenovirus with the genetic material of COVID-19 that can provide an immune response to the body. More knowledge about this vaccine comes from her research on MERS for which she visited Saudi Arabia in 2015. Where she worked vaccine against MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) which is quite similar to the Covid-19 vaccine.

MERS coronavirus – the first time identified in 2012, listed under WHO for pathogens which were a threat to public health. The virus was transmitted from camels to humans and can transmit between humans. This virus causes a respiratory illness with a mortality of up to 35%. The cases spread worldwide, highest in Saudi Arabia. The research continues but to date, no drug exists for the fight against this virus. 

However, she went to very hard times to get funding for her medical trials for MERS, and she faced some problems with the Covid-19 vaccine trials as well. But soon help was given to her in different forms. 

She dedicated her last 10 years in manufacturing and testing vaccines which are made to use T response, diseases like Malaria, and influenza. However, this is not what she wanted to do. She aimed to study human genetic. Several vaccines made by her has already passed clinical trials. She is a mother of 21-year-old triplets who is also participating in the clinical trials of the Covid-19 vaccine. Even though Gilbert also doesn’t know what effect it will give to a body in the long run. 

While it was seen that women are overburdened with their household activities and responsibility during a pandemic due to which their work output has been affected majorly. It has been observed that there are already a few women working in the research sector. According to the research, there are less than 30% of women researchers in the world. Therefore, Sarah Gilbert is not only the hope for the future right now, but she is also an inspiration to other researcher women. 

Although she is the most important woman in the science industry right now, she does not claim any timeline in social life. She says she is doing what she supposed to do in her medical career, to create vaccines. 

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