Billionaire Microsoft founder, Bill Gates has claimed that rich countries could return close to normal by the end of 2021 if a coronavirus vaccine is ready soon and distributed properly on a large scale.
COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca/Oxford University are two of the leading candidates in the race to be first to get regulatory approval in the US and other Western countries but according to Gates, the success of the vaccines currently being trialed in the US is not guaranteed.
Gates also warned that stopping transmission worldwide of covid-19 could take up to three years at best.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Gates, 64, told the US to begin preparing ways to reduce the hesitance of the public to a vaccine, saying politics has reduced people’s trust of a vaccine.
Gates also hit out at the Food and Drug Administration who he claimed embarrassed itself by talking about the use of plasma as a COVID-19 treatment.
‘The FDA did embarrass itself pretty badly with the plasma announcement, where they made claims that were just completely wrong. They put a lot of praise of political figures into it so they haven’t been as strong as you would expect,’ Gates said.
‘With the vaccine and the idea of the expert panel and the professional team, I do think this is the gold standard that both the US and the world will want to look to before you want to give the vaccine out to millions of people,’ he claimed.
‘We still don’t know whether these vaccines will succeed,’ Gates said. ‘Now the capacity will take time to ramp up. And so the allocation within the U.S., and between the U.S. and other countries will be a very top point of contention.
‘If you were going for an elimination where we don’t have any more transmission, that will take two to three years,’ he continued.
‘In the rich countries, however, if you really in the first months of next year have the vaccine and they’re fairly effective at transmission blocking, then by late next year you could have things going back pretty much to normal, that’s the best case.’