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Pfizer in collaboration with BioNTech is the only COVID-19 developer whose vaccine has already secured an Emergency Use Authorization in the United Kingdom.
As many as six COVID-19 vaccines could be available by the Spring of 2021 according to Bill Gates, the tech sage and Co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT). Per a CNBC report, Gates revealed this speaking virtually at Singapore’s FinTech Festival, and he commended the advancement in the move by regulators in developed countries with respect to the development and trial analysis of the COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
“I expect that we’ll have about six vaccines approved by the first quarter,” Gates said Tuesday adding that “the Western regulators are doing a great job. They’ve run these phase three trials in an incredibly professional way, looking for any side effects, looking at efficacy.”
This year is arguably one of the most pivotal years in medical research as scientists in the world raced to develop the vaccine for the Coronavirus that has ushered in a pandemic that has claimed more than 1.5 million lives. For a vaccine development process that typically takes more than three years, scientists and researchers in select biopharmaceutical industries including Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), and Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) amongst others have been able to make research breakthroughs leading to the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines in less than a year.
Of the numerous COVID-19 vaccines research companies, Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) in collaboration with German pharmaceutical company BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) is the only COVID-19 developer whose vaccine the BNT162b2 has secured an Emergency Use Authorization in the United Kingdom and its immunization is currently ongoing according to a Reuters report.
Drawing on Gates’ assertions, more COVID-19 vaccines are to be expected from about 5 other firms including Moderna (MRNA), AstraZeneca Plc (LON: AZN), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), and Novavax, Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX), without a mention of the fifth other company.
Bill Gates about the Distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccines
Now that at least the UK has granted a EUA for one vaccine, the hopes of a potential vaccine being in circulation are further improved. The distribution of the vaccines in an equitable manner is now a cause to properly design.
According to Gates, “We need to make sure we (distribute) in a somewhat equitable way, that’s not how rich you determine whether you get access to this vaccine,” stressing the need to provide support for developing nations.
The billionaire tech magnate hopes to contribute to addressing this distribution challenge through his Co-managed Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With a history and track record in championing global health through vaccination programs, the foundation is in partnership with India’s Serum Institute for the production of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD-1222 for a more global reach.
A similar arrangement is in place for the vaccine candidates from Novavax and Johnson & Johnson as the trio’s vaccine development technology is the conventional type requiring a milder storage and distribution temperature for a more global reach.