American business magnate and philanthropist, Bill Gates, on Thursday said it could take as long as two years or at least nine months before a vaccine can be found to tackle the deadly Coronavirus that has claimed thousands of lives across the globe.
Mr Gates said as of April 9, 115 different COVID-19 potential vaccines were being developed globally.
The co-founder of Microsoft Corporation said although scientists across the globe are in a frantic race against time to get a suitable vaccine to halt the death toll created by COVID-19, safety and efficacy are the two most important considerations.
Mr Gates, who penned down his thoughts in his regular publication, The GatesNotes, The Insider Edition, also highlighted some of the global processes needed to fast-track the process of getting a competent vaccine to save billions of lives across the globe.
Anthony Fauci has said he thinks it’ll take around eighteen months to develop a coronavirus vaccine. I agree with him, though it could be as little as 9 months or as long as two years,” Mr Gates said.
Mr Fauci is the director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and is regarded as America’s most trusted voice in the fight against the ravaging pandemic.
“Although eighteen months might sound like a long time, this would be the fastest scientists have created a new vaccine,” Mr Gates said. “Development usually takes around five years. Once you pick a disease to target, you have to create the vaccine and test it on animals. Then you begin testing for safety and efficacy in humans.”
“Safety and efficacy are the two most important goals for every vaccine. Safety is exactly what it sounds like: is the vaccine safe to give to people? Some minor side effects (like a mild fever or injection site pain) can be acceptable, but you don’t want to inoculate people with something that makes them sick.
“Efficacy measures how well the vaccine protects you from getting sick. Although you’d ideally want a vaccine to have 100 per cent efficacy, many don’t. For example, this year’s flu vaccine is around 45 per cent effective,” Mr Gates added.
“One of the questions I get asked the most these days is when the world will be able to go back to the way things were in December before the coronavirus pandemic.”
”My answer is always the same: when we have an almost perfect drug to treat COVID-19, or when almost every person on the planet has been vaccinated against coronavirus.”