British Vaccinologist Says Future Pandemics Could be More Deadly Than Covid

Professor Sarah Gilbert [Photo: BBC]

The next pandemic could be more lethal than the current global Covid-19 crisis.

This is according to one of the UK creators of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert.

This will not be the last time a virus threatens our lives and our livelihoods. The truth is, the next one could be worse. It could be more contagious, or more lethal, or both,” said Gilbert.

Gilbert says there is a need for more funding for pandemic preparedness in the near future, however noting the advances made and the knowledge gained in handling the Covid-19 pandemic must not got to waste.

We cannot allow a situation where we have gone through all we have gone through, and then find that the enormous economic losses we have sustained mean that there is still no funding for pandemic preparedness.”

She also warned that vaccines could be less effective against the Omicron Covid-19 variant, and called for more caution.

According to the vaccinologist, the variant’s spike protein contains mutations known to increase the transmissibility of the virus.

There are additional changes that may mean antibodies induced by the vaccines, or by infection with other variants, may be less effective at preventing infection with Omicron. Until we know more, we should be cautious, and take steps to slow down the spread of this new variant,” noted Gilbert.

She further called for a rapid progress in delivering vaccines and medicines during the pandemic.

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