While it appears that only one COVID-19 vaccine can take us back to normalcy, its development may take at least nine months to two years, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has said.
Even though many drugs are being tested to treat COVID-19, Gates believes the right drug is one that could help the world go back to the way coronavirus is epidemic in December.
The Microsoft co-founder wrote in his GatesNotes blog on Thursday, “Most of the drug candidates right now are nowhere near that powerful. They could save a lot of lives, but they aren’t enough to get us back to normal”.
In the absence of an “almost perfect drug” for the treatment of COVID-19, it becomes imperative that every person on the planet is vaccinated against coronavirus.
“Realistically, if we’re going to return to normal, we need to develop a safe, effective vaccine. We need to make billions of doses, we need to get them out to every part of the world, and we need all of this to happen as quickly as possible,” he said.
While vaccine development typically takes about five years, Gates believes scientists can vaccinate the coronavirus virus within 9 months to two years.
“As of April 9, there are 115 different COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the development pipeline. I think that eight to ten of those look particularly promising,” said Gates.
The Bill Gates and Melinda Foundation is funding several efforts to find a solution to the COVID-19 epidemic.
The Microsoft co-founder pointed out that safety and efficacy are the two most important goals for each vaccine.
Some minor side effects, such as mild fever or injection site pain, are generally acceptable, and not all vaccines have 100 percent efficacy.
To prevent the epidemic, the world would need to manufacture and distribute at least 7 billion doses (or possibly 14 billion, if it is a multi-dose vaccine), he said.