Philanthrope and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has predicted that the world will be back to the old normal by the end of next year, all thanks to COVID-19 vaccines.
Describing the novel coronavirus pandemic as an “incredible tragedy”, he said that the only good news amid the pandemic has been the access to COVID-19 vaccines.
In an interview with Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and television broadcaster TVN24, Bill Gates said: “By the end of 2022 we should be basically completely back to normal.”Bill Gates applauds India's scientific innovation and vaccine-manufacturing capabilities
His comments came just weeks after he said in a Clubhouse interview that people should consider changing their behaviour “in a significant way” this year.
Notably, through Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the billionaire has pledged at least $1.75 billion to the global COVID-19 pandemic response. This also includes support to vaccine makers, along with those working on potential treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
With Reuters inputs