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Friday 03 March 2023

Southampton doctor receives OBE at Buckingham Palace for COVID-19 vaccine research

Professor Saul Faust, consultant paediatrician at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) and director of the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility, has received an OBE from the Prince of Wales.

The prestigious honour, announced last year in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours List, was presented during a ceremony held at Buckingham Palace last week.

It recognises Prof Faust’s leading role in the national COVID-19 vaccination programme, which helped to inform both the UK and global response to the pandemic.

Southampton researchers and medics led and supported multiple studies throughout the pandemic to determine the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for use in adults and children across the world.

One of the biggest, COV-BOOST, looked at the safety, immune responses and side-effects of seven vaccines when used as a third booster jab and made international headlines.

The research led by Prof Faust, who holds a joint role as a professor of paediatric immunology and infectious diseases at the University of Southampton, was recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for its significance.

Southampton delivered the highest number of COVID-19 studies across all acute NHS trusts, with Prof Faust and other colleagues regularly appearing in international pandemic media coverage.

Prof Faust has also been involved in wider studies including a needle-free vaccine for COVID-19 variants. Most recently, the latest COV-BOOST results have shown that a fourth dose of UK-approved vaccines give a strong immunity boost.

“I am very proud to be recognised for my work to support the UK’s pandemic response,” said Prof Faust.

“It is a tribute to the fantastic research teams in Southampton and across our region who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and the generous public who take part in our vaccine trials. I could not have done it without their support.

“Working together, we made enormous progress in determining the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, which are now saving lives around the world.”