In connection with the discovery of a new type of coronavirus (Kovid-19) vaccine, Princess of Asturias Awards, an award in the field of technical and scientific research also known as the most prestigious awards of Spain and given in reference to Crown Princess Leonor, were given to a group of scientists, including Prof. Dr. Uğur Şahin and his wife Dr. Özlem Türeci.
The jury announced the grounds for awarding the award to these scientists with the following words:
"Their work is an excellent example of the importance of basic science for health protection on a global scale. Through their long careers in basic research, they have pioneered innovative practices such as obtaining effective vaccines to combat the Covid-19 epidemic. Both the development of RNA, a new technology, and the production of adenoviruses-based vaccines also opened a path of hope for their use against other diseases."
Uğur Şahin made a statement on the occasion of receiving the award said, “The Princess of Asturias Award is important in terms of an excellent recognition that science can make a difference to humanity. I am very grateful that our research and work have been able to contribute to the fight against this epidemic and help many people.”
The award given in Spain since 1981 was named after Princess Leonor who became crown prince when Felipe succeeded her father to the throne in 2014.
A Joan Miro statuette, a diploma, a badge and 50 thousand euros are awarded to those who are awarded prizes in 8 categories in total.
Award ceremonies are traditionally held every year in October at the Campoamor Theatre in Oviedo, Asturias region.