A scientist who co-created the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine has collected her damehood at Windsor Castle.
Professor Sarah Gilbert was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by the Princess Royal today (February 15).
The 59-year-old, who grew up in Kettering, received the honour for her services to science and public health in Covid vaccine development.
The Oxford University professor of vaccinology is credited with saving millions of lives through her role in designing the coronavirus jab.
Dame Sarah has been making and testing vaccines for more than 10 years, mainly using antigens from malaria and influenza, and initiated the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine project in early 2020 when Covid first emerged in China.
The vaccine developed by her team is used in more than 170 countries around the world.
This is not the first time Dame Sarah has been honoured - a Barbie doll was made in her likeness last year and she received a standing ovation at Wimbledon.
Speaking previously about her team's work on the vaccine, Dame Sarah said: “We didn’t really think that far ahead when we were developing the vaccine, it was all about going from day to day and it has been absolutely phenomenal the way the vaccine has been rolled out in so many different ways, it has been very, very impressive.”
She continued: "It is so important to recognise the large number of people who worked very hard to get this vaccine developed, manufactured, tested in trials – all of the clinical trial volunteers without whom we couldn’t have tested the vaccine, and now the people working on the vaccine rollout.”