Bill Gates Spends $150 Million To Make The COVID-19 Vaccine 10 Times Cheaper For Poor Countries

Ram Pothuraju
Since COVID-19 broke out, there’s a lot of attention paid on what tech moguls say and do, and Bill Gates is not an exception. Not only did he predict the global pandemic, but he is also spending hundreds of millions of dollars in attempts to help fight it.

In his latest statement, Gates said that he and the Gates Foundation will spend $150 million to help the poorest people in the world buy COVID-19 vaccines. This is one of the biggest financial commitments the world’s second-richest person has made since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The Gates Foundation transferred the money to Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine producer to make 100 million doses at only $3. Compared with Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine that’s priced at $37 per dose, the support Gates provided will allow poor people to afford a vaccine at one-tenth of the price, even lower.

As of now, there are nearly 200 vaccines in development for COVID-19, 28 of which have entered the clinical trial phase. At least 5 of these vaccines are in the final phase before obtaining the approval to commercialize.

While vaccine producers have signed an agreement to keep the profit the lowest possible during the pandemic, some of the leading vaccine candidates like those from Moderna and Pfizer are quite pricey as they are made with the most advanced technologies with huge manufacturing costs.

For example, Moderna estimated to sell its RNA-based vaccine at $37 per dose while Pfizer’s vaccine will cost $19.5 per dose. In an interview, Gates said that these vaccines will most likely only help rich countries escape the pandemic. They are not a low-cost solution so they can’t be accessible to the entire world population.

To overcome this, Gates chose to help Indian vaccine maker Serum Institute solve their own problems. The goal is to speed up its research so the institute can make the most powerful vaccine at the lowest price.

Gates is also working with other vaccine researchers like Johnson&Johnsin to make sure they are on the right track of making affordable vaccines for developing countries and low-income people.

The Gates Foundation also promised to spend $100 million to help poor countries buy COVID-19 vaccines. In June, Bill Gates said he would give global vaccine network Gavi $1.6 billion in the next 5 years so they could pursue their missions.

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