Oxford

Coronavirus: Duke of Cambridge visits Oxford vaccine group

William with scientists in a lab Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption More than 4,000 people are already enrolled on the trial - but that is set to increase

The Duke of Cambridge met volunteers who are taking part in Oxford University's trial to find a coronavirus vaccine.

William visited the Oxford Vaccine Group's unit at the city's Churchill Hospital on Wednesday.

He met Prof Sarah Gilbert, who is leading the trial, and Prof Andrew Pollard, the group's director.

More than 4,000 people are already enrolled on the trial in the UK, with a further 10,000 expected to join.

Other trials led by the group are taking place in South Africa and Brazil, with the hope an effective vaccine could be rolled out this year.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption William met "crucially important" volunteers on his trip to the Churchill Hospital

As Prof Pollard paid tribute to the "crucially important" volunteers, William said: "You're in good hands, I'm sure."

He told the volunteers: "It's the most incredibly exciting and very welcome project that you're all doing which is why it's fascinating."

On Monday, William took part in a video call with some of those involved in the partnership to find a vaccine, including AstraZeneca's CEO Pascal Soriot and Oxford University's vice-chancellor Professor Louise Richardson.

He added: "If we can amplify and exemplify what is going on here to the rest of the world...that's going to be the quickest and best way to end everyone's problems really, so please keep up the good work and just a huge well done."

Prof Richardson said William's visit was "a real shot in the arm" for a team of researchers at the university who she said had been working "flat out, every weekend, every night".

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