Prof Shabir Madhi awarded CBE for ‘services to science’ during pandemic
Professor Shabir Madhi paid tribute to members of his “incredible” research team at Wits University for their “tremendous effort” after his appointment as an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).
The appointment was made by British monarch King Charles III in “recognition of his services to science and public health in a global pandemic”, according to Wits spokesperson Deborah Minors.
The professor of vaccinology led the Oxford University-sponsored Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials in South Africa and, according to Minors, Wits and Oxford “contributed scientifically to informing the public health response to the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and globally”.
“Madhi led South Africa and the continent’s first Covid-19 vaccine trials in 2020/2021 as founder and director of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and Wits vaccines and infectious diseases analytics (Wits Vida) research unit.
“An internationally recognised leader in his field, the scientist was involved in multiple clinical and serology epidemiology studies on Covid-19, in addition to his research on vaccines against other life-threatening diseases,” Minors said.
Commenting on the recognition, Madhi said: “The privilege of being conferred this honour is credit to the tremendous effort of the incredible Wits Vida research team I have the privilege of leading at Wits — before, during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As a collective, and with colleagues at the University of Oxford and in South Africa, we are proud to have contributed scientifically to informing the public health response to the Covid-19 pandemic in SA and globally.”
Adding to this was professor Sir Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford vaccine group and Madhi’s UK counterpart in Covid-19 vaccine trials.
Pollard congratulated Madhi on his achievement.
“I am delighted that Professor Madhi CBE has been honoured by [the] king for his remarkable contributions to global public health and particularly for his extraordinary leadership in the midst of a global pandemic.
“It has been a huge privilege for me to work alongside him and his team on the development of the globally impactful Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.”
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