While donating an additional $150 million towards the development of a vaccine for COVID-19, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Chief Executive Mark Suzman emphasized the urgency of the situation.
The foundation had made its first $100 million contribution in February to help create the vaccine and also to support poor countries in fighting the pandemic. Now it is calling everyone to come together. He even proposed the participation of the WHO, while President Trump cut off its funding.
Suzman repeatedly pointed out that the vaccine will be required on a humongous scale. “There are 7 billion people on the planet,” he added. “We are going to need to vaccinate nearly everyone. There is no manufacturing capacity to do that”.
Identifying the vaccine and finally producing it at the required scale will take months. Although the stakeholders are working tirelessly, the product will have to go through repeated trials before being deemed fit for all.
Still, the foundation is being “reasonably optimistic”. He said that the vaccine will be achieved within 12 to 18 months, at the fastest and the virus can be defeated.