As the COVID-19 Delta variant spreads across the country and schools begin to reopen, health and safety are at the forefront of many of our minds. Luckily, the U.S. now has more tools to use in our fight against the coronavirus, and we have women to thank. Throughout the pandemic, women scientists, researchers and medical professionals have been at the forefront of the rapid development of the COVID vaccines.
Thanks to their tireless work, over half of Americans are fully vaccinated and thus protected from the virus, which provides some hope that the U.S. will continue recovering from the worst of the pandemic.
From RNA research to clinical trials, these 10 brilliant women have been crucial to the distribution of the COVID vaccine.
Jansen led the effort at Pfizer that produced the first vaccine approved for emergency use.
Corbett is an immunologist at the U.S. National Institutes of Health who helped design the Moderna vaccine.
Karikó’s decades of scientific research into RNA made the mRNA-based vaccines possible.
Smolyarchuk is the chief researcher of the first completed clinical trials for the vaccine Sputnik V.
Patel (left) and her all-women team of scientists in Maryland led development of the vaccine for Novavax.
Sumathy K is the head of R&D for Covaxin developer Bharat Biotech.
Dr. Jackson was the principal investigator of the world’s first clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine (for Moderna), which began in March 2020.
Schuitemaker is the global head of viral vaccine discovery for Janssen Pharmaceuticals (owned by Johnson & Johnson).
Dr. Özlem Türeci
Dr. Türeci is the cofounder of BioNTech, Pfizer’s vaccine partner.
GIlbert is the architect of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.