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Oxford Covid vaccine developer hopes people will be cautious when restrictions are lifted

PIC: Steve Parsons / PA

Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert was speaking after collecting her DBE from the Princess Royal at Windsor Castle. 

A British co-developer of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, credited with saving millions of lives around the world, has said she wants people to be cautious when Covid restrictions lift.

Current self-isolation regulations, which include self-isolating for 10 days unless you have a negative lateral flow test on days five and six, expire on March 24.

The 59-year-old said : “I hope that people are going to exercise some degree of caution as we go through the spring.

“I think it would be beneficial if we’re still taking care of those around us.”

The professor of vaccinology at Oxford University and mother of triplets co-created the jab which has been used by more than 2.5 billion people in more than 170 countries.

Dame Sarah, who was honoured for services to science and public health in Covid vaccine development, has been the subject of high praise for her work, received a standing ovation at Wimbledon when she attended the tournament last summer and has had a Barbie doll launched in her image.

After collecting her DBE from the princess, she said: “It’s a very different kind of day, obviously, to be here and a great honour to come to Windsor Castle to meet the Princess Royal and lovely to be honoured along with many other people who have done lots of important things.”

She added: “She was asking when I first got into vaccine development, was it early on in my career. I told her it was because I always wanted to work in some aspect of biological sciences that could have an impact on health.”

During the investiture ceremony, 81 people collected honours.

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