Researcher working on COVID-19 at Imperial College London

Developing a vaccine for COVID-19 is essential and urgent.

Since the outbreak at the end of 2019, the novel coronavirus SARS CoV-2 has spread rapidly around the world and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. One of the reasons it has been so harmful is that it is a new virus, and people had no immunity against it.

Researchers have been working hard to develop a vaccine that will protect us against the virus and that can be distributed at low cost. Professor Robin Shattock and his team have developed a prototype vaccine is different from traditional vaccines. It’s cheap, highly scalable and has the potential to deliver many effective doses next year, should the current human trials succeed.

But how does this work? How is it different from a normal vaccine? When might we see results? And what’s it been like working on COVID-19?

Join COVID-19 vaccine researchers Dr Anna Blakney and Dr Paul McKay to go behind the scenes and ask your questions directly.

How the Q&A works

  • It’s free and open to everyone. It will be streamed on YouTube and you will be sent the YouTube link before the event.
  • We’ll be taking questions in the YouTube comments, or if you’d prefer, you can send your questions in advance to
  • The main focus of the event is Q&A so we’ll try and get through as many questions as we can.

About our speakers

Dr Anna BlakneyDr Anna Blakney

Anna is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow focusing on the development of a self-amplifying RNA vaccine for COVID-19.

Anna is specifically looking at engineering both the RNA – the virus’s genetic code – and the way it’s delivered into our cells to improve our body’s immune response to the vaccine.



Dr Paul McKayDr Paul McKay

Paul is a Senior Researcher Fellow, working primarily on the development of new vaccine candidates, how we optimise immunisation and the assessment of how effective prototype vaccines are.