Bill Gates, an American billionaire and philanthropist, said in an interview with BBC News that a vaccine against coronavirus could be ready in a year and a half, but for mass production of the drug, you may need to soften the usual procedures for checking the safety of drugs.
“Compromises will be needed,” Gates said. – We will have fewer security checks compared to the usual situation. In addition, governments will have to decide whether to exempt companies from responsibility and tell them: go ahead, get to work! This is a situation when we simply don’t have time to do everything according to the usual rules. ”
In mid-March, BBC News medical correspondent James Gallagher reported that scientists had already developed several variants of the vaccine against COVID-19 and are now testing them on animals. If the tests are successful, the next step – human testing – may begin this year.
The efforts of scientists are complicated by the fact that several varieties of coronavirus can exist simultaneously in the world.
Meanwhile, a leading British coronavirus scientist, Wellcome Trust spokesman Jeremy Farrar, told BBC News that the development of the vaccine will be complicated by the fact that analyzes of some people who have already had COVID-19 show the virus in them for the second time.
According to him, this happened from almost 100 patients in South Korea, and scientists do not yet understand whether this means that the virus remains active in the blood, or whether these people are re-infected.
Microsoft founder’s charity fund is among those who finance the development of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to Gates, only vaccination will return to the lifestyle that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bill Gates, who had long warned of the dangers of a global pandemic, also said that insufficient funds were allocated to develop a new vaccine, although the fight against a new coronavirus was already compared to war, and substantial money was spent on safety.
“There was a period when both I and the medical experts said that a pandemic could be the biggest disaster that humanity has ever faced,” said Gates. – Back in 2015, I talked about this threat, speaking in New England. So, undoubtedly, we will all look into the past and regret that we did not invest enough funds to make the diagnosis as soon as possible, so that we had the necessary medicines, vaccines and equipment. ”
“We have all been underfunded against epidemics. Yes, we created the Epidemic Preparedness Innovation Coalition (CEPI), which helped develop new vaccines. But that’s only about 5% of what we could do, ”says Gates.
“Over time, we will look at all this, and very few countries will receive a rating of“ excellent ”because most are simply trying to respond to what is happening. We were not ready for this, ”said the founder of the company. – No one was preparing for this, not trying to think what might happen. As a result, we found ourselves in an unknown territory in terms of healthcare and economic policy. ”