COVID-19 vaccine could be ready in nine months time, says Bill Gates

Friday, May 1, 2020

/ by Joe Adams
Bill Gates & Melinda Gates 
Founder of tech giant Microsoft and philanthropist, Bill Gates, has said that COVID-19 vaccine could be ready in nine months time.

He said as of April 9, 115 different COVID-19 potential vaccines were being developed globally.

Gates said although scientists across the globe are working hard to get a suitable vaccine to halt the death toll created by the deadly COVID-19 virus.

He said, “Anthony Fauci has said he thinks it’ll take around eighteen months to develop a coronavirus vaccine. I agree with him, though it could be as little as 9 months or as long as two years,".

Mr Fauci is the director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and is regarded as America’s most trusted voice in the fight against the ravaging pandemic.

“Although eighteen months might sound like a long time, this would be the fastest scientists have created a new vaccine,” Mr Gates said. “Development usually takes around five years. Once you pick a disease to target, you have to create the vaccine and test it on animals. Then you begin testing for safety and efficacy in humans.”

“Safety and efficacy are the two most important goals for every vaccine. Safety is exactly what it sounds like: is the vaccine safe to give to people? Some minor side effects (like a mild fever or injection site pain) can be acceptable, but you don’t want to inoculate people with something that makes them sick.

“Efficacy measures how well the vaccine protects you from getting sick. Although you’d ideally want a vaccine to have 100 per cent efficacy, many don’t. For example, this year’s flu vaccine is around 45 per cent effective,” Mr Gates added.

“One of the questions I get asked the most these days is when the world will be able to go back to the way things were in December before the coronavirus pandemic. My answer is always the same: when we have an almost perfect drug to treat COVID-19, or when almost every person on the planet has been vaccinated against coronavirus.

“The former is unlikely to happen anytime soon. We’d need a miracle treatment that was at least 95 per cent effective to stop the outbreak. Most of the drug candidates right now are nowhere near that powerful. They could save a lot of lives, but they aren’t enough…”
Mr Gates wrote about the 115 different COVID-19 potential vaccines being developed.

“I think that eight to ten of those look particularly promising. Our foundation is going to keep an eye on all the others to see if we missed any that have some positive characteristics, though.”

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