Bill Gates Warns of Pandemics That Could Turn Out Worse Than COVID

And laments the inequities in vaccine access.
Ameya Paleja
Pandemics to come could be worse, says Gates.Reuters

Bill Gates, the visionary who warned us about a pandemic five years before it actually happened, has said that future pandemics could turn out far worse than COVID-19, The Independent reported. Gates reportedly said this as his charitable foundation donated $150 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) to fight the COVID-19 vaccine and prevent future pandemics.

The world is once again swept in a wave of coronavirus infections, and healthcare systems are stressed. The causative agent for these infections, the Omicron variant, is believed to have originated in Botswana, a country with a recorded 24 percent vaccination coverage thus far, according to Reuters data.

Founded five years ago, after the threat of the Ebola virus, CEPI leads the effort in providing vaccines to the developing nations of the world. The Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines being administered globally were also developed with CEPI funds. While these vaccines were developed at an accelerated pace and helped save many lives, Gates lamented about the fact that coronavirus vaccines did not reach developing countries in desired quantities at the pace that was ideally desired, The Independent reported.  

CEPI is now trying to raise $3.5 billion to ensure that a vaccine for the potential pandemic can be rolled out within 100 days, something Gates has been persistently talking about to ensure that we are ready for the next pandemic. Through his charitable organization the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates donated $150 million to this cause, a pledge that also matched with another organization, Wellcome Trust. 

Both organizations cited the spread of the Omicron variant to make their point that developed nations need to pool in more funds to increase the pace and scale of response to a future pandemic, that could be far worse in terms of fatalities as compared to COVID. 

Last month, Gates had also said that he expected Omicron to be the worst part of the pandemic, and with the vaccines and drugs developed so far, expects COVID-19 to be treated like flu from later this year. 

message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron