“We know there will be other epidemics.”

A Quebec virologist shares AstraZeneca’s vaccine creator’s concerns that other pandemics are inevitable as well as more resistant variants emerging.

• Read also: Next Pandemic Could Be ‘Worse’, AstraZeneca Vaccine Creator Warns

British scientist Sarah Gilbert, who co-created the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, sparked a lot of backlash yesterday.

The professor warned, “This will not be the last time a virus threatens our lives. […] That the following disease could be worse, more contagious, more deadly, or both. “

“These are neither empty words nor exaggerated ones,” immediately fired Benoit Barbu, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Kuala Lumpur.

We’ve known for years that there will be other epidemics. Books have been written and scientists have said the epidemic will hit us hard,” Mr. Barbeau recalls.

Specifies that it will be necessary to get used to new variants such as Omicron.

“It has developed in a poorly fortified country. The important question is to what extent the following variants that could be created in a country with much higher vaccination coverage might show greater resistance to these vaccines.”

“We shouldn’t panic. We’re 90% of 12 and over vaccinated. If you control transmission, the virus is unlikely to change. But if we let the virus spread, we give it a way to adapt. That doesn’t mean the virus will become More dangerous and more transmissible,” he says.

Research funding

This scenario, which he does not consider “exaggerated”, can be countered by a better understanding of virus transmission, via the most appropriate antiviral agents and vaccines, Mr. Barbeau identifies.

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This means continuing to invest and rejoining Sarah Gilbert, whose intervention we have reminded of the importance of research funding.

When SARS-CoV-1 [responsable du SRAS au début des années 2000] Happened, researchers were funded to work on a vaccine. When the virus is gone, so is the funding. We’ve put out fires, but we’re really bad at preventing potential epidemics. What we live makes us understand how many mistakes we make. Suddenly we see that we are very poor in terms of vaccine production. I hope we learn,” concludes Mr. Barbeau.

Save for a moment

In addition, the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) indicated yesterday that there does not appear to be community transmission of Omicron in the province.

The only confirmed case is that of a traveler returning from Nigeria. Travelers who test positive for the dreaded variant will be tested.

– With Agence France-Presse and QMI

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