Bill Gates spoke about the only condition for a return to normal life after the pandemic - as the philanthropist told the NBC channel, it will only be possible after the creation of a super-efficient and accessible to all vaccines. The billionaire also touched on the treatment of U.S. President Donald Trump, who recently became ill with coronavirus, saying that the chosen way to help the head of state can not be called a "cure" because it will not suit everyone.
Speaking in Meet The Press on NBC News, billionaire Bill Gates shared his views on when humanity could overcome the coronavirus and abandon all existing restrictions. According to him, the only way to get back to the "pre-coronavirus" times is universal vaccination.
"The only way people's lives will go back to normal is to create a super-efficient and affordable vaccine," Gates says.
According to him, most of the vaccines will receive all necessary permits and go into mass production in early 2021.
"Phase three test data is key, especially from a patient safety perspective - we need to make sure that the vaccine has no side effects," the philanthropist said. He added that the effectiveness of different vaccines can vary from 50% to 80-90%. However, some of them may not work at all.
The program host also asked Bill Gates about the recent treatment of U.S. President Donald Trump, who contracted coronavirus the week before last but was already discharged from the hospital. The American leader received as an appointment a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies, which he later called "cure" for COVID-19.
Monoclonal antibodies are synthesized in a laboratory environment. Their purpose is to stimulate the antibodies that the human immune system produces to fight viruses and other pathogens. These antibodies are injected into the patient intravenously at an early stage of the disease. Scientists believe that the drug also has the potential as a preventive measure acting as a temporary vaccine.
"The word 'drug' is inappropriate here, as it will not work for everyone. But, of all possible drugs, this is the most promising," said the co-founder of Microsoft.
He pointed to the fact that such therapy has not yet been approved by the relevant authorities, so ordinary Americans will not yet be able to get it. However, he expressed confidence that treatment with monoclonal antibodies may soon be approved for use in life-threatening situations, so this cocktail "will save more lives than the vaccine", especially if administered in low doses.
"The president has been prescribed eight grams [of the drug], and we are experiencing lower doses such as 0.7 grams and 0.3 grams. Of course, that has a big impact on the cost of the drug and its efficacy, but since there's a lot that remains unproven, we need to continue our research," said Gates, whose charitable foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to fight coronavirus.
In August this year, Bill Gates gave an interview to the Wired portal, where he shared his forecast for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the billionaire, even in developed and rich countries coronavirus will not disappear until the end of next year.
"The flow of innovations to scale up diagnostics, new therapies and vaccines are really impressive. With this in mind, I believe the pandemic will end in developed countries by the end of 2021, and in the rest of the world by the end of 2022," said the philanthropist.