Covid-19 vaccine can take at least 9 months: Bill Gates

SAN FRANCISCO: While it seems that only a COVID-19 vaccine can bring us back to normal, its development can take at least nine months or two years, billionaire philanthropist Bill gates has said.

Even though various medications are also being tested to treat COVID-19, Gates believes the perfect medication that could help the world return to how it was in December before the pandemic is out of sight.

Most of the drug candidates right now are not that powerful. They could save many lives, but they are not enough to get us back to normal, the Microsoft co-founder wrote on his GatesNotes blog on Thursday.

In the absence of an almost perfect drug to treat COVID-19, it becomes imperative that everyone on the planet be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Realistically, if we are to return to normal, we need to develop a safe and effective vaccine. We need to make billions of doses, we need to get them to all parts of the world, and we need all of this to happen as quickly as possible, he said.

While development of the vaccine generally takes around five years, Gates believes that scientists can devise a coronavirus vaccine within 9 months to two years.

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As of April 9, there are 115 different candidates for the COVID-19 vaccine in the development pipeline. I think eight to 10 of them look particularly promising, Gates said.

The bill and is funding various efforts to find a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Microsoft co-founder explained that safety and efficacy are the two most important goals for each vaccine.

Some minor side effects, such as mild fever or pain at the injection site, are generally acceptable, and all vaccines are not 100% effective.

For example, this year's flu shot is about 45 percent effective, he said.

I suspect that a vaccine that is at least 70 percent effective will be enough to stop the outbreak (COVID-19). A 60 percent effective vaccine is usable, but we could still see some localized outbreaks. Anything below 60 percent is unlikely to create enough to stop the virus, Gates said.

To stop the pandemic, the world will need to manufacture and distribute at least 7 billion doses (or possibly 14 billion, if it's a multi-dose vaccine) of the vaccine, he added.