Professor Sarah Gilbert, one of the creators of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has issued a stern warning for the current and the future prospects of pandemics on Earth. While speak at the Richard Dimbleby Lecture, which will be later aired on the BBC, the vaccine creator scientist said that the next pandemic could be worse than the current one, and could very likely be more lethal, or contagious, or both.
Underscoring that pandemic in the future could be deadlier, Gilbert said that the lessons learned from COVID-19 should not go to waste and the world should be prepared for the next pandemic.
COVID-19, which has claimed more than 5 million lives brought the world to a grinding halt and has been catastrophic for the global economy. BBC quoted Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, as saying, “The truth is, the next one could be worse. It could be more contagious, or more lethal, or both. This will not be the last time a virus threatens our lives and our livelihoods.
Highlighting that the current pandemic is still not over, Gilbert noted that the mutations of the Omicron COVID-19 variant’s spike protein are known to increase the transmissibility. She said, “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.”