Artist creates sculpture of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine after 'awful' experience with coronavirus

  • Watch Lucy McDaid's report

A well-known Bristol artist has created a glass sculpture of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine while still suffering with the ongoing effects of coronavirus.

Luke Jerram, 46, has revealed the creation to mark 10 million doses given in the UK, while claiming his own experience with the virus was "awful".

It has been made from borosilicate glass and with the same materials and techniques used to make test tubes and distilleries.

It is 34cm in diameter and a million times bigger than the actual nanoparticle in the AstraZeneca jab.

Mr Jerram hopes the sculpture will raise money to help developing countries recover from the pandemic. Credit: Andrew Matthews / PA images

Speaking on the day of unveiling, Luke said: "It's brilliant that we've been able to vaccinate 10 million people so far in the UK. I'm hoping this artwork, which is a very beautiful thing, will spur more people on to want to get vaccinated."

Five limited edition pieces of the artwork are being made, with all profits from the sales going to the charity 'Medecins Sans Frontieres' to help communities worldwide recover from the pandemic.

Mr Jerram tested positive for Covid-19 in November and, two months later, is yet to make a full recovery.

"It was pretty awful. It's a really nasty disease. I think I must have picked it up from one of my kids bringing it back from school. It wiped me out for about two months and now I still don't have a proper sense of taste or smell."

"It really hit me quite bad," he added.

"I'm what, 46, now, and I just know if my parents were to have picked up this virus it would probably have killed them. It's just so important that everyone gets vaccinated as soon as we can."

Mr Jerram's model is the latest in a series of creations inspired by the coronavirus pandemic and his desire to help developing countries worldwide cope with the effects.

He said: "It's brilliant that such effective vaccines have been created in such a short space of time and that here in the UK we've been able to roll them out so quickly.

"However, the fight against the disease is a global one, which is why I wanted to support Medecins Sans Frontieres, through the sale of these sculptures."

The artist raised more than £17,500 in 2020 following the sale of coronavirus sculptures.

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