COVID-19 vaccine creators win prestigious Spanish prize

Health

MADRID (AP) — Seven researchers whose work contributed to designing COVID-19 vaccines have won Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias award for scientific research.

The award panel announced Wednesday it had chosen Hungary’s Katalin Karikó, Americans Drew Weissman and Philip Felgner, Germany’s Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, Canadian Derrick Rossi and Sarah Gilbert of the United Kingdom as this year’s prizewinners.

The panel said the seven were “leading figures in one of the most outstanding feats in the history of science.”

“With their long careers in pure research, they led the way to innovative applications such as obtaining, in an extraordinarily short space of time, effective vaccines to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” the citation said.

“Their work constitutes a prime example of the importance of pure research for the protection of public health the world over,” it added.

The annual 50,000-euro ($60,000) award is one of eight Asturias prizes handed out each year by a foundation named for Crown Princess Leonor. Other categories include art, sport and social sciences.

The awards are among the most prestigious in the Spanish-speaking world. An awards ceremony typically takes place in October in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo.

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