On Saturday, Bill Gates the Microsoft Founder said that COVID-19 vaccines should be given to people who need it the most rather than giving it to the highest bidder.
A CNBC report quoted Bill Gates, “If we just let drugs and vaccines go to the highest bidder, instead of to the people and the places where they are most needed, we’ll have a longer, more unjust deadlier pandemic.”
“We need leaders to make these hard decisions about distributing based on equity, not just on market-driven factors,” he said.
With the pandemic, COVID-19 vaccine is the current priority across the globe. Many big countries like Europe and the US are already investing billions of dollars to develop COVID-19 vaccine. This raises the concern that richer nations may stock up potential COVID-19 treatment thus leaving developing countries empty-handed, a Reuters report noted Saturday.
The report further said that the EU and the WHO have already warned against “unhealthy competition” amid the developing of COVID-19 vaccine.
At the online event, Gates recalled the time when countries gathered to fight against HIV/AIDS. With global unity now HIV/AIDS medication is available across the world.
“One of the best lessons in the fight against HIV/AIDS is the importance of building this large, fair global distribution system to get the drugs out to everyone,” he said.
Calling for “global cooperation”, Gates said the world would see “remarkable impact” when it has “nations, institutions and advocates working together on this collective response”.
The Companies that made the most progress in developing COVID-19 Vaccines so far are Moderna of US, AstraZeneca of UK, and Sinovac Biotech the Chinese firm as reported by the CNBC.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also fast-tracked clinical trials of an indigenous Covid-19 vaccine, which it is producing with the Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL).
Nine of the 21 vaccines have the involvement of a Chinese research institute or company, while five of the vaccines have the involvement of an American firm. Among others are those being developed by firms from South Korea, Japan, Australia, Germany, and Russia.