Vaxxers is a book by two scientists at the University of Oxford who, with their team, developed the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19. Professor Catherine Green heads the Nuffield Department of Medicine’s Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility and Sarah Gilbert is Professor of Vaccinology. Behind the impressive titles and incredible achievement, it’s the story of two scientists working flat out and what it was like on a day-to-day basis—scientifically, practically and emotionally.
The title is telling: this is a book written with anti-vaxxers in mind, outlining what it is that vaxxers do, or did in the case of this particular vaccine. The writing of the book was prompted by a campsite encounter Green had with an anti-vaxxer, who had told her, “I’m not saying there is definitely a conspiracy…but I do worry that we don’t know what they put in these vaccines: mercury and other toxic chemicals. I don’t trust them. They don’t tell the truth.” Green had to tell her, “I am ‘them’: and, appropriately, at the end of the book all the ingredients of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine are listed.