School students pledge their support for COVID-19 vaccine research
It’s the letter that lifted the spirits of a team of UQ researchers just when they needed it most.
Hunkered down for weeks in a lab at UQ’s St Lucia campus, Professor Paul Young, Dr Keith Chappell, Professor Trent Munro and Dr Daniel Watterson have felt the world on their shoulders as they race to develop a vaccine candidate for the coronavirus, COVID-19.
After hearing of the researchers’ tireless efforts, a group of Year 5 students at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School wanted to help them in some way.
The girls wrote to lead researcher Professor Young on Wednesday 11 March with their plans to raise funds as part of their family movie night.
“We were prompted to start fundraising because we wanted to start doing something helpful for the planet,” the girls wrote.
“Since we knew that UQ were working on a vaccine, we were wondering if the money we donate would be useful?”
As Professor Young took a well-earned break on Friday 13 March to read his emails, he found the students’ letter which immediately restored his energy.
Professor Young’s reply was quick and inspiring – not just for the students, but for the rest of the world waiting in hope for a viable vaccine.
“It was extremely touching and humbling to receive your kind letter,” Professor Young wrote.
“The whole team here are working really hard to deliver on this program, and your kind thoughts and donation mean more to us than pretty much anything else that has crossed our desks since we began this journey in early January.
“I find it inspiring when young people, such as yourselves, harness the power of philanthropy to solve the world’s greatest problems.”
Now, the St Margaret’s students have formed Team Change and are conducting their own campaign: Helping for hundreds. They’re calling on their peers to join them in raising funds by doing extra chores at home and contributing their pocket money to support COVID-19 vaccine research at UQ.
Support COVID-19 research
Together, we can help our researchers fast-track a potential vaccine for COVID-19. Join us by making a donation. We appreciate it is an incredibly challenging time for many in our community. If you cannot make a gift, you can still play a critical role by sharing the work of our research team on social media and giving your 'virtual' applause. 👏 #clapCOVID19researchers