Bill Gates, the visionary who warned us about a pandemic 5 years before it emerged, has said future pandemics could turn out to be far worse than COVID19, The Independent reported. Gates reportedly said this as his charitable foundation donated 150 million dollars to Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) to fight COVID19 vaccine & prevent future pandemics.
Once again the world is being gripped by a wave of coronavirus infections & healthcare systems are being stressed. The causative agent of these infections, the Omicron variant, probably comes from Botswana, a country with a recorded vaccination rate of 24% so far. according to Reuters data.
Founded 5 years ago after threat of the Ebola virus, CEPI is at the forefront of bringing vaccines to the developing countries of world. Moderna & AstraZeneca vaccines, which are administered worldwide, were also developed with funds from CEPI.
While these vaccines were developed quickly & helped save many lives, Gates lamented about fact that coronavirus vaccines were not reaching developing countries in the quantities desired at the ideally desired pace, The Independent reported.
CEPI is now trying to raise $3.5 billion to ensure a vaccine for potential pandemic can be rolled out within 100 days, something Gates has been adamant about to ensure we are prepared for the next pandemic. Through his charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates donated $150 million to the cause, a pledge also matched by another organization, the Welcome Trust.
Both organizations cited spread of Omicron variant as signaling that developed nations must mobilize more resources to increase the pace & scale of response to a future pandemic that might be far worse in terms of deaths compared to COVID could.
Gates also said last month he expects Omicron to be worst-part of the pandemic, and with the vaccines & drugs developed so far, he expects COVID19 to be treated like the flu by the end of this year.