Five years ago, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Bill Gates sounded the alarm about a coming “global catastrophe.” And now he is again warning people to prepare for pandemics even worse than the one we have experienced over the past two years.
The Microsoft co-founder claims that while the Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 are among the most contagious in human history, people could be exposed to the virus, which will cause much more serious illness and even more deaths, writes iefimerida.gr.
In an effort to sharply reduce the 100-day period necessary for the development of a vaccine, the coalition for innovation in the field of combating epidemics (συνασπισμός για καινοτομίες ετοιμότητας απέναντι σε επιδημίες, CEPI) is one of the key partners of the COVAX mechanism that provides access to vaccines against COVID-19 in developing vaccines countries of the world – trying to raise the amount of 3.5 billion. To that end, Bill Gates has called on governments around the world to allocate billions of dollars to prepare for the next wave of the pandemic.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust in the UK are providing $300 million to the Epidemic Preparedness Innovation Coalition, which helped shape the Covax program to deliver vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.
As Gates said, the world’s priorities are “weird,” with philanthropists and rich-country governments tasked with tackling vaccine inequality. He added that much of the innovation to prepare for a future pandemic could also be useful in addressing existing global health challenges, such as an HIV vaccine and more effective shots against tuberculosis and malaria. Gates previously said that the number of cases of coronavirus infections will decline after a wave of the omicron strain, COVID-19 will be treated like seasonal flu.
Recall that the CEPI coalition was founded five years ago, during the Ebola epidemic, and funded vaccination programs for Moderna, AstraZeneca and Novavax.
But while Gates praised the organization for its efforts to develop and distribute vaccines around the world, which “made a huge difference in saving so many lives,” the mogul believes there’s much more that can be done. “We have not been able to achieve the desired goals in developing countries as quickly as we would like,” he said, stressing that philanthropists and wealthy governments urgently need to address the problem of inequality (priority of countries) in the implementation of vaccinations.
“Billions of dollars have been spent saving tens of billions of lives. And billions to repair the damage caused by the pandemic. We’re doing our best,” Gates said.