SCIENTISTS behind the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine have been recognised for their excellence at a healthcare awards ceremony.

The teams who worked to develop the jab in record time were among the winners at this year's NHS Parliamentary Awards.

The Oxford Vaccine Group and the Jenner Institute, which are both based at the University of Oxford, were honoured with the award for excellence in healthcare.

They were among 10 winners selected from more than 700 nominees and announced during a ceremony in London on Wednesday.

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In September, Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, nominated seven individuals and teams of local heroes – including the vaccine group – for the different awards.

She commented: "The Oxford Vaccine Group and the Jenner Institute have saved the lives of millions of people across the UK and the world.

"I hope this award will be one of many ways that we continue to show our thanks for the work that they have done.

"Their work is in no small part the reason why we have been able to ease lockdown rules.

"The vaccine has undoubtedly saved countless lives and led the way out of the pandemic.

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"NHS staff have done a remarkable job throughout the pandemic so it was lovely to spend time congratulating and thanking everyone for their ongoing work."

The MP added that it was a pleasure to be able to attend the NHS Parliamentary Awards.

More than 45 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered in the UK alone and at least 550 million doses have been administered worldwide.

Dr Maheshi Ramasamy, consultant physician at the John Radcliffe Hospital and principal investigator at the Oxford Vaccine Group highlighted that the project demonstrates the 'incredible' teamwork that is such an important part of the NHS.

In a statement shortly after the win, they said: "Doctors, nurses and scientists not just here in Oxford, but at 19 hospitals around the UK, have worked hard to deliver the clinical trials that led to the approval of the Oxford AZ vaccine.

"The vaccine itself is being administered by an army of NHS staff and volunteers up and down the country.

"It is an honour to receive this award on behalf of the many people who have played their part in the battle against COVID-19."

Others to be recognised included health teams who created ways for people to keep in touch with their loved ones in hospital during the pandemic and another behind 'pop up' clinics to diagnose and treat Hepatitis C among homeless people in Leeds.