Bill Gates reveals time for COVID-19 vaccine release

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A vaccine for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) could be available in 18 – 24 months, billionaire philanthropist, Bill Gates has said.

He stated this in an appearance on NBC’s Today Show on Friday.

The co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private foundation, noted that the timeline was feasible despite vaccines usually taking five years.

The billionaire, who has dubbed COVID-19 “the first modern pandemic”, said the earlier a vaccine was developed the better for the world.

“Usually a vaccine takes over five years because you have many steps,” he stated, stressing that vaccine development starts with animal testing before moving on to human testing at larger and larger scales.

In the case of COVID-19, he said, “because of all the incredibly negative effects, the sooner the better.

“The best scientists (are) working hard on this.”

“In fact, in the last few weeks I’ve seen signs that we may get to the optimistic side of that time projection” for a vaccine.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed more than $250 million towards helping the world develop a vaccine for the deadly virus.

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This, he wrote on his personal blog Gates Notes, is “the only way to return the world to where it was before COVID-19 showed up.”

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