One of the creators of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has warned future pandemics could be more lethal than the current Covid crisis.
Prof Sarah Gilbert, said there needed to be more funding for pandemic preparedness to prevent the advances made from being lost.
She said: “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 Sarah Gilbert also warned vaccines could be less effective against the Omicron variant.
She added that people should be cautious until more was known about it.
Speaking about the Omicron variant Prof Sarah Gilbert said, “The spike protein of this variant contains mutations already known to increase transmissibility of the virus. 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.”
The UK recorded 86 new cases of the Omicron variant yesterday, taking the total so far to 246.