Ex-Miss England becomes hero scientist helping Oxford Uni produce Covid vaccine

Ex-Miss England Carina Tyrrell swapped ball gowns and crowns for science and has spent the last year spearheading Covid research at Oxford University.

Dr Tyrrell, 31, is part of the Oxford team working to make sure the right coronavirus vaccine is safe enough to be rolled out.

Her team has been responsible for working on the Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines.

Along with scientists and doctors, Dr Tyrrell has worked to find the most suitable vaccine and make sure it has the correct funding.

Speaking out about her efforts, Carina said it is her job to make sure "nobody is left out" and ensure it will be effective in everyone.

Carina said: "I have looked at all of the vaccines with the team and we published a piece of work a few months ago.

"At that time we had looked at 728 studies. Looking at the Pfizer, Moderna and the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.

"I’ve been looking at the vaccine and therapeutic clinical trials trying to identify the most promising vaccine and therapeutic candidates.

"And of course, making sure the vaccine is going to be relevant for specific user groups.

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"As within a population, you have got different ethnic backgrounds, ages, health conditions – so it’s looking to make sure that nobody is left out.

"To approve a vaccine takes years and we have managed to do something in a year.

"It’s really a testament to the work of the scientific community, health care workers and everybody that’s been involved.

"For the policy work, I have been the lead writing up some of that policy and a scientific paper that’s going to be published in the British Medical Journal.

"It’s about how we manage people presenting with Covid-19 in hospitals when we are struggling with capacity and managing the surge of people attending hospitals."

Despite her hard work, Carina said she is still in support of both Miss World and Miss England contest.

Carina also came fourth place in Miss World that same year and said she still judges the Miss England contest.

She said: "I still really support both Miss World and Miss England and I still judge the Miss England contest.

"But I didn't think six years on I would be part of a team searching for a vaccine during a global pandemic on this scale.

"It’s obviously being rolled out now and it’s fantastic that all the hard work has paid off."

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Speaking on whether people should take the vaccine, she said: "It’s important for people to be vaccinated and I encourage everybody to accept the vaccine when they get offered it.

"That is the way forward – vaccinations help yourself and the wider population.

"By taking it they will be supporting their neighbour – whether that’s the person next door or a neighbouring country.

"It’s really important to emphasise that until we get all doses of the vaccine people are obviously respecting all the social distancing regulations in place.

"The last thing we want is everybody going back to normality when we are not yet there."

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