EXPERTS who have played a key role in the fight against Covid-19 are among the people who have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

They have guided the government during the development of its coronavirus policies while making tireless efforts to create a vaccine against the deadly virus.

The compilation of the honours list was deferred pending the nomination of people who played crucial roles during the first months of the Covid-19 effort.

Prof Stephen Holgate, Medical Research Council clinical professor of immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton, is knighted for his services to medical research.

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He is co-founder of pharmaceutical company Synairgen, which has developed an inhaled coronavirus treatment, with early trials showing 79% of hospital patients who took the drug had a lower risk of developing severe disease.

Prof Holgate said: "This award is a great surprise to me.

"After lacking the limelight for so long, it is wonderful that the dedication, imagination and courage of so many colleagues is now being recognised in positioning lung disease as a top medical priority."

Prof Holgate is one of three people at the university to be honoured.

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Prof Paul Elkington, Professor of Respiratory Medicine, is honoured for services to medicine, particularly during Covid-19.

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And Prof Jackline Wahba. Professor of Economics, is honoured for services to economic policy. Earlier this year she was elected a member of the Royal Economic Society.

Prof Ed Hill, chief executive of the National Oceanography Centre, receives a CBE for services to ocean and environmental sciences.

He said, “I am delighted and honoured to receive this award, which I feel is also recognition of the tremendous journey the National Oceanography Centre has been taking as a force for good all over the world."

Southampton resident Nicole Geraghty, maintenance scheduler at Briggs Marine in Fife, Scotland, is honoured for services to the community during Covid-19.

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Dorothy Baverstock, a member of Test Valley Borough Council and a former mayor of Romsey, is honoured for services to the community in Romsey. She was elected mayor in 2018, when she succeeded Ian Hibberd.

Other recipients are:

Brockenhurst resident Michael Ross Harris, trustee and treasurer of Comic Relief, for services to voluntary and charitable services.

Jane White, adviser to the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee at the House of Lords, for services to Parliament.

Vera Margaret Collings, for services to the community in Winchester..

Roger Henry Tym, for services to the community in Stockbridge.

Ronald David Williamson, for services to the community in Bishop's Waltham..

Sgt Deborah Jane Ashthorpe, of Hampshire Constabulary.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "This year's honours recipients are a testament to the sort of country we are - caring, compassionate and resolute in the face of a global pandemic.

"The hard work and dedication of these local, often unsung heroes has helped carry us through. I congratulate them all."