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Covid-19 vaccine should reach people who need them, not to the highest bidder: Bill Gates

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on July 12, 2020 Published on July 12, 2020

Bill Gates   -  REUTERS

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates on Saturday urged countries and their leaderships to come together for ensuring that Covid-19 vaccines and drugs reach people rather than “the highest bidder.”

The billionaire in his speech at a virtual conference organized by the International AIDS Society had said that he was optimistic about the world’s fight against Covid-19 and the ensuing health risks. This includes the risks caused by disruptions to health responses for other diseases such as AIDS.

“We have our work cut out for us but I remain optimistic,” Gates said.

“We will defeat Covid-19 we will continue to make strides against aids and other crisis,” he added.

The tech mogul added that the world has made great advances towards combatting Covid-19 in terms of drugs and vaccines. However, countries must make sure that these reach the people who most need them rather than the distribution of drugs and vaccines relying on market-driven factors.

“If we just let drugs and vaccines go to the highest bidder, instead of to the people and the places where they are most needed, we’ll have a longer, more unjust, deadlier pandemic,” Gates said.

“We need leaders to make these hard decisions about distributing based on equity, not just on market-driven factors,” he said.

“Global cooperation, a resolve to invent the tools and get them out where they’re needed most is critical,” Gates said. “When we have those things, nations, institutions and advocates working together on this collective response, we do see remarkable impact,” he said.

 

Global cooperation

Last month, 105 World Leaders including 18 Nobel Laureates, 32 former Chief of State and Governments, Political Leaders, Artistes, International NGOs and Institutions signed a global call by Yunus Centre to declare Covid-19 vaccine a common good and provide free access to vaccines across the globe.

The list included the founder of the Yunus Centre- Muhammad Yunus along with major Indian industrialists including Ratan Tata,Former Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Group, Azim Premji Chairman, Wipro Limited and Narayana Murthy Co-Founder, Infosys, according to the official release.

According to the World Health Organization, at least 21 vaccine candidates are currently in clinical trials and three have advanced to the final stage of human trials. Vaccine candidates by AstraZeneca developed in partnership with the University of Oxford and that by US pharma Moderna are some of the front runners of the vaccine race.

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Published on July 12, 2020
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