AstraZeneca jab pioneer Dame Sarah Gilbert is immortalised as a Barbie

Meet the vaccine Barbie! AstraZeneca jab pioneer Dame Sarah Gilbert and Covid pandemic scientists are immortalised as dolls

  • Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert led the development of Oxford/AstraZeneca jab
  • She initially found having a Barbie made in her image ‘very strange’ but said she hoped it would inspire young girls to pursue careers in the STEM fields
  • Toymakers Mattel created models in honour of five other female Covid heroes
  •  US healthcare workers Amy O’Sullivan and Dr Audrey Cruz have their own dolls
  • Campaigning Canadian doctor Dr Chika Stacy Oriuwa was also made as a Barbie
  • Brazilian biomedical researcher Dr Jaqueline Goes de Jesus has her own doll
  • As does Dr Kirby White, an Australian medic who co-created a reusable gown for frontline staff

She is the Oxford pioneer who led the development of one of the first life-saving Covid vaccines.

And now Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert’s contribution to the battle against coronavirus has been immortalised… in plastic.

Toymakers Mattel have created a Barbie doll modelled in the vaccinologist’s likeness.

Dame Sarah said she initially found the gesture ‘very strange’ but hoped it would inspire young girls to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem).

She added: ‘I am passionate about inspiring the next generation of girls into Stem careers and hope that children who see my Barbie will realise how vital careers in science are to help the world around us.’ 

The one-of-a-kind doll is dressed in a blue trouser suit, white blouse, black glasses and black shoes.

Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert (pictured with her Barbie) said she initially found the idea of having the iconic toy recreated in her likeness ‘very strange’ but hoped it would inspire young girls to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem)

As well as the likeness of Dame Sarah, 59, the company has created models in honour of five other women working in Stem around the world – US healthcare workers Amy O’Sullivan and Dr Audrey Cruz, Canadian doctor and campaigner Dr Chika Stacy Oriuwa, Brazilian biomedical researcher Dr Jaqueline Goes de Jesus and Dr Kirby White, an Australian medic who co-created a reusable gown for frontline staff.

Lisa McKnight, of Mattel, said: ‘Barbie recognises that all frontline workers have made tremendous sacrifices when confronting the pandemic. 

To shine a light on their efforts, we are sharing their stories and leveraging Barbie’s platform to inspire the next generation.’

Barbie has showcased more than 200 diverse careers over the decades. 

They include an astronaut, launched four years before man walked on the moon, and a presidential candidate.

Among criticisms over the years are that her anatomically improbably long legs and ample bust may feed body image disorders.

Academics from the University of South Australia have claimed the likelihood of a woman having Barbie’s body shape is just one in 100,000.

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