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Business News/ News / World/  Covid-19 vaccine: Gates Foundation pledges $250 mn more for battle against virus
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Covid-19 vaccine: Gates Foundation pledges $250 mn more for battle against virus

The Gates Foundation's latest contribution, its largest to date, comes on top of the $70 million funding that it added in November
  • This brings its total commitments to the Covid-19 pandemic response to $1.75 billion
  • Bill Gates expects vaccines to put an end to the coronavirus in 2022. (MINT_PRINT)Premium
    Bill Gates expects vaccines to put an end to the coronavirus in 2022. (MINT_PRINT)

    To support the development of low-cost and easier to deliver treatments and vaccines against the novel coronavirus, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday pledged an additional $250 million.

    The Gates Foundation's latest contribution, its largest to date, comes on top of the $70 million funding that it added in November. This brings its total commitments to the global pandemic response to $1.75 billion, the foundation stated.

    Co-chair of the Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates said, "Whether (the world) gets better for everyone depends on the actions of the world's leaders and their commitment to deliver tests, treatments and vaccines to the people who need them."

    The Gates Foundation's latest contribution will also support the delivery of tests and vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, the foundation added.

    This comes days after the UK became the first country to roll out a coronavirus vaccine with a 90-year-old grandmother receiving the first shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

    Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, said the injection she received was the "best early birthday present".

    This was the first of 800,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that will be dispensed in the coming weeks.

    Around four million more are expected by the end of this month.

    Meanwhile, Canada, on Wednesday, approved the same vaccine while the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it met its expectations for emergency use authorization ahead of a Thursday meeting of outside experts, who will discuss whether to recommend it.

    However, Pfizer's vaccine does face challenges, especially in the lower-income countries because of its ultra-cold storage requirements. It must be shipped and stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94°F), significantly below the standard for vaccines of 2-8 degrees Celsius (36-46°F).

    "We have new drugs and more potential vaccines than we could have expected at the start of the year. But these innovations will only save lives if they get out into the world," said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation.

    Another U.S. drugmaker Moderna Inc, which has said its vaccine is 94.5% effective in an interim analysis, has already applied for authorization in the U.S. and European Union.

    Britain is the first country in the world to start using the Pfizer vaccine after regulators approved its use.

    With agency inputs

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    Published: 10 Dec 2020, 03:27 PM IST
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