Bill Gates, who donated $1.75 billion to the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and fight the pandemic, said this week that currently available vaccines prevent serious illness and death, but they are not sustainable enough to prevent infection. I should be better.
The Microsoft founder, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes at $135.9 billion, made the comment in a Twitter discussion with Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh Medical School.
“The vaccines we have prevent serious disease and death very well but they are missing two key things,” Gates said To the question of what would be the biggest difference in ending the pandemic.
“At first they still allow infection (‘breakthrough’) and the duration appears to be limited. We need vaccines that prevent re-infection and have a duration of several years.”
A recent study from the University of Copenhagen found that the rapid spread of the omicron variant, which now accounts for 98.3% of new cases in the United States, according to the CDC, is likely due to the ability to better evade the immunity offered by vaccines. is due to. Prior infection compared to previous variants.
Pfizer says Omicron-specific vaccine will be ready by March
Gates noted that Omicron will challenge health systems as it has become a major strain in other countries around the world, but could allow health officials to start treating COVID-19 the same way they would with influenza. Like tracking endemic viruses.
“Once omicron moves into a country, there should be fewer cases for the rest of the year so that COVID can be treated like the seasonal flu,” Gates said on Tuesday.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez this week urged European leaders to start treating COVID-19 as an endemic virus rather than a pandemic, saying health authorities in Spain will soon start tracking it the same way Like they do the flu.
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Former British Minister for Vaccine Deployment and current Education Secretary Nadim Zahawi told Sky News on Sunday that he hopes the United Kingdom will be “one of the first major economies to demonstrate to the world how you can transition from pandemic to endemic”. We do.”
Gates gave a presenter TED talk in 2015 warning about the threat of a pandemic, saying that if “anything kills more than 10 million people in the next few decades, it will be a highly contagious disease rather than a war.” There is a possibility of a virus.”
His philanthropic organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, donated $1.75 billion to fight the pandemic and develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
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According to CDC data, nearly two-thirds of the US population over the age of 5 has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 79.2% have received at least one dose. Of those who are fully vaccinated over the age of 18, 39.8% have received a booster dose.