We have also agreed to fund a state of the art piece of equipment to support the work of The Oxford Vaccine Group who’s remit is to improve the health of children through immunization. The piece of kit that TOO is procuring facilitates automated washing of immunological assay plates – so essentially it means that the team can progress more rapidly through their work.
The device will enormously enhance the team’s ability to study the pathogens that cause serious and life- threatening infections in children. Ultimately, this will allow the group to select the best vaccine strategies for many widespread paediatric infections to protect children from severe disease, disability and death. Because the equipment will be used for research purposes it is not deemed as essential equipment, which would be considered the normal responsibility of the NHS.
This project feels personal to us because it is thought that the reason Oscar died was that he picked up Rota Virus which, in a very very low number of cases, can turn into encephalitis. Encephalitis is a viral inflammation of the brain and is often serious. Rota Virus is a very common, non-life threatening virus which is now vaccinated against. The vaccination was made available to all children literally a few weeks after Oscar was the correct age to be able to receive it, so naturally we are aware, that had the vaccine been available a matter of a few weeks sooner Oscar might be with us today.