The scientist behind the creation of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, administered in India as Covishield to protect against COVID-19, warned that in future pandemics could be more lethal to humankind than the current Covid crisis.
According to media reports, Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the Jenner Institute of the University of Oxford also warned that vaccines could be less effective against the new Omicron variant and said taht reduced protection against infection and mild disease would not necessarily mean reduced protection against severe illness and death.
She said that there needed to be more funding for pandemic preparedness to prevent the advances made in the field from being lost.
“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,” Prof. Gilbert said.
While talking about the Omnicron variant of the novel coronavirus, she said its spike protein contained mutations known to increase the transmissibility of the virus, reports said.
Furthermore as per reports she said that, until we know more, we should be cautious, and take steps to slow down the spread of this new variant”.
Before COVID-19, Gilbert had worked on vaccines for more than 10 years, using antigens from malaria and influenza.
Media reports said that, the 59-year-old expert was delivering the BBC’s 44th Richard Dimbleby Lecture, named in honour of a veteran British journalist and broadcaster and delivered annually by distinguished speakers.