Bill Gates to fund development of 7 COVID-19 vaccines

Bill Gates to fund development of 7 COVID-19 vaccines
Bill Gates to fund development of 7 COVID-19 vaccines

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Aden - Yasmin Abdel Azim - Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates Image Credit: Supplies

New York: Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has announced his foundation is paying for the construction of facilities that will manufacture seven promising coronavirus vaccines and the best two vaccines would be picked up for final trials.

In an interview with host Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, he said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is moving forward with building manufacturing capacity for the seven vaccine candidates to save time, as the novel coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the world, reports The Hill.

"Even though we'll end up picking at most two of them, we're going to fund factories for all seven just so we don't waste time in serially saying 'ok which vaccine works' and then building the factory," Gates was quoted as saying.

Gates last month stepped down from Microsoft's board of directors to dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities.

"It'll be a few billion dollars we'll waste on manufacturing for the constructs that don't get picked because something else is better. But a few billion in this situation we're in, where there's trillions of dollars...being lost economically, it is worth it," Gates emphasized on the TV show.

According to the scientists, a vaccine may take up to 12-18 months after successful human clinical trials.

Gates has called for a nationwide shutdown in the US, saying the country needs to enforce stricter lockdown measures in every state.

US president Donald said on Saturday that country is headed into a few brutal weeks ahead where "there will be a lot of death", and also circled back to his riff on reopening the economy as the coronavirus death toll surged past 8,400, overwhelming the domestic health care system.

The country's caseload climbed to more than 300,000.

Gates has also called upon donor governments to help low- and middle-income countries prepare for this "pandemic", in addition to helping their own citizens respond.

"By helping countries in Africa and South Asia get ready now, we can save lives and also slow the global circulation of the virus," the Microsoft co-founder wrote in his GatesNotes blog.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in February announced that it would immediately commit up to $100 million for the global response to the novel coronavirus.

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