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Bill Gates shares his vision of the COVID-19 pandemic

April 24, 2020

Read 6 min


The pandemic that is experiencing the world has had philanthropists, athletes and public figures from home on issues of moral and economic support. One of them is the billionaire Bill Gatesthat since its Blog personallyhas analyzed several strategies that could help mitigate the events and harm of COVID-19.

Bill Gates shares his vision of the COVID-19 pandemicBill Gates shares his vision of the COVID-19 pandemic

In his article entitled “The first modern pandemic”, The co-founder of Microsoft claims global innovation is key. “This includes innovations in testing, treatments, vaccines, and guidelines to limit spread and minimize damage to the economy and well-being,” he says.

“The only way to get the world back to where it was before the release of COVID-19 is with a potent vaccine that prevents the disease.”

Bill Gates

The businessman notes that the first time the vaccine is made, the question is who should be vaccinated first. “Ideally, there should be global agreement on who should get the vaccine first. However, given the number of competing interests, this is unlikely. The governments that provide the resources, the countries where the processes take place and the places where the pandemic is most serious will all favor prioritization.

He points out that the goal will be to choose one or two of the best vaccines and vaccinate the whole world, i.e. 7,000 million doses if it is a single dose vaccine and 14,000 million if it is one Two-dose vaccine deals. . “The world will be in a hurry to get it, so the scale of manufacturing is unprecedented and will likely have to involve several companies.”

He insisted that he is often asked when the large-scale vaccination will begin. As the leading health authorities in the United States say, “I say it will probably take 18 months, although it could only be nine months or closer to two years.” A key element will be the duration of phase 3 of the study, which will determine complete safety and effectiveness. ”

Improve treatments

The Microsoft co-founder is optimistic that some of the treatments will significantly reduce the burden of disease. “Some will be easier to apply in rich countries than in developing countries, others will need time to apply. They could be available in summer or autumn. ”

But he warned: “We need treatment that is 95% effective People should feel safe in large public gatherings. Each patient needs to be measured to determine how strong their antibodies are. A variant of this approach is Take the plasma and concentrate it in a compound called hyperimmunoglobulin, which is much easier and faster to administer to a patient than non-concentrated plasma. ”

Related: Bill Gates warns that a coronavirus-like outbreak is likely to occur “every 20 years or so”.

Another variant that Gates is talking about is identifying the antibodies that are produced by the human immune system that are more effective. “Once these antibodies are found, they can be made and used to treat or prevent disease. This approach to antibodies also has a good chance of working, although it is unclear how many doses can be made. The production periods are at best seven months, ”there are in abundance.

So far, all tests for the new corona virus have involved taking a nasal sample with a swab and processing it in a polymerase chain reaction device (PCR). However, the Gates Foundation invested in research that showed that patient sampling results are as accurate as if the extraction was done by the doctor himself.

“This approach is faster, protects health workers exposure risk and should allow regulators to approve that samples can be taken almost anywhere, not just in a medical facility, “said Gates.

Follow Germany

Another type of test is currently being developed, the Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT). In this case, nasal samples must also be taken from a potential infected person. However, instead of sending them to a processing center, they put them in a container for liquids and pour this liquid into a strip of paper that changes color when it detects the virus. According to Gates, this type of test could be available in a few months.

The businessman believes that most countries will eventually follow Germany’s example, where doctors, if someone tests positive for COVID-19, are legally obliged to report this to the health authorities and to make all their personal data available. including name, address and phone number so officers can contact them and make sure they are isolated.

Gates suggested gradually changing the rules for what is allowed. “The basic principle should be to allow activities that are of great benefit to the economy or human well-being but pose a low risk of infection,” he added.

“My wife and I grew up knowing that World War II was a crucial moment for our parents’ generation. The pandemic, the first modern pandemic, will also determine this era. No one who lives through this pandemic will forget it. And it’s impossible. Exaggerate the pain that people are experiencing now and that will continue to be felt in the years to come, “concludes Gates.

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