Contribution of ‘wonder women’ behind the Oxford vaccine hailed - EasternEye

Contribution of ‘wonder women’ behind the Oxford vaccine hailed

(Photo: D. Sinova - Pool/Getty Images).
(Photo: D. Sinova - Pool/Getty Images).


By Amit Roy

WHAT is not clear to me is how so many people are catching the new mutant strain of the coronavirus.

The government has urged the public to wear masks, wash hands as frequently as possi­ble, maintain social distance, and avoid crowded places.

And more recently, the guidance has included telling people to let fresh air into their homes, so any virus par­ticles can be blown away. But I imagine most people were do­ing all this, anyway, so how have so many caught the new mutant strain?

Is it safe to pop into super­markets? For that matter, is it safe to go for a walk? Can we breathe the air outside?

In recent days, more than 50,000 people a day are get­ting infected, and the daily death toll is close to 1,000. It is important not to panic, but the government should pro­vide further detailed guide­lines on what not to do.

The Oxford vaccine, seen as a game changer, cannot be rolled out fast enough.

Meanwhile, the British me­dia has seized on the fact that the research team behind the Oxford vaccine is dominated by women.

The Daily Mail’s take was, “All hail the wonder women who’ve put us on top of the world! Brilliant, dedicated, courageous… inspirational story of the team behind the Oxford vaccine.”

Even the Sun acknowledged that “many are brilliant wom­en who are as vital to our fu­tures as the frontline NHS doctors and nurses”.

One of the team members, Maheshi Ramasamy, who has been the lead in the adult clin­ical trials of the vaccine, is currently an infectious con­sultant physician at the Ox­ford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Maheshi, who also acts as the lead tutor for graduate medical students at Magdalen College, was asked by a BBC presenter: “My God, science is cool now?”

The 43-year-old, who was born in Sri Lanka and is her­self the daughter of two scien­tists, gave what I thought was an excellent answer. She laughed and said: “I have al­ways thought science is cool.”

We shouldn’t be surprised if girls across the world are in­spired enough to take up sci­ence as a career.

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