Vaccinologist warns of increased animal to human disease spread

By Jarryd Neves

Sarah Gilbert – a Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford – has warned of an increase in the risk of animals potentially spreading future disease to people. Covid-19 is believed to have jumped from animals to humans, at a market in China.

Gilbert said that it is human activity which increases the threat, with the “risk unlikely to diminish in the future as globalisation continues”,  says a UK-based newspaper, the Evening Standard.

Professor Gilbert is quoted as saying that myriad reasons – deforestation, increased travel, a larger global population – all heighten the risks of another outbreak occurring and something spreading, says the Evening Standard report.

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According to the Evening Standard, the Oxford project researchers are now waiting for the results of phase three Covid-19 vaccine trials. Should a high efficacy level be proven, they hope the vaccine could be available by year end.

The vaccine is currently being trialled in various counties, including the UK, US, Brazil and South Africa.

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The Evening Standard reported that AstraZeneca, Oxford’s pharmaceutical partner, has committed to producing two billion doses of the vaccine by next year.

A number of other vaccines are currently under development, with many under trial. Professor Gilbert has said that there is a very good chance that some could prove to be successful, says the Evening Standard.