'COVID-19 vaccine likely by beginning of 2021,' Bill Gates answers when coronavirus will end1 min read . Updated: 05 Aug 2020, 03:51 PM IST
- Microsoft founder Bill Gates said a vaccine may come by the the beginning of the next year
- Gates said he is optimistic that many therapies in development to treat the virus may help significantly reduce the death rate of the virus
When the whole world is eagerly waiting for a vaccine to protect against deadly novel coronavirus, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said a vaccine may come by the the beginning of the next year. However, that vaccine may be a "stop-gap", primarily available to the wealthier nation.
“The initial vaccine, in terms of its effectiveness against sickness and transmission, won’t be ideal and may not have a long duration," the philanthropist said in an interview with Bloomberg. More effective vaccines may take longer time to develop, Gates added.
Joining the debate over "vaccine nationalism", Gates urged the United States to take more global approach in dealing with coronavirus pandemic. Microsoft founder said he has encouraged the US lawmakers to devote $8 billion in the economic bill to help the low-and-middle income countries procuring COVID-19 vaccine. “We’re trying to make sure we can end it not just in the rich countries," Gates said.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates' philanthropic venture has pledged more than $250 million toward COVID-19 research. Gates has also funded COVID-19 vaccine candidates developed by AstraZeneca PLC, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax Inc. “Those are the ones most scalable and low-cost," Gates said. His foundation has invested in an entire portfolio of potential COVID-19 therapies and vaccines, including a vaccine being developed in South Korea.
Gates said he is optimistic that many therapies in development to treat the virus may help significantly reduce the death rate of the virus.
“Innovation in diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines will get us largely out of this by the end of 2021," Gates said. “The true end comes when between natural infection and a vaccine we have this herd immunity," he added.
Over 150 vaccine candidates are in different phases of development across the world. More than two dozen vaccines have already started the final stage of human trial.
Originated in China's Wuhan province, the coronavirus has infected over 1.85 crore people across the globe. It has claimed 7 lakh lives since the outbreak. The United States has been severely affected by COVID-19 with 1.56 lakh deaths. As it has become clear that vaccines are the best hope for controlling the pandemic, nations have started signing deals with drug firms for supplies.