The global coronavirus pandemic has necessitated efforts and projects geared towards curbing the deadly disease. From corporate contributions to individual accomplishments, the world is trying to get a grip on the situation. One of the most important actions being undertaken by medical researchers worldwide is the development of a vaccine for this novel disease. And there is a vaccine in the works being funded by none other than Bill Gates himself.
It’s fair to say that this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of work being done on the development of a vaccine. In fact, the first human trials have already been conducted in the US and Europe, while pharmaceutical behemoths Sanofi and GSK have teamed up to start working on a COVID-19 vaccine. However, there is admittedly something different about a vaccine funded by a billionaire with a vision.
With a rich philanthropic history, Gates is currently funding seven highly promising ideas for a coronavirus vaccine. Talking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, the former Microsoft CEO explained that in ideal conditions, they could scale the manufacturing of the vaccine within a year.
“If everything went perfectly, we’d be in scale manufacturing within a year,” Gates said. “It could be as long as two years.”
He also explained why simply looking at the number of tests conducted in the country should not be enough to satisfy us and convince us of a string response to the disease.
“This focus on the number of tests understates the cacophony and the mistakes we’ve made in the testing system,” Gates said. “The wrong people are being tested, and any time you don’t get results in less than 24 hours, the value of the test is dramatically reduced.”
According to the billionaire, the best way to start reopening the economy and returning to normalcy is to “pick the high-value activities like school, manufacturing and construction, and figure out a way to do those with masks and distancing.”