During a Reddit question-and-answer session about COVID-19, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates predicted that the first available coronavirus vaccines will be administered to health care workers and other critical workers.
“This could happen in 18 months if everything goes well,” he said, but noted that “we and [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony] Fauci and others are being careful to not promise this when we are not sure. The work is going at full speed.”
Gates informed readers that there are at least six distinct trial efforts to create a vaccine for the rapidly spreading virus, with drug companies such as Moderna and CureVac working to develop a preventive cure. Moderna began human trials earlier this week.
Gates also said that a bevy of manufacturing processes will be required to test each of these trials, knowing that some will be unsuccessful. His nonprofit, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is currently investing in biotechnical research to develop a vaccine. The organization has pledged $125 million toward treatments for the coronavirus.
The initiative is called the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator. The foundation additionally offered thousands of coronavirus testing kits to the heavily impacted Seattle region.
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