Melinda Gates, co-founder of one of the world’s largest private charitable foundations, hopes the US government will soon assess the amount of its vaccine supply available to donate bilaterally and through the global COVAX program.
In her first comments since she and her husband, Bill Gates, announced they would be divorcing after 27 years, Gates said governments were heeding arguments that the global economy needs to be vaccinated to control the pandemic.
“I think the US government is looking at their vaccine supply and deciding ‘ok, how much should we do through COVAX, how much should we do bilaterally?’ So I think they are going to start to see some movement there.” Gates said in an interview with the Financial Times recorded before the divorce announcement.
Rich nations do not need to vaccinate their adolescent population before starting to share doses with low-income countries, Gates said, suggesting that governments choose an age range, somewhere between 20 and 30, at which they would start donating vaccines. .
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has become one of the most powerful and influential forces in global public health, committing about $ 1.75 billion to COVID-19 relief last year.
The 56-year-old Texas-raised computer scientist who met 65-year-old Bill Gates at a company dinner in New York will continue to run the foundation with him.
Gates agreed with the idea of giving up intellectual property rights to help increase the supply of vaccines, and said it made more sense to incentivize drug companies to transfer technology.
“The part that is not working today is manufacturing,” he said. “We don’t have enough raw materials, we don’t have enough manufacturing in the right places, so it’s allowing nations that have manufacturing to stockpile their vaccines, so we have to fix that piece.”
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