Story at a glance

  • Scientists studying coronavirus vaccines at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research are warning that the pandemic could be followed by an even larger and potentially deadly viral outbreak.
  • Speaking at the Defense One 2021 Tech Summit on Monday, Kayvon Modjarrad, director of Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch, argued that the probability of this generation encountering another pandemic “is high.”
  • “We have seen the acceleration of these pathogens and the epidemics that they precipitate. And it may not be a coronavirus, this may not be the big one.”

Scientists studying coronavirus vaccines at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research are warning that the pandemic could be followed by an even larger and potentially deadly viral outbreak. 

Speaking at the Defense One 2021 Tech Summit on Monday, Kayvon Modjarrad, director of Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch, argued that the probability of this generation encountering another pandemic “is high,” Defense One reported

“We have seen the acceleration of these pathogens and the epidemics that they precipitate. And it may not be a coronavirus, this may not be the big one,” Modjarrad said, according to the outlet. “There may be something that's more transmissible and more deadly ahead of us.”  

“We have to think more broadly, not just about COVID-19, not just about coronavirus, but all emerging infectious threats coming into the future,” Modjarrad continued.


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The team at Walter Reed has been working on developing vaccines not only for COVID-19 but also potential new viruses, according to Defense One. Researchers thus far have conducted testing of their spike ferritin nanoparticle, or SpFN, vaccine on nonhuman specimens, although the group is in the early stages of human trials.

“If we try to chase the viruses after they emerge, we're always going to be behind,” Modjarrad said. 

Director for the Centers for Disease Control Rochelle Walensky said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the availability of effective vaccines has made adult COVID-19 deaths “entirely preventable. 

"This new virus forced too many of our families to accept death as an outcome for too many of our loved ones, but now this should not be the case," Walensky added.

CDC data shows that 65 percent of eligible U.S. adults have received at least one vaccine dose, while 45.3 percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated. 


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Published on Jun 23, 2021