Home Health & Wellness Expert Warns of Looming Pandemic More Severe Than Covid, Urges Global Preparedness

Expert Warns of Looming Pandemic More Severe Than Covid, Urges Global Preparedness

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In a stark warning that has sent ripples through the global health community, Dame Kate Bingham, the woman behind the UK’s successful Covid vaccination rollout, has cautioned that a new, potentially more devastating pandemic is not just a possibility but a “probability”.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Dame Kate Bingham stated: “The next major pandemic is coming. It’s already on the horizon, and could be far worse – killing millions more people – than the last one.” She expressed grave concern over the lack of preparedness by the UK and other nations, stating that the world has done “very little to prepare for it”.

Bingham’s warning comes ahead of the publication of her new book, The Long Shot, which details how she managed the procurement of Covid vaccines for the UK in 2021. In her book, she calls for a “Global Pandemic Treaty” that would facilitate information sharing among scientists and clinicians to expedite the development of new vaccines.

While no specific virus is currently causing concern, Bingham emphasised that the unpredictability of the next threat should be the most alarming aspect for governments. “So far, scientists are aware of 25 virus families, each of them comprising hundreds or thousands of different viruses, any of which could evolve to cause a pandemic,” she said.

Following the Covid pandemic, the UK Government established the UK Health Security Agency, responsible for public health protection and infectious disease capability. However, Bingham’s warning suggests that more proactive measures are needed on a global scale.

Bingham also highlighted the financial repercussions of failing to prepare for future pandemics. She pointed out that the Covid pandemic had a staggering cost of $16 trillion in lost output and public health expenditure. “The monetary cost of inaction is seismic,” she warned.

According to Bingham, the increase in pandemics is not merely a “random patch of bad luck”. She cited globalisation, overpopulation in cities, and deforestation as key factors that have created “ideal conditions” for viruses to jump between species.

Bingham urged immediate action, stating that we need to develop “different prototype vaccines for every threatening virus family” that we are aware of. This would provide a “head start” in engineering vaccines to “target the very specific features of Disease X”, which she believes is “not impossible at all”.

Dame Kate Bingham’s warning serves as a sobering reminder of the vulnerabilities in our global health infrastructure. As the woman who successfully managed the UK’s Covid vaccination programme, her words carry significant weight. The question now is whether governments around the world will heed her advice and take the necessary steps to prepare for the next pandemic, which according to experts, is not a matter of “if,” but “when.”

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