Next pandemic could be more lethal than covid, warns doctor behind Oxford jab
'The advances we have made, and the knowledge we have gained, must not be lost'
One of the creators of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has warned that future pandemics could be more lethal than covid.
At the 44th Richard Dimbleby lecture, Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert called for more funding to be funnelled into pandemic preparations for future outbreaks.
While warning that the Omicron variant could be more resistant against vaccines, Gilbert said that: "This will not be the last time a virus threatens our lives and our livelihoods".
She added: "The truth is, the next one could be worse. It could be more contagious, or more lethal, or both.
"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.
"The advances we have made, and the knowledge we have gained, must not be lost."
On the Omicron variant, Gilbert said its spike protein contained mutations known to increase transmissibility.
She said: "But 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."
This comes amid the revelation that men spread covid more than women.
"The reason men tend to emit more particles is because we have bigger lungs," said John Volckens, a professor in the department of mechanical engineering at Colorado State University.
He continued: "The volume of your voice is an indicator of how much energy you're putting into your voice box. That energy translates to more particles coming out of your body. These are particles that carry the COVID-19 virus and infect other people."
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