Scientists Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci, a Turkish-German immigrant couple who developed a coronavirus vaccine, were given the first place in the European Commission’s 2021 list of inspiring stories, with the title “the power of science.”
“Despite all the challenges we faced this year, 2021 has also been a year full of inspiring stories about solidarity, merit and hope,” the European Commission said on Twitter.
The EU body recalled that this year, BioNTech co-founders Sahin and Tureci were awarded the Order of Merit for their scientific perseverance in developing a COVID-19 vaccine that has saved the lives of millions of people worldwide, describing the move as “an inspiration to all.”
The EU countries’ donation of 350 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to low and middle-income countries, mostly through COVAX, was placed second on the list under the title “power of solidarity.”
“Our efforts will continue next year with more donations. Because no one is safe until everyone is safe,” the commission said.
The Conference on the Future of Europe launched by the EU in 2021, was ranked third on the list with the title “power of ideas.”
“People from across the EU, reflecting our diversity, are sharing their ideas for Europe’s future. And yes – you can still propose your ideas!” said the EU body.