Universities should get freshers to create jabs, says former vaccine tsar

Sure, I’ll just stave off a global pandemic in my 9am

Universities should get students to create their own vaccines in their first year of study, according to the former vaccine tsar.

Addressing The Times Education Commission Summit, Dame Kate Bingham said: “You could create a vaccine. You’ll be able to design the vaccine. Immunise a mouse and create an immune response. That’s not rocket science, we definitely could do that.

“These are the sorts of things that get people excited … when I did speak to schoolchildren they were absolutely excited about how immunology works.”

Kate Bingham, who was chair of the UK’s vaccine tax force in 2020 and was responsible for buying coronavirus vaccines, said that science students need to spend more time on practical experiments.

“If I had a magic wand, I would massively enhance the level of practical training at schools and through university,” she told the summit.

Bingham fears that the pandemic years will have a lasting effect on the scientific ability of school pupils and uni students alike.

“We’re going to see a huge decline in these practical skills because there’s been three years where kids haven’t been able to do it at school and that’s presumably true for universities as well,” Bingham said.

The Times Education Commission was set up to examine the state of education in light of the pandemic and other socio-economic issues.

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