Microsoft billionaire, Bill Gates, has said that getting vaccines to seven billion people would be challenging but a target that must be worked towards.
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The global population is estimated to be over seven billion, which means Bill Gates is hoping to have potential vaccines produced with his Foundation’s funding to reach the entire global population.
He however told US comedy/news programme The Daily Show that “Seven billion people, that’s a tall order, but it is where we need to get to.”
Bill Gates Foundation is currently funding the construction of factories for seven coronavirus vaccine candidates.
He said that move means wasting billions of dollars but worth it to save the world economy.
Gates said: “It’ll be a few billion dollars we’ll waste on manufacturing for the constructs that don’t get picked because something else is better.
“But a few billion in this situation we’re in, where there’s trillions of dollars – a thousand times more – trillions of dollars being lost economically, it is worth it.
“Even though we’ll end up picking at most two of them, we’re going to fund factories for all seven, just so that we don’t waste time in serially saying, ‘OK, which vaccine works? and then building the factory,” he said.
Gates providing enough funding for a vaccine
Gates told host of the show Trevor Noah, that “because our foundation has such deep expertise in infectious diseases, we’ve thought about the epidemic, we did fund some things to be more prepared, like a vaccine effort.”
On another programme on CNBC, Gates said with the risks associated with producing a vaccine for the entire global population and the potential side effects for certain groups of people, indemnification would be useful at some point.
Gates and his wife, Melinda have already pledged $100 million toward fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Wow. Bill Gates talks about creating a vaccine with low side effects so it can be given to 7 billion people. He says he wants to use his vaccine to vaccinate the entire population.
He also says he’ll need indemnification to be protected from all lawsuits.https://t.co/TJov8k1DHg
— Mike Coudrey (@MichaelCoudrey) April 12, 2020
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has in the past funded some vaccines for Polio and Tuberculosis.
On its website the foundation said “Our Global Health Division aims to reduce inequities in health by developing new tools and strategies to reduce the burden of infectious disease and the leading causes of child mortality in developing countries.”
Scientists around the world are still racing to produce a vaccine that can help fight the deadly coronavirus.