Professor Sarah Gilbert, one of the scientists behind the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine against coronavirus, has warned that in the future humanity may face viruses even more dangerous than SARS-CoV-2 that could trigger pandemics. She stressed that governments must be ready for such threats
in the future.
Gilbert warned against complacency and insisted that the experience and knowledge gained during the coronavirus pandemic "not be lost". She cautioned that once the pandemic is over, the development of vaccines and vaccine technologies might lose priority and with it so much needed funding.
The coronavirus pandemic has already claimed
the lives of 5 million people. Despite not being as deadly as some viruses, its virulence and negative impact on the elderly population and those with chronic diseases have ramped up its death toll.
Less than a year following the start of the pandemic, the first vaccines were introduced that protected against complications and contracting the virus in most cases, with the first registered one being the Russian jab Sputnik V. Several other vaccines followed in its footsteps, including the one developed by Oxford University scientists such as Sarah Gilbert, and private companies like AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna.
Despite most governments offering the vaccination to their citizens for free, only a few regions have reached levels of herd immunity close to 80%. While some countries lack a sufficient number of jabs, others suffer from widespread vaccine scepticism.