Not even the time to get out of the crisis caused by Covid-19, which is already on the horizon for Bill Gates another pandemic is looming. The US billionaire is convinced of this and, during an interview with Cnbc on the sidelines of the annual German security conference in Munich, he stated that a situation similar to the one we are experiencing we could have due to a pathogen other than that of the coronavirus family.
Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation added that advances in medical technology should make the next battle less complicated, however. On one condition: that investments are made now.
“We will have another pandemic. It will be a different pathogen next time, ”Gates said.
Two years after the start of the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic, the American billionaire said that the worst effects have worn off because huge sections of the global population have acquired a certain level of immunity thanks to the vaccines and antibodies generated as a result of the infection. Besides, the severity still dropped after the Omicron variant appeared.
“The chance of serious illness, mainly associated with factors such as age, obesity or diabetes, is now drastically reduced due to exposure to the infection,” Gates said, adding that it is already “too late” to achieve the World Health Organization’s goal of vaccinating 70% of the world’s population by mid-2022.
Currently 61.9% of the world population has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Bill Gates: Faster to develop vaccines
For the founder of Microsoft, if we have learned anything from two years of the pandemic, it is that in the face of a pandemic we need to move quickly in developing and distributing vaccines: governments, therefore, are “invited” to invest right now.
On vaccines, Gates points out that “the next time we should try to do it, instead of two years, we should get it ready in six months,” adding that standardized platforms, including messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, make this timing possible. . “The cost of getting ready for the next pandemic is not that great. It’s not like climate change. If we are rational, yes, next time we will take it soon “.
Gates, through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, partnered with the UK’s Wellcome Trust to donate $ 300 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which helped form the Covax program to provide vaccines to low- and middle-income countries. . CEPI aims to raise $ 3.5 billion in an effort to reduce the time it takes to develop a new vaccine to just 100 days.