Covid-19: ‘Vaccines are more important than ever’ – Bill Gates
US billionaire Bill Gates has called for any successful coronavirus vaccine found in the future to be distributed “on a global basis”.
Gates was speaking to the BBC ahead of a virtual vaccine summit later in which world leaders and some of the wealthiest companies and individuals aim to raise upwards of $7.4bn (£5.9bn) to boost vaccine production.
He said help for vaccines was “more important today than it’s ever been” and that every donation means “we can save more lives”.
Any funds raised will be used to help get any successful coronavirus vaccine to the world’s poorest countries, while also helping immunise against deadly diseases such as polio, typhoid and measles.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted vaccination campaigns worldwide, meaning about 80 million babies have missed out on routine immunisations.
But Gates warned that disinformation about vaccines (more on that here) posed a threat to efforts to tackle diseases – including Covid-19.
“Eventually, when we have the vaccine – we will want to develop the herd immunity to have over 80% of the population taken,” he added.
“If they’ve heard its a plot or that vaccines are bad, and we don’t have people willing to take the vaccine then that will let the disease continue to kill people.”
Bill Gates is expected to give a speech during a virtual Global Vaccine Summit, hosted by the UK later