Amid the rising coronavirus COVID-19 cases across the world, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said on Monday (October 19) that COVID-19 vaccines will be available by the summer of 2021. He added that COVID-19 vaccines will be the fastest vaccine to be ever developed.
Gates made the statements while addressing at the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020, which is being held virtually. The former Microsoft boss asserted that the global community must take steps to deal with any next pandemic and it is necessary to build vaccine platforms to tackle any future pandemic effectively.
Gates reamrked that India’s research and manufacturing capabilities will play an important role in the fight against COVID-19. He added that India is “very inspiring” as it has taken several steps to improve the health of its people in the last two decades. “And now, India’s research and manufacturing will be critical to fighting COVID-19 especially when it comes to making vaccines at large scale,” he said.
“Researchers are breaking silos, 1,37,000 COVID-19 genomic sequences have been shared. First approved COVID-19 vaccines could be mRNA vaccines but has challenges. mRNA vaccine manufacturing is hard to scale, logistical challenges as it will need extensive cold chain. mRNA platforms in future could be developed to make vaccine more thermo stable. Monoclonal antibodies development also needs more research. Need to develop cheaper and faster monoclonal antibodies, delivery platforms can help. Innovation in sensitive and specific diagnostic processes needed for future. Diagnostics are failing us currently in COVID fight, in US 3 out of 4 are never diagnosed,” he added.
According to Gates, time has come to develop sensitive and specific diagnostic processes. Gates said that COVID-19 has badly affected the global economy, pushing it into deep economic depression.
The Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020 started on October 19 and will continue until October 21.