Experts behind Britain’s world-beating vaccination programme take centre stage in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Venture capitalist Kate Bingham receives a damehood for leading the UK Vaccines Taskforce and obtaining millions of doses of six different jabs.
Professor Sarah Gilbert, who led the team behind the trailblazing Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is made a dame, and her colleague, Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, is knighted.
Dozens of volunteers and frontline workers are among 262 who are honoured for their work during Covid – almost a quarter of the total. Those who selflessly set up foodbanks, launched charities to help the vulnerable and made PPE for frontline NHS staff as the pandemic struck also win recognition.
Experts behind Britain’s world-beating vaccination programme take centre stage in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Venture capitalist Kate Bingham (above) receives a damehood for leading the UK Vaccines Taskforce and obtaining millions of doses of six different jabs
Professor Sarah Gilbert (above), who led the team behind the trailblazing Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is made a dame
Professor Gilbert's colleague, Andrew Pollard (above), head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, is knighted
The awards were announced as the number of adults in the country to receive at least one vaccine crept close to the 80 per cent mark.
Boris Johnson said the honours were a ‘reminder of all that we can achieve when we come together as a society’.
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty does not feature, but his contribution, along with dozens of others, will be considered when he is no longer at the forefront of the pandemic response.
Those honoured in other fields include Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips who both become dames. Oscar-nominated actor Jonathan Pryce is knighted.
From the world of sport, tennis and A Question of Sport presenter Sue Barker and former England football boss Roy Hodgson were appointed CBEs. In politics, Brexiteers are among those honoured, with former Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom becoming a dame and Vote Leave’s Oliver Lewis appointed CBE.
It is the most ethnically diverse honours list to date, with one in seven recipients from an ethnic minority background – and women make up a slight majority of recipients. Out of the 1,129 people honoured, 62 per cent were recognised for community work.
Another knighthood went to Professor Peter Horby (above), the joint chief investigator for the search for coronavirus treatments
The Prime Minister yesterday paid tribute those who have gone ‘above and beyond in their service to this country’.
He added: ‘Throughout the pandemic, we have seen countless examples of everyday heroes.
‘From those using their expertise to help develop life-saving vaccines… to the people who have given time and energy to care for their communities.
‘We should take heart from the stories of those receiving honours today and be inspired by their courage and kindness.’
Miss Bingham, who was appointed to the vaccine taskforce in May 2020, said she was ‘humbled’ to be recognised in a year when NHS workers have ‘risked their health and their lives in fighting Covid’.
She said: ‘The development of vaccines has been a triumph of scientific and industrial collaboration. In the last six months nearly 70million vaccine doses have provided unprecedented protection and saved thousands of lives.’ Her colleague Divya Chadha Manek was made an OBE after playing an instrumental role in convincing manufacturers to base their trials in the UK.
Those honoured in other fields include Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith (above) and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips who both become dames. Oscar-nominated actor Jonathan Pryce is knighted
Professor Gilbert said her honour was a recognition of the large number of people who ‘worked very hard to get this vaccine developed, manufactured and tested in trials’.
She added: ‘It has been absolutely phenomenal the way the vaccine has been rolled out.’ Professor Pollard, a professor of paediatric infection at the University of Oxford, is knighted for services to public health, particularly during the pandemic.
Another knighthood went to Professor Peter Horby, the joint chief investigator for the search for coronavirus treatments.
Professor Paul Elliott, chairman of epidemiology and public health medicine at Imperial College London and director of the giant React programme that has tracked Covid-19 case numbers, was appointed a CBE.
Professor Keith Willett, NHS England’s national director of emergency planning and incident response, will be knighted, and Nick Elliott, former director general of the vaccine taskforce, was made a companion of the Order of the Bath.
David Hunt, head of vaccine operations at AstraZeneca is appointed CBE – one of eight employees from the pharmaceutical giant honoured.