A Covid-19 vaccine is due early next year and potentially three of the six leading vaccines that are undergoing trials will work, said Bill Gates, a billionaire philanthropist, saying India has a major role to play in scaling up production for these vaccines.
“If they excel in their current step three, we want to be able to improve the production potential,” Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, told TOI in an interview with Skype.
Gates said that India will play a major role in the manufacture of these vaccines in large numbers, as many vaccine companies in the country have the potential to improve production.
“So India undoubtedly has a big role to play in that. Since the world’s largest volume vaccine manufacturers, who have done a great job and have worked with us on several of these life-saving vaccines — like Serum, BioE, Bharat (Biotech) — have the ability. We’ve been in plenty of talks with the firms, with the vaccinations that look like they’re going to be low-cost and really flexible, like AstraZeneca, Novax — Sanofi — and Johnson and Johnson, “Gates added.
He said progress on poverty reduction around the globe will be held back by a few years due to the pandemic and if all countries agree and the world is fortunate that some good vaccine health networks will rapidly rebound.
“If we’re doing a great job, we’ll finish the pandemic in 2022—if we’re fortunate to get a tonne of decent vaccinations manufactured in bulk, I’m sure the health care system should be able to come back quite quickly.
“We’ll have to play vaccine catch up. But the economic damage — especially in countries that, like some of the rich countries, couldn’t fund massive additional sums — will have major setbacks. Any stuff of the form of extreme poverty could take us five to ten years to get back to where we were at the beginning of 2020, “Gates said.