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Barbie creates doll in likeness of UK COVID-19 vaccine developer

London: Toymaker Mattel created a series of Barbie dolls called ‘role-model dolls’ to honour COVID-19 frontline workers. They’re based on six different heroes.

Dame Sarah Gilbert, a co-creator of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine and an Oxford University professor, is one of them. Her doll was dressed in a navy blue pantsuit with auburn hair and spectacles, much like Gilbert. The photo of the same was shared on Twitter.

She remarked in an interview with the toy manufacturer, ‘Having a Barbie doll made in my likeness is a bizarre notion. I’m hoping it will contribute to making science professions more accessible to ladies.’ She also hopes that this would encourage more individuals to choose professions as vaccinologists.

She wasn’t the only one who had a doll made in her likeness. Amy O’Sullivan, a New York nurse who treated the first COVID-19 patient in Brooklyn, was also honoured. Audrey Cruz, a Las Vegas-based physician, was also recognised.

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Others include Chika Stacy Oriuwa, a Canadian psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto who fought systemic prejudice and the fatal virus on the front lines. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus, a Brazilian biomedical researcher, is also a member of the prestigious organisation. She was the country’s leader in sequencing the COVID-19 variant’s genome.

Last but not least, Kirby White, an Australian, was the inspiration for one of the dolls. Her contribution was the development of a surgical robe that can be cleaned and reused by frontline personnel.


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