- Bill Gates says 3 out of 6 leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates should be ready by early 2020
- Gates also said that India will play a huge role in the development of COVID-19 vaccine
On Tuesday, Co-Founder of Microsoft and one of the richest man on the planet Bill Gates said that three of the six leading COVID-19 vaccines currently will probably work by the early 2020. Bill Gates set an optimistic timeline for the development of the vaccine and distribution of the doses around the globe.
The 64 year old philantrophist told a leading news agency of India that he is expecting some of the Coronavirus vaccines to work very well by the next year, however, how they work in terms of blocking the transmission or even avoiding the sickness will still have to be further studied.
Asserting on the fact that the world would prefer a vaccine which was developed in the West, Gates said that partnership with India will be crucial to ramp up the manufacturing capacity.
Gates said, “Because of the need to get them (vaccines) out, we want to go to full volume manufacturing on many of these constructs. I think most of the world will want to see a vaccine that’s been reviewed by a top-notch regulator, which generally is the USFDA or Europe or UK,”.
As of now 38 vaccines are in Clinical Trial on human phase and an additional 93 vaccines are in the preclinical trials which are being tested on animals all across the globe. Talking about the vaccines which are being developed by China and Russia, Gates said, that while they may work as well, the regulatory mechanism in those countries is not up to par with the West, yet.
Gates, who is a leading philanthropic funder of global health and development, said that the COVID-19 vaccine development will have to be a global effort rather than a single country task. He said that India will play a huge role given the highest volume vaccine manufacturers in the world who have done a fantastic job in the past are located here.
Gates said, “We’ve been in lots of conversations with the companies in India over the vaccines that look like they’ll be low cost and very scalable, including AstraZeneca, Novavax, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson,”.
A handful of the pharmaceutical companies developing COVID-19 vaccines have already partnered with vaccine companies in India including the Serum Institute of India, which is the world’s largest producer of vaccines.
However, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the firm had dampened hopes of a vaccine being widely available quickly, saying he expects it won’t be available to all before the end of 2024.
Bill Gates also talked about the spread of COVID-19 in India and said that it was a harder challenge to control the pandemic in India given the high density of population in its cities and added that since a lot of work is not the typical office work which can be easily done over a workstation or over the internet.
He said, “And so there are very difficult trade-offs of what you do in terms of economic activity versus trying to stop the disease spread. I don’t envy the Indian leaders that tough decisions,”. Gates has predicted tough days for India ahead given the models are correct about the number of cases over the next couple of months.