"The end will come for this pandemic," Bill Gates told Sky News on Sunday. And he remains hopeful that the world will be "back to normal" as more vaccines become available.
The billionaire philanthropist has been very outspoken about how the world should combat the Covid-19 pandemic since it began last March. "We won't have eradicated this disease, but we'll be able to bring it down to very small numbers by the end of 2022," Gates said in the interview.
Gates said that while there are "still some questions" regarding how broadly the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be used after distribution came to a temporary halt in the U.S. earlier this month after six recipients experienced a rare blood-clotting disorder, vaccination levels are getting high in "rich countries including the U.S. and the U.K." (U.S. health regulators lifted the pause last week, giving state and local officials backing to distribute the doses.)
"Even this summer, [the U.S. and the U.K.] will get to high vaccination levels, and that'll free up [more vaccines] so that we're getting them out to the entire world in late 2021 and through 2022," Gates said.
Since January, more than 94.7 million people have been fully vaccinated in the U.S., with nearly 140 million having at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In the U.K., 33 million have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the BBC.
However, as Covid cases are declining in some part of the U.S. and the U.K., cases are ballooning in other parts of the world. On Monday, India reported 352,991 new cases and 2,812 virus-related deaths, marking the world's highest daily caseload for the fifth straight day, according to CNN. Other countries, such as Brazil, Germany, Colombia and Turkey, have also seen a rise in infections in recent weeks.
Gates added that he is not surprised that rich countries have been prioritized in getting the Covid vaccine.
"Typically in global health, it takes a decade between when a vaccine comes into the rich world and when it gets to the poor countries," Gates told Sky News.
But Gates said vaccine allocations to other countries will happen quicker.
"The fact that now we're vaccinating 30-year-olds in the U.K. and the U.S. and we don't have all the 60-year-olds in Brazil and South Africa [vaccinated] — that's not fair. But within three or four months, the vaccine allocation will be getting to all the countries that have the very severe epidemic," Gates said.
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