World Next pandemic could be more lethal: AstraZeneca vaccine creator
Russia tests vaccine science in new Sputnik-Astrazeneca trial
Judy Twigg, a global public health expert at Virginia Commonwealth University, joins The World's host Marco Werman to discuss the science behind Russia's new vaccine cocktail.A medical worker administers a shot of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center in Gostinny Dvor, a huge exhibition place in Moscow, July 12, 2021. Russia’s health officials have given a go-ahead to testing a combination of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shot and the single-dose version of the domestically developed Sputnik V vaccine.
Future pandemics could be even more lethal than COVID-19, so lessons learned from the outbreak must not be squandered and the world should ensure it is prepared for the next viral onslaught, one of the creators of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine says.
Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said in the Richard Dimbleby Lecture that the world should make sure it is better prepared for the next virus, according to the BBC.
The novel coronavirus has killed 5.26 million people across the world, according to Johns Hopkins University, wiped out trillions of dollars in economic output and turned life upside down for billions of people.
Resistance to vaccines is not only as old as the republic, but older
That means the country almost certainly can’t rely on soft tools such as education and incentives alone to get sufficient numbers of people vaccinated. The Chinese practiced smallpox inoculation as early as 1500 by inhaling powder made from the crusts of smallpox scabs in order to protect themselves from the disease. That was nearly 300 years before Edward Jenner founded vaccinology in the West in 1796 by taking the fluid from a cowpox blister and scratching it into the skin of a patient.
“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.
Efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic have been uneven and fragmented, marked by limited access to vaccines in low-income countries while the “healthy and wealthy” in rich countries get boosters, health experts say.
A panel of health experts set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) to review the handling of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has called for permanent funding and for greater ability to investigate pandemics through a new treaty.
One proposal was for new financing of at least $10bn a year for pandemic preparedness.
Reporters and pollsters say vaccine hesitancy is devolving into vaccine refusal
A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. © Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg/Getty Images A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Boston Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, June 17, 2021. Vaccinated Americans are getting fed up. More than six months have passed since the Covid-19 vaccines started to roll out across the country, yet a minority of unvaxxed adults are making life riskier for everyone and extending the length of the pandemic.
The COVID-19 outbreak was first detected in China in late 2019. Vaccines were developed against the virus in record time.
Gilbert said the Omicron variant’s spike protein contained mutations known to increase the transmissibility of the virus.
“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.
“Until we know more, we should be cautious, and take steps to slow down the spread of this new variant.”
The variant has spread rapidly in the UK, which has prompted calls for lockdown measures from scientists and observers as some politicians and sections of society advise a wait-and-see approach.
About 170,000 people have died with COVID-19 cited on their death certificates in the UK since the pandemic began, one of the world’s worst tolls.
U.S. Finds Mild Omicron Cases; Record Korea Deaths: Virus Update .
Most of the U.S. Covid-19 cases traced to the omicron variant so far have been mild illnesses in people who were vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Vietnam plans to resume some international flights next month, while Korea reported a daily record for virus deaths. After months of warnings that vaccinations would ward off a Covid-19 disaster, the U.S. is hurtling toward a holiday crisis. New York Governor Kathy Hochul ordered all businesses to require masks indoors if they don’t have a vaccine requirement. AstraZeneca Plc will supply Singapore with an antibody drug.