Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the
world since it was first detected in late 2019. It was the first pandemic in
more than 100 years. After Spanish Flue in 1918, COVID-19 was the biggest
pandemic to leave the world in shambles. Now, as the world battles the
COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a lot of speculations about how lethal future pandemics could be.

Responding to a question at the Richard
Dimbleby Lecture, the creator of the AstraZeneca vaccine said future
pandemics could be even more lethal than COVID-19. So, lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic must not be forgotten and the world
should ensure it is prepared to fight the next onslaught by a virus. 

Also Read: Africa’s poor vaccination rate is the reason behind continual struggle with pandemic

Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology
at the University of Oxford and co-founder of Vaccitech, said that the world should make sure it is better
prepared for the next virus, according to the BBC. Gilbert specialises in the development of vaccines against influenza and emerging viral pathogens.

She also said antibodies obtained from both shots of vaccine could be less effective against omicron variant of coronavirus.

Her remark came against the backdrop of the
emergence of the omicron variant of coronavirus across the world.

Also Read: 50% of India’s total population now fully vaccinated: Health Ministry

So far 5.26 million people succumbed to coronavirus
across the world, according to Johns Hopkins University and trillions of
dollars of business have been wasted and turned life upside down for billions
of people.

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

“The advances we have made, and the
knowledge we have gained, must not be lost,” she said.

The COVID-19 outbreak was first detected in
the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. Vaccines were developed against the
virus in record time.

Antibodies induced by vaccines may be less effective’

Gilbert said the omicron variant’s spike
protein contained mutations known to increase the transmissibility of the

“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,” Gilbert said.

Also Read: Community transmission of omicron reported in Australia

“Until we know more, we should be cautious,
and take steps to slow down the spread of this new variant.”